September 13, 2012
I don’t remember. That’s all I ever tell them. Three simple words that make up my life. I don’t remember. I can’t recall, it is not known, my memory fails me, there’s only so many ways I can say the same things over and over again. The doctors told me it would be hard. At least, that’s what my mom tells me every morning when she rehashes most of my life in less than 10 minutes. Not many people live with my condition, and those who do rarely handle it as well as I do. Please know that as I recount my tale, these are not things I have learned for myself. These are things that I am told every day. The same things, in the same way, by the same people every day. I am Madison, and I’m a high school amnesiac.

When most people think of amnesia, they think of complete memory loss. They think of the people who wake up one day and don’t know who they are, where they are, or why they’re there. I’ve been around those people, and trust me, I am not one of them. When I slipped back into consciousness, I knew who I was. I didn’t know where I was, or what had happened, but I woke with the same personality as the one I nearly died with. I do remember most of my childhood; I remember what my house is like, where my room is, and which cupboard the peanut butter is in. But anything from before the day I fell off my roof…nothing. Now, when I go to bed, it’s like my memory resets itself. I don’t remember what happened yesterday, what my homework was, that my purple coffee mug broke on Friday, nothing. I have to finish writing this short memoir tonight, otherwise, poof. Gone. I just live the same day over and over again. And in all honesty, I feel the worst for my parents, who have to struggle through telling their daughter every day that she hasn’t made any new memories in over a year, and that the doctors don’t think that she ever will again. That she will spend her entire life living the same day.

Wouldn’t you love to wake up every day, and have a new first impression of everyone every 24 hours? Isn’t that every high school student’s dream? Well guess what? I’m living your dream and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Do you know how hard it is to see your friends and not remember even their names? And that’s the thing, is that they forget. They forget that you don’t know them, they forget that you don’t know that Cassie loves to shoe shop, or Tanya has 4 cats, or that Liam’s favorite cartoon is The Smurfs. They have to re-introduce themselves everyday, as I walk into a room full of strangers who stare at me like I have some sort of growth on my face. And every day, I feel like a burden. They take me under their umbrella of protection, and I don’t feel like I belong there. I’m the loner type. At least, that’s what it feels like.

School is the hardest. Relearning everything that I was supposed to have learned a year ago and should easily remember if I weren’t, you know, me. A teacher follows me to every class, and watches as I struggle through solving quadratic equations that should be a breeze by now. But when your hard drive resets itself every night, you learn it all again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. I take notes on EVERYTHING, and study the notes every morning before I go so that I will have some inkling of what we’re supposed to be learning. But does that make it any easier to try and reach for information that’s supposed to be there, but isn’t? Not. One. Bit. In all sense, I don’t even know why I go to school. I learn the same things every day. Why bother?

I keep a journal, and all of my memories are in it, every single day. Does that change anything? Not really. There are some days where I wish I had just died, right then and there on the cement where I landed. I would no longer be a burden to my parents, my friends, and the world. Honestly, since I can’t remember what I know or what my opinion is, I really have no place in society. I’m a loner, one of those people who exist, but don’t live. Some days, I wish I could just put people out of their misery by abandoning my own. By manifesting my own nirvana. I’ve spent hours planning my own death. Morbid, isn’t it? Here’s how it would play out: silence. Complete silence. I would stare at the weapon in my hand, turning it over and over, knowing its power, and accepting it. I would lift the gun, feeling its cold steel against my head, noting the force of the barrel against my skull. 3 deep breaths. One. Still silence. Two. My fingers set, ready. A door would slam, I would close my eyes. Three.

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