So I read this book awhile back….Pain and Pretending by Rich Buehler. It is not for the weak constitution. (I’ve also been reading a lot of Jane Austen recently-can you tell?) The book is about exactly what it sounds like-the pain we experience in childhood and the pretending that follows in order for us to survive. One of the things he addresses are memories and how you view your childhood. Some people remember everything rather well-plays almost like a movie in their head, others remember pieces and can tell you but can’t necessarily “see” their memories and then other people have whole sections blacked out. This last group remembers very little…usually in those areas where there was significant pain, they literally cannot remember.
Personally, I’ve always landed in the first group. My childhood plays out like a movie in my head-full color, sound, feelings, etc. It starts around age 3. But there was one section that was black. As if the movie suddenly cut out. And I could not bring up that memory no matter how hard I tried. I never took it seriously or thought of it as significant until I read this book. And then I knew this blank spot held some keys for me in areas that I didn’t understand about myself. I won’t go into what the memory was or what surrounded it. Suffice it to say that it was as significant as my intuition led me to believe. Asking Jesus to help me, desperately, get this memory back has been liberating. I am still in the midst of it, but I guess my reason for sharing is that I know so many of us are walking around with these blank, black gaps in our memories. The mind can be forced to forget in order to survive, but the body never forgets and it will come out in some way or other until faced. If you have these blank memories, I encourage you to get the book. You may not like everything in it, but I assure you the help in those pages is invaluable. If you have a trusted counselor-talk to them about this specifically. Let’s face our black areas, and allow healing to come. Especially as parents. Our children need parents who are whole and not living out a pretend version of ourselves.