Little-known fact about me: while my memory is quite good when it comes to facts and phrases and things I did from 1996 onward, my memory is much more scattershot for the majority of my childhood & teenagehood. For a long time, when doing work on myself, I would ask my parents and family about things I did, ways I acted, etc. At this point, though, I’ve been mining those veins for a good long time, so the stories my family tell me about my life aren’t likely to be different from those I’ve already heard… and anything that might be different would be viewed with more than a little suspicion.
So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon* a story in which I figure prominently, written by a person I’d lost touch with decades ago. It was their beautiful “my first coming out” story. A coming out story in which I had the honor of being the one trusted with the news – and apparently, I reacted pretty well.
The post was almost 10 yrs old, but I saw it for the 1st time this past weekend and I’m still flustered about it. (And the person does not know I’ve read it.) Sure, I had a bit of a “go me!” reaction when I first read it, but in general I’m weirded out.
Why weirded out?
Because this was a person who was my best friend at the time and while I remember quite a few things from that time period, I do not remember this coming out story at all. At ALL. I have absolutely no memory of talking about love or crushes or anything like that with this person. It’s weird to read a brand-new story about a moment in my childhood when I thought I had the last available pieces in place. It’s also weird that, while reading, I didn’t get some sort of a “Oh! Right! I remember that!” response… and dammit, it’s weird that it also doesn’t even bring up any positive or negative nostalgia feelings. I mean, I remember this person incredibly fondly, and I am very used to getting some gut-level nostalgia feeling about a life story**, even when I don’t remember it.
I should have SOME gut-level reaction. Something to ground me there.
Because y’know, this person deserves more than this new hole in my brain.
I know that, given a few days, this will all be fine and dandy. But damn, that revelatory moment of “you don’t know everything about yourself” never fails to surprise.
* Okay YES I was googling myself. I do that once every few years to clean up old content out there.
** It’s telling that hearing a story about myself that I don’t remember was common enough in my life that I actually got used to a specific kind of emotional reaction to it.