Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Remnants of a break-up: The things I can't remember

The waiter approached and we each plucked another glass from his tray before he disappeared back into the networking throng.

"Something a bit weird has happened" I said, turning towards my two friends seated next to me, raising my voice slightly against the music and chatter around us.

It started in the first couple of weeks of my new job, when sleep wasn't coming as easily as it might have done and I regularly found myself awake well into the night; mind skimming through topics like pages in a book. And it was over the course of these few nights, completely unprompted, that my thoughts kept returning to the same thing.

A name. Or rather, the lack of it.

This time last year, there was one name which made me feel sick, angry and upset in equal measure. Not his name - no, that would be impossible to forget - but her name, the "someone else". I spent a good few months last year hurling every sort of horrendous thought in her direction, thinking of him and this faceless name. And now, whenever I try to remember it, it's not there. No matter how hard I try to recall it, the name has completely dropped from my memory.

Sometimes I get close and land on what could be the first letter, then a barrier - almost physical in its intensity - shuts down my thought process and leaves me with nothing. If I try to think of it, every path that might help me get there seems blocked.

It's a strange thing to notice, and a stranger thing to comment on, the non-existence of something, but I've recorded every other reaction to the break up, and this is a new one to add to the mix.

The PIB took a sip of her drink. "Maybe it's when you go through something unexpected and stressful, if something hurt you for long enough, then eventually your brain will step in and stop it."

Whatever the reasoning, as I said to my friends, it's just a bit weird. Of all the survival mechanisms you put in place to get over things, it seems strange to come across one, more than a year down the line, that you weren't even conscious of doing.


Blonde said...

I'm with PIB - it sounds almost like a coping mechanism your brain's put in place for you.

Odd that it's come to you now, but so long as you don't spend hours trying to remember what it was, then probably no bad thing. x

Elaine Denning said...

Perhaps it just goes to show how unimportant she was in the whole thing. Yes, you may have wanted to get your claws out and hold her responsible for at least some of what happened, but ultimately, it was his dick in his trousers.

Onwards, upwards, Jo. She ain't worth a second thought. x

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Blonde - Yeah, seems to be no bad thing. Just not something I've experienced before, so found it a bit odd. Usually I don't forget names.

Elaine - Maybe you're right. Whatever the reason, I think my brain is doing me a favour somehow. Hope you're well m'dear.x

Grump said...

When I can't remember a name, I go through the alphabet, starting with A and try every name I know starting with A, then B and so on. Usually a couple runs through and I get it.
Maybe give that a try, if you haven't already.

London-Lass said...

Yes, definitely a coping mechanism. The brain is a wondrous thing sometimes, Jo.

My brain, however, never does this and allows me to remember extraordinarily painful events in my life in explicit detail - meaning it either feels I dont need protecting or it doesnt care. The git.

My bro, on the other hand has no recollection of any events 48 hours after the date he was dumped two years ago. Even though me and the Chuppies took him out for a spot of Geocaching (as he was this poor tortured soul who looked like he needed a bit of air in his cheeks and no more staring at the living-room wall), and cooked him meals, etc., to make sure he was eating/drinking in the depths of his funk. However, he does not remember any of this. His brain is obviously looking out for him (unlike mine, the traitor).

treacle said...

I humbly put to you that this is a good thing. It sounds to me like your brain is pushing you away from this horrendous painful thing, one erased detail at a time.

Ellie said...

Our mind our wondrous things.

I have a surname I can't remember. The first name is Lori. She wasn't anyone very important in my life; a girl from a different university who I met because she was considering going on a programme sponsored by my university and she wanted to talk to me to get my view of the programme.

Later she went on the programme. We spent a year on the same programme in the same far away country as volunteer teachers (at different schools). One of the other volunteers read her diary (not condoned!) and told us all that Lori thought she was the only 'self actualised' one of us.

I found this opinion insulting.

For the life of me I cannot remember her surname; it drives me batty.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Grump - I think I'll just leave it as something I don't want to remember :)

London lass - I was talkingt o someone the other day who had that. She broke up with her bloke and can't remember the 24 hours after it. I remember in full and vivid detail. It's horrible, but I know for sure I don't want to feel like that again.

treacle - Let's hope so :)

Ellie - That's probably to stop you hunting her down on facebook and hurling abuse at her in a string of messages. Our brains are wonderful. ;)

Brennig said...

Good for your brain. And lucky you. I can remember the names. Of the friend who wasn't and the others, who I didn't ever know but did know of. I feel pretty certain I shall remember the names forever; the are burned in to my heart, in a not happy way, along with the events they did. And the dates they did them.

It was part of my coping mechanism that I had to know the details, when I discovered the truth; I had to know everything because knowing everything removed all doubt. Knowledge meant that I could see everything, out in the open. Meant that I could begin dealing with it, processing it. Having unpacked it all, I could begin packing it away again. And get on with my new life.

The cost of being able to do things in this way is, of course, that of total knowledge. But it is, for someone like me who is prone to over-thinking, a small price to pay.


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