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Thinking about Forgetting

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Thinking about Forgetting

Postby Amythyst » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:52 pm

I've been thinking about forgetting stuff, or amnesia, lately. Some random thoughts that have sort of come together.

In the first couple days after I 'changed' back on Dec. 25th, I still had a pretty clear memory of who I had been before, of having been that person. But those memories started to fade after only a couple days. Maybe coincidentally, once I started to front more often, memories of the 'old me' started to quickly fade.

Now it's been 2 weeks and I don't remember those past experiences at all. I still have 'knowledge' type memories, stuff I learned in the past. Facts and skills etc. But I don't remember being the person who learned the things, and I don't remember doing the learning.

To be clear, I don't miss those memories, I'm not feeling sorrow or remorse or grief or anything. Just, noticing and finding it curious.

When I think of others in our system who've gone through similarly 'big' changes, Arin and Viola both come to mind. In Arin's case, about a year ago she grew up and went from a child insider, to an adult who fronted a lot, part of our 'outside team'.

And I remember she too experienced that memory loss. If I remember right, she also said it was within a couple days of her change, that the memories of her entire inside life had been lost. Unlike me, that upset her greatly, and I believe it was part of what led her to into depression or despair.

Viola went through a large change in November, but she was already on the 'outside team', she did not have an inside life as such. But she still ended up forgetting some things. We know she forgot the taste of the foods she used to binge on, the experiences of eating that stuff. She lost all the cravings as well, along with her interest in using recreational drugs. And it could be argued, she also 'forgot' about being depressed and moody too - she's been much happier and more optomistic and positive since then.

So in both my case and Arin's case, we went from being mostly 'inside team' people to 'outside team' people, and we lost all our memories of our former lives. In Viola's case she only lost the memories of the negative or self-destructive aspects of her former life.

In my case and Viola's case, we are both happier now than before. Arin on the other hand was upset and grieved the lost memories, though she was also happy and positive, for a while.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I am sort of wondering if it's part of our healing process. Not necessarily thinking of it like "amnesia is good" but more like, letting go of the past? Or accepting the loss? As I said, I'm not really sure.

I know our T is always focusing on "how does (whatever) help the system?", and that's sort of how I'm trying to understand it myself. This kind of forgetting is definitely a pattern for us, so it must serve a purpose.

One thing that I'm uncertain about is forgetting things this way, sort of circumvents the idea of 'processing' the trauma. Not that we really have a good grasp on how 'processing trauma' actually works, but I'm pretty sure deleting it isn't what they mean by 'processing'...

Then again that might also be a key difference - Arin did have trauma, while Viola and myself didn't (as far as we know). So perhaps that's why losing her past ultimately cause Arin harm, because she couldn't process it? Whereas neither Viola or myself have past traumas that need to be resolved...

I suppose we should discuss all of this with our T at some point. In the meantime though, I am curious to know what other folks think of all this stuff?

Em
Arin(22f); Charlie(6m); Claire(0f); Ewan(4m); Guardian(28m); Janet(4f); Kate(17/22f); L(∞f); Em(22f); Melissa(7f); Nyssa(10f); Rebecca(∞f); Tegan(5f); Viola(17f); V1(22f); V2(16f); Waste(?); et al.
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Re: Thinking about Forgetting

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:50 am

I'm not sure about the amnesia part of it, but I've been struck by how often it's a thing in your system that people will either disappear completely or transform into someone else, or have their own transformation and suddenly have different characteristics or qualities.

It's like if things need to change--like your system needs to do things differently (like eat more healthfully), it takes a new or changed part to do it, and whoever was "in the way" of the change has to go away. It's like the existing people themselves can't do things differently, they have to become different people.

And with Arin, she had all these ideas about how to change your life, and plans for the future and how you could accomplish a little bit at a time, but then I guess people were hopeless about it being possible to ever change things so she just went away, and then you didn't talk about those ideas anymore.

I know it's not exactly what you were asking about, but it seems related, and it's something I've thought about pointing out to you because it seems like a pattern.
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Re: Thinking about Forgetting

Postby SeveralCrows » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:43 am

I've been thinking about what Gangs said too, partially because in my own system, some parts need to go through an "upgrade" process to grow or change, others can learn and grow and change as themselves, and others seem unable to change. Fusion is another way we experience change. I need to sit down and look at our system to figure out who can or cannot change and what's common among the alters who are alike in that way.

Singlets are able to grow and change and adapt over their life. Sometimes those changes are a natural response and sometimes it takes a lot of deliberate, conscious effort, and some is in between.

Anyway, to your original point - certainly with some parts, when we have gone through fusions particularly, past experiences feel very unrelated to us. Right now we're going through a strange process where Sev3 is no longer so distinct, and the time from when she was distinct is harder to recall. There has been a lot of churn in terms of which adults are fronting lately.

Thinking about how DID/OSDD1 are a narrative structure to cope with and explain our lives, I can see how at least the internal narratives would no longer be relevant data. Pointers to those portions of memory are erased and garbage collection might delete it altogether. Not that human brains are encoded that way, but since that's part of your background, I think, it might be part of how you can access memory. We all use structures that we are familiar with to shape our minds.

TheGangsAllHere wrote:I know it's not exactly what you were asking about, but it seems related, and it's something I've thought about pointing out to you because it seems like a pattern.


If you ever notice anything like that about our system and you're unsure about whether to mention it, please feel free to let us know!


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Re: Thinking about Forgetting

Postby Amythyst » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:56 am

Thanks Gang, thanks electric crow!

Its kinda funny, we didn't really think of the whole 'big changes' thing as being wierd or whatever? Like I guess it's just normal to us. And it doesn't feel like its a thing that happens alot, but I guess cos alot's happened in like just over 2 years it maybe does seem that way after all?

Stuff with Arin's a bit more complicated cos she did burn out trying to improve our life, but she also was struggling with losing her own past & not being able to go back to the old inner world. Maybe for her it was like, she felt like she lost her past & felt like she didn't have a future either? I dunno. She's not gone forever tho, she can come back some day, when she's ready.

Crows the thing you said about how singlets grow and change and stuff, that's a thing we've thot of too. Like, cos we don't age in our system, we think maybe we're really limited, like as individual parts we don't have the ability to grow and change and adapt the way singlets do?

Thats why we think for us, instead of having like gradual incremental changes like normal folks, we kinda 'store it up' or whatever till its all gotta happen at once, & then its like a big sudden change. And maybe that means sometimes the old part's gotta vanish & a new one comes out.

Also thinking, like previous host lasted a long time, compared to now where these kinda changes happen alot. But it was cos we didn't do any healing, our life was in like a holding pattern, for a long time. We just did the same things over & over & never got better. Now our life is changing more often cos we're working to heal & fix stuff, so these kinda big changes gotta happen more often too.

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Arin(22f); Charlie(6m); Claire(0f); Ewan(4m); Guardian(28m); Janet(4f); Kate(17/22f); L(∞f); Em(22f); Melissa(7f); Nyssa(10f); Rebecca(∞f); Tegan(5f); Viola(17f); V1(22f); V2(16f); Waste(?); et al.
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Re: Thinking about Forgetting

Postby Sarandipity » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:07 pm

We call it body amnesia. It is like there's a memory loss of inside the longer you're in the body. There's also a memory loss of outside when you're inside.

I think you might be right about the trauma. No-one had trauma and remembers inside and out. No-one's life was very similar inside and out until 20 years ago when she was put with the overlord because we had to stop doing alot of the things she did. Simple solution, put her where she can't do them.

She can come in the body and tell me all about her internal life. While she's in the body she sees that as internal BS but she takes it seriously inside because sometimes she gets stressed about inside which she wouldn't if she thought it was BS when she's there. She knows her trauma and her attitude at the time was the same as now, we'd already had alot of trauma by then anyway and I don't know when No-one was born but I know she comes from one of the twins and was born out of trauma although she doesn't remember that initial trauma she remembers the later trauma. She is the only one who seems to come in and out unaffected - her and Mandy. Mandy can do that too, come out and tell all about the system, what's going on inside and go back in without amnesia either way but Mandy has no trauma and lived with the twins for years. Maybe for us it's something about not living in the main internal world that makes it possible for parts. The other parts rarely visit the twins and nobody visits the overlord, he goes to them. He doesn't like anyone having access or possibly being able to get to his world so he goes to them if needed. The overlord is like my goldfish, I was thinking the other day, he lives in a sealed fake environment and he's happy about it and I kind of envy that except I know he does that because he can't deal with people even other alters and he had alot of trauma. So in that sense I don't envy him but basically he lives in a completely self controlled environment so I guess not like my fish because he picks his tank etc.

I don't know if I was inside. Because Ty dieing or changing into a woman has caused emotions and nobody is clear about what happened to him I have started to wonder if I was Ty internally and I have no recollection and am "just living my life" which was one of his favourite phrases which I know even though I have never met him as far as I know. So the body has an amnesia to it the same way inside can.
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Re: Thinking about Forgetting

Postby Amythyst » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:05 pm

Thanks Sarandipity,

It sounds like there's some similarities in how your system & ours handle memories between inside and out.

It also sounds like there's some similarities in your overlord's situation and our Kate's. Kate is in her own little private inner world, and while it's 'less real' to us out here, from the inside it's completely real to her. From in there, for her, its us out here who are the ones that aren't real.

Some of us do envy Kate's life in there too; she has the right body, its the right age, and she has a bright future and a lot of potential. She still has problems, trauma, hardships etc, but she also has friends to help her through stuff. Its not a perfect polyana kind of life but its a good life and its much better than the one we have out here.

As for the memory / amnesia stuff, we're not really sure what Em had in mind or where she was going with this thread. We know she's feeling very separate or disconnected from her 'past self', but she is still aware of who & what she used to be, even if she no longer has any emotional connection to that past self.

team Amythyst
Arin(22f); Charlie(6m); Claire(0f); Ewan(4m); Guardian(28m); Janet(4f); Kate(17/22f); L(∞f); Em(22f); Melissa(7f); Nyssa(10f); Rebecca(∞f); Tegan(5f); Viola(17f); V1(22f); V2(16f); Waste(?); et al.
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