Selective Memory

There have been 2 occasions in my life where I know my memory operated in a selective fashion to hide a particularly traumatic event.

The first occasion was early in my childhood (say at the age of 7) where I was in an impulsive mood after a run-in with my father. I decided to jump off a high wall and instantly regretted it as soon as I was in the air. I was terrified of the height but hadn’t realised that before I jumped. I stiffened up, wanting to keep the ground as far away from my head as possible. I landed standing bolt upright and without bending my knees. My back took the full force of the blow and buckled in at least 2 places. I was never the same again. Interestingly I was unable to recall the event until 40 years later when I was writing about my childhood.

The second occasion was in The Cedars mental hospital in Exeter. I remember getting upset about a piece of blue hand roll that appeared outside the loo. I complained loudly to the staff. The next thing I remember is being wrestled to the ground by 6 members of staff. To this day I don’t remember assaulting the 1st member of staff which the NHS alleges I did. An account of this is given in the post “Michael F. Bell Universe”.

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