8 Apr 2016

Forgetting: A good skill

My daughter sometimes asks me what it was like; what it was like when I was her age? What it was like at my school? What it was like growing up the way I did? With the family I had?

There was a lot of yelling, a lot of screaming and cursing, but I don’t tell my daughter that. When your mother tells you at least once a day she wishes you were never born and you live your whole life apologetically, trying to exist less, is that really living? Is that considered a life? And isn’t it mind rape when your parents tell you they never wanted kids but they just kept on having more? They had us just to tell us they wished they never had us. And like disappointments we came, one girl after the other, one tragedy after the other.

I don’t tell my daughter that I’m trying my best not to remember what it was like, I don’t tell her that I take medication to help me repress the memory of what it was like either, but I am better at forgetting now, forgetting is good, forgetting is a healthy skill, I’ve taught myself to forget something every day, delete a day or two of my life every night until I have no past, no angry hateful mother, no scornful raging father, no distant selfish sibling, no abusive husband, no apathetic friend, no insensitive insincere lover.. delete.. delete.. delete. Or perhaps deleting is not really forgetting but abandoning, when you’ve finally crossed an ocean you leave the raft behind, you don’t carry it with you, you just abandon it, but it’s still there, you remember it every once in a while, it exists, like a document you’ve deleted from your computer, it may not be in any of your folders anymore but it’s somewhere, hovering in cyber-limbo, in digital nowhere land. I can continue forgetting or abandoning the past but it will still visit me, the past is highly patient and disciplined in the sense that I can suppress or bury it in my wakefulness when I am conscious, but I won’t have that power in my sleep, in my subconscious, where it waits for me.