I was born into a newly formed middle class family. My father was one of the top supervisors at the Studebaker auto manufacturing plant in Los Angeles during WW2. My mother divorced him when I was two years old.
I remember being with my father only once when I must have around three years old. He was in the hospital at the time. It’s funny how I can recall it. I remember crawling around the floor of the hospital room. I also can remember my mother standing next to the bed talking to my father.
Now that I think about it, I have two memories of that experience. The one I just described, and the one where I am looking at the three of us and I am observing the scene like I’m looking at a video of it.
I guess my brain has two memories of it: one with me actually remembering crawling around, and one of me observing myself crawling around. Which is the more accurate memory? Of course the one of me actually crawling around. But, the brain must transfer these direct experiences into video memories.
Realizing this, I started thinking that maybe when a person has experienced something traumatic the video version changes the actual memory to something more acceptable.
It’s been my experience, however, that bad experiences can’t be replaced with covered over video memories. The real ones start interfering with the video copies.
That causes anxiety, and not until the real memories fully surface and are faced does the anxiety abate.
I’ve made a conscious habit over the past five years of writing openly about what I feel have been my own covered over video memories. It has helped me relax about myself.
I’m not sure how many more of these video memories there are for me. Maybe the one seeing my father the one and only time I can recall is one of those covered over memories. If so, you can be sure I’ll be trying to get it out into the open.