Author Topic: An insufficiently deep introspection by a capricious and mercurial 20-something.  (Read 6385 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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We're covering memory in my psych class right now, so just yesterday I learned that having absolutely no memory before about age 7, and only really fragmented and spotty "snapshots" prior to adolescence is totally common.

I have VERY occasional memories from age 8 down.  From 8-12 or so, it's spotty snapshots.

Even after that, to be honest.  But let's not kid ourselves...There wasn't much worth remembering for a good chunk of that time.
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We're covering memory in my psych class right now, so just yesterday I learned that having absolutely no memory before about age 7, and only really fragmented and spotty "snapshots" prior to adolescence is totally common.
I must inform my parents of this the next time they are in shock that I don't remember something from when I was 5.

Most 'memories' I have from my youth are because of pictures and constant re-telling of stories.
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^^^ That.  I often "remember" my childhood as if I was observing myself. 

Elder Iptuous

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I have had fairly vivid memories that i was told by adults present didn't happen that way at all.

there was a bit on Radio Labs discussing memory recall, and the researcher was saying that the way that we recall our memories uses the same mechanisms as forming them.  we literally overwrite our memories every time we remember them, and they can mutate based on information coming in at time of recall...  That struck me as rather profound, since memory is so integral to 'self'.

god, i can't wait to be a robot.

Dildo Argentino

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There are large blocks of time missing from my childhood.  Is this normal? 

Normal in the sense of the "norm", as in the majority experience: I think so, yes. Normal in the sense of "typical for a well-adjusted, mentally robust human being who has processed all their major psychological traumas appropriately and is hence in a near-optimal condition to have fun, Saturday Nights or whatever"? No, I don't think so.

Am I suppressing bad memories? 

Quite probably.

What did I do, say, think? 

Only you can figure that out. People of a great variety of persuasions will offer to help you with that, while other people will argue very persuasively that the quest for lost memories is pointless and/or actually harmful. I personally think that creating some sort of story about one's own self that has closure and that one is ultimately able to accept is a good thing. I also think that the stories that work tend to be pretty close to 'what really happened'.

Only a few, a very very few, remain intact.  Well, I say intact.  There are half-seconds worth, maybe a full two seconds for some particularly good memories, where I can say I did shit because I remember doing it.  Other things I only know because it was a routine thing, and yeah I did that, and I know I did, because I did it so much it's hard to forget a schedule I had for years and years.

Some years I cannot even recall at all.  Where was the location of my fifth grade classroom?  Or third?  Second?  I rememer preschool through first, remember clearly, and even a couple teachers.  Who was my best friend during those years?  It wasn't Natalie, she had started drifting away.  I can't remember anything, from such large blocks of time.

So, what happened?  I don't know.  I wish I knew.

There might be something organically wrong with your brain. I have no idea what, but ask a neurologist, they know these things. In that case, your memories may be irretrievably lost, or they may be recoverable. Or the memories could be unavailable to your awareness because they are suppressed for some reason or another. Dozens to techniques exist to help you recover your lost childhood, your lost memories. Some are better than others, some are clearly lunatic, some are more suited to one type of person, some to another. It is quite possible to damage yourself further by digging into your own depths: if you decide to do it, you will have to be slow and careful about it, and preferably enlist reliable help.

I still don't know what's real or fake anymore.  Is everything all in my head?  I can credit some things not being real, things being imagined and whatnot.  Is anything I think I know about anyone, including myself, even real?  Was it ever?  Do I really understand things like respect and love and friendship?  Is what I think is compassion and altruism in myself really just a series of selfish acts of fake fakery to get people to like me?
Is anything I perceive and interpret real?  not like, does anyone else exist.  No.  They exist, but how much of what I see and hear and experience is not tainted by admittedly bad wiring?  How much of anything meant anything at all?  How much was misinterpreted?  Was it everything? Most of it?  None of it?

I think, first of all, keep breathing.

Secondly, these terrible, gnawing questions of horrific, vertigo-inducing, head-spinning self-doubt are not uncommon. People have been known to feel like you feel when you ask yourself these questions and then to progress to a robust sense of well-being which included a clear and thorough understanding of exactly what was making them feel so miserable before, and how. You are not alone, many others have been in this predicament, most of them are not in insane asylums. You are having maybe a crisis, but it's not unheard of. Help is available, though, shamefully, in most countries it is not free.

I can't even decide what would be worse.  But not knowing drives me to distraction.  I'll never know, either. 

If you mean know as in know as in KNOW, 100%, sure as death, you are right. You'll never know.

It is, however, possible to achieve a reasonable and resilient standard of certainty.

Oh well.

Just another day in heaven  :)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 07:10:10 am by holist »
Not too keen on rigor, myself - reminds me of mortis

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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We're covering memory in my psych class right now, so just yesterday I learned that having absolutely no memory before about age 7, and only really fragmented and spotty "snapshots" prior to adolescence is totally common.

I have VERY occasional memories from age 8 down.  From 8-12 or so, it's spotty snapshots.

Even after that, to be honest.  But let's not kid ourselves...There wasn't much worth remembering for a good chunk of that time.

An awful lot of childhood memories get condensed into a single memory... for example, my memories of "riding bikes", which I must have done almost every day between about 8 and 18, is condensed into a few compound memories.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Freeky, memory retrieval is one of those things where rarely-retrieved memories may lose their connections, so physically they're still in your brain but you can't access them at will. One way to remember them is to, rather than wonder what you don't remember, start thinking about the things you do remember, and as one thing reminds you of another, follow all those retrievals, spending some time exploring details of each one. This process creates new connections to unused memories and you can actually forge quite a lot of new connections that way, especially if you do it regularly. Another good way is to talk to someone you knew as a child and see if you can get to reminiscing. You'll remember things you totally forgot about because the memory retrieval will be triggered with a connection. A thing to avoid doing; don't ask for stories from your childhood. Many times people just end up creating false memories that way, and those are a dead-end. Better to ask people what they remember, and then let the conversation roll.

You can even do this with people you DIDN'T share a childhood with; ask them what their earliest childhood memories are and typically it will start a chain reaction with each person initially not remembering much, but as everybody reminisces, their stories will trigger other people's related childhood memories. It's really fun, usually. I can be a bit of a buzzkill when we engage in those kinds of activities, though. :lol:

Also, a good therapist can do wonders, if you have concerns about having unremembered childhood trauma, and if you think you might, be cautious around the issue of memories and back off if you hit an area that feels "icky" to you until you have a therapist, because once you start remembering stuff you tried to forget, you can't un-remember.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


AFK

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I have very vivid memories of when I was two and three.  When I was two I remember very vividly this huge, rickety window falling and crashing down on my thumb.  When I was three, I very vividly remembering my Uncle, my father's brother, drowning in a lake.  Yep, death and pain started pretty early for me. 
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Freeky

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Freeky, memory retrieval is one of those things where rarely-retrieved memories may lose their connections, so physically they're still in your brain but you can't access them at will. One way to remember them is to, rather than wonder what you don't remember, start thinking about the things you do remember, and as one thing reminds you of another, follow all those retrievals, spending some time exploring details of each one. This process creates new connections to unused memories and you can actually forge quite a lot of new connections that way, especially if you do it regularly. Another good way is to talk to someone you knew as a child and see if you can get to reminiscing. You'll remember things you totally forgot about because the memory retrieval will be triggered with a connection. A thing to avoid doing; don't ask for stories from your childhood. Many times people just end up creating false memories that way, and those are a dead-end. Better to ask people what they remember, and then let the conversation roll.

Don't know anyone from my childhood, anymore.  Don't even know if they're even living still.  Probably, though, we were a bunch of suburbanite kids in Kan'City, KS.

Quote
You can even do this with people you DIDN'T share a childhood with; ask them what their earliest childhood memories are and typically it will start a chain reaction with each person initially not remembering much, but as everybody reminisces, their stories will trigger other people's related childhood memories. It's really fun, usually. I can be a bit of a buzzkill when we engage in those kinds of activities, though. :lol:

:lol:


I at least learned something about memories from this thread.  I'ma call that a win.
If someone does the “Fine, you’re right, I’m clearly a terrible person, I’m Satan, I’m the worst person alive, I should just die” thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


Although it is outside the purview of this organization to offer personal advice, we can say -- without assuming any liability -- that previous experience indicates (and recent market studies corroborate) that given the present condition of the marketplace, continuing with your present course of action is likely to result in substantial in

Luna

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I actually made contact with my best friend from kindergarten through grade school.  (Thanks, Facebook!)

She, apparently, went on to join the Air Force, marry, have a daughter, divorce, and go all right-wing Christian conservative.

We don't actually talk, much, now.
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Dildo Argentino

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I actually made contact with my best friend from kindergarten through grade school.  (Thanks, Facebook!)

She, apparently, went on to join the Air Force, marry, have a daughter, divorce, and go all right-wing Christian conservative.

We don't actually talk, much, now.

Yep, this thing (slight variations thereof) happens with depressing regularity. Not surprising though, if your parents (like mine) chose the educational establishments I attended largely on geographical grounds (being close, that is). Or any other grounds except actually sane ones.
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Freeky

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I actually made contact with my best friend from kindergarten through grade school.  (Thanks, Facebook!)

She, apparently, went on to join the Air Force, marry, have a daughter, divorce, and go all right-wing Christian conservative.

We don't actually talk, much, now.

Shit tay. :sad:
If someone does the “Fine, you’re right, I’m clearly a terrible person, I’m Satan, I’m the worst person alive, I should just die” thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


Although it is outside the purview of this organization to offer personal advice, we can say -- without assuming any liability -- that previous experience indicates (and recent market studies corroborate) that given the present condition of the marketplace, continuing with your present course of action is likely to result in substantial in

Luna

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I actually made contact with my best friend from kindergarten through grade school.  (Thanks, Facebook!)

She, apparently, went on to join the Air Force, marry, have a daughter, divorce, and go all right-wing Christian conservative.

We don't actually talk, much, now.

Shit tay. :sad:

Eh, she's got her life, she's happy, I suppose that's all I could wish for her.

Well, that, and having a brain that isn't infected by Fox News.
Death-dealing hormone freak of deliciousness
Pagan-Stomping Valkyrie of the Interbutts™
Rampaging Slayer of Shit-Fountain Habitues

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake, and they live in a state of constant, total amazement."

If Luna was a furry, she'd sex humans and scream "BEASTIALITY!" at the top of her lungs at inopportune times.

I like the Luna one. She is a good one.

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"Stop talking to yourself.  You don't like you any better than anyone else who knows you."