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What would you do if a friend forgot you completely? Eternal Sunshine scenario, but one-sided.
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Tue Jun 23, 2015 01:15 AM

Hello, everyone.

Sorry for the strangeness of this post, I'm just going through a hard time. The first part of post is backstory, the point is labelled and comes later. I'd appreciate your help if you don't mind the long-windedness.

Backstory: I've been having memory issues lately, also no emotions. I'm very on edge now because in abusive environment, no escape yet until six days later from today. In the past I've been known to dissociate when it gets really bad, and at least three times I've temporarily lost my memory. You're going to say I need professional help; don't worry, I'll get professional help, only now it's not possible. I'll have to wait it out a week or so. Right now I just have to focus on practicalities.

I'm not even trying to remember, because if temporary forgetting and dissociation is a coping mechanism, then there's a reason I forgot, and I don't want to risk a breakdown since I've got to spend 23 hours at some airports soon, customs and all. And right after that I have a conference, so must focus on what's in front of me.

My friend the airplane checked up on me on Facebook, and during our conversation it appears that I lost quite a lot of memory regarding recent events. I know my parents intentionally triggered me, but can't feel the details, can't feel emotion, which is good because my parents always yell louder if I cry, even if just a little. Airplane says I left my keys to Submarine, whom I can't remember. Submarine also messaged me; initially I thought he was one of the people on friends list whom I don't know personally, but he claimed to have my keys. We sort of introduced ourselves, he told me his job, his city...his name (he uses false name for Facebook).

I actually don't know why I was in love with Airplane, and Airplane said I was never in love with him, that it was Submarine instead. Except I don't even know Submarine. I asked Submarine if we know each other, he said that we are close friends, and that he didn't want to remind me too much about himself because he caused something bad for me awhile back. It seemed that he understood the situation, and as Airplane said, practicalities first, memories and emotions later (when I'm in a safer place).

So pretty much I'm in a kind of fight-or-flight mode right now. Good thing, too, because I just submitted a paper and am working on a discussion panel. I get jumpy just hearing my parents talk, though. Submarine isn't in the country right now and planned on having Airplane or Beautiful Girl get the keys to me somehow. And the thing is, I remember Beautiful Girl very well. But not sure about Airplane. According to Poet, Airplane isn't nearly as mean as I remember him to be (and going by my recent interactions with him, Poet appears to be right). He says that some of the things I've done with Airplane are actually things I've done with Submarine. He also thinks my parents messed with my memories of both Airplane and Submarine. Which is something they had done before...first time I lost my memory was because my father convinced me that i made my mother commit suicide. She did fake suicide in front of me when I was eight, and my father somehow used that old trauma to create a new false memory seven years later. Poet thinks he's corrupted my memories of Airplane (which explains why I hated him before he messaged me); as for Submarine, who knows.

If Poet is right...well, it's true that my parents don't really know anything about Beautiful Girl, there's no way they can corrupt my memories of her, if indeed that's what they did...maybe that's why I remember her...

Except that doesn't matter, what matters is that if Airplane seemed so disturbed that I've forgotten Submarine, what's it like for Submarine? As horrible as this sounds, I have no empathy for him, I have no feelings at all, no fear, no sadness, just a general sense of nausea. But if we were as close as Airplane and Poet suggested--Airplane was a bit freaked-out--it must be very bad for Submarine. Now, none of this matters now, they said, I just have to focus on practicalities and not fall apart before I return to them. As in, avoid reading old messages in search of memory triggers, avoid remembering in general because who knows what will trigger an old flashback. Whatever my brain is doing now, just go along with it and return safely to my adopted country.

Poet was trying to fill in some gaps, taking care not to trigger anything.

But what is it like for Submarine? For one thing, I've forgotten him completely; whatever we've done together I've mistakenly attributed to Airplane. And secondly, he says he caused something bad for me--does he think the memory loss is his fault? Whatever that bad thing was, I'm sure it's not his fault--must avoid causing him any unnecessary unpleasantness. If it's quite bad, then is there anything I can say or do to make him feel better? He's definitely not showing it if he's upset, so I don't know if he is (then again, it's Facebook and he is having limited internet access, he's out of the country for work and quite busy at the moment).

The point of the matter: Since you are all less emotionally handicapped than me at the moment, would you help me use your imagination or empathy for awhile? A few questions:

If one of your close friends (who was apparently in love with you) suddenly forgot you, would you be upset? If you are already clinically depressed, would this make things worse?

If so, what can the forgetful one do to make you feel better? (Anything at all, I'm sure I owe him this much.)

If you know this friend sometimes represses traumas, and you know you caused something bad for her sometime before she lost her memories of you, would you overthink and assume you were in some way responsible for her recent memory loss? (And if so, how can forgetful friend convince you otherwise? Even if he was in some way responsible, I don't want him to feel guilt because if we were friends...friends don't want each other to feel guilt.)

Also, if I don't have an appropriate emotional response to the sadness of him being forgotten, am I turning into a psychopath like my father? Regarding the memory loss, my friends are all going along with it, but is this fair to them?

I ask this because I had a dream of Submarine (from his profile picture) bleeding from the eyes. And he was being nonchalant about it. So I looked up the dream's meaning and--how do I express this--I calmly freaked out. A numb sort of panic, something like dread. A physical feeling, something like being ill. I can't feel much emotionally, but he can, and so what matters is what he can feel, not what I can't.

5 Replies to What would you do if a friend forgot you completely? Eternal Sunshine scenario, but one-sided.

re: What would you do if a friend forgot you completely? Eternal Sunshine scenario, but one-sided.
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Thu Jun 25, 2015 07:55 AM
Honestly, this is WAY more than any of us are qualified to help you with. You need professional help, not a website on the internet.

And last time I said something like that, you threatened to quit the site, and it's fine if you want to do that again. But at this point, any of us making even one wrong move (and since as far as I'm aware, there are no licensed therapists on the site, one wrong move is HIGHLY likely), and it could pretty dramatically alter the courses of several lives.

You need help, baby. Not a message board on the internet. Real, honest to goodness HELP.
re: What would you do if a friend forgot you completely? Eternal Sunshine scenario, but one-sided.
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:36 AM
I know, Theresa. And thanks. I'm getting help, but it's unavailable at the moment. If it's too much for anyone here to help with, I understand. You see, professional help isn't always there right when you need it. Might be easier with supportive parents, but when there are people pretty much preventing me from getting the help I need, then I turn to whomever I can just for some perspective. And this site is one of the options; I don't see this as a substitute for help, but figured it's better than nothing, might as well try.

About the last time--it's difficult to convey all the nuances of my situation in writing. I don't want to take a year off from school, that's all. My grades are good, and school is my main support network, it's a place where I don't have to be dependent on my abusive parents. And since the responses seemed to misunderstand, I quit this site for a bit. I didn't threaten to quit this site, I just didn't feel like coming here anymore. The only reason I'm back is because help is unavailable and my friends have helped plenty, no need to bother them more if we're on different sides of the ocean. There's not much they can do, anyway. I only posted here because I thought it might be better than nothing, and it was. Some of the members here helped me to make a very important decision, and for that I'm extremely grateful.
re: What would you do if a friend forgot you completely? Eternal Sunshine scenario, but one-sided.
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:44 AM
Edited by SwordInStone (239239) on 2015-06-25 10:47:59
Only,

I'm going through a mental illness, I've lost memories of a close friend. It's already bad that I have to be ill, must not drag my friends into this as well. It's really not fair for him to lose a friend just because I've got PTSD and am currently in a trigger zone. He understands and is tolerant, but it's still not fair to him. What's the best way to make it better for him? Is there something I can do or say, besides getting better?

I'm not asking for help on getting better; that's too much to ask, and as Theresa said, professional help would be necessary. But even so it might take some time.

What I'm asking is this: what can I do to make my friend feel better? If your friend can't remember you, what can she do to make this easier on you?

re: What would you do if a friend forgot you completely? Eternal Sunshine scenario, but one-sided.
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:36 AM
I think it's just one of those things that has to be hard. Let's say you got in a car accident, hit your head, and couldn't remember your friend - it'd be confusing, and hard, and weird for both of you. But eventually your memories would start to filter back in, and you'd be OK. It's sort of the same here, except rather than a physical car accident, there's sort of been a mental one. There's nothing you can do to make this better, nor should it really be on you to make him feel better. You keep trying, he keeps trying, and eventually it'll sort itself out.
re: What would you do if a friend forgot you completely? Eternal Sunshine scenario, but one-sided.
By hummingbird Comments: 10419, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:51 AM
Can I just add to that very true and well set out analogy Theresa?

If you were in a real life car accident and lost some of your memories you would go to the doctor and get checked out.

We're all thinking of you here and hoping that you do go to the doctor to get the help that you obviously need.

Please get on the plane and away from the cause of your pain.

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