I call it the Memory Junkyard.
It is that place where events become memories. And the memory of those events has to have someplace to go while you make new memories.
If the litter in the junkyard isn’t recyclable, it is sent to the landfill.
In modern landfills, it is allowed to decompose naturally.
And the memory fades away.
What Are Memories:
“Your brain’s ability to collect, connect, and create mosaics from these milliseconds-long impressions is the basis of every memory. By extension, it is the basis of you.
“Every sensory experience triggers changes in the molecules of your neurons, reshaping the way they connect to one another.
“That means your brain is literally made of memories, and memories constantly remake your brain.
“Memory exists because your brain’s molecules, cells, and synapses can tell time.” (Your Brain Doesn’t Contain Memories. It Is Memories) – Wired.com
“Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.”
Maybe you don’t want to remember.
There are many events in life that you just want to be banished from your thoughts and memory.
So you work hard to shove them to the back of your mind.
Out of sight. But never really out of mind.
How Are Memories Formed:
Some memories are put in a safe place for fast retrieval. Or perhaps they lay dormant because you can’t deal with them. Not yet anyway.
“Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.”
Where Are Memories Stored In Your Memory Junkyard:
“Memories aren’t stored in just one part of the brain. Different types are stored across different, interconnected brain regions.
“The hippocampus, located in the brain’s temporal lobe, is where episodic memories are formed and indexed for later access.
“Implicit memories, such as motor memories, rely on the basal ganglia and cerebellum.
“Short-term working memory relies most heavily on the prefrontal cortex.” – Where Are Memories Stored In The Brain
But they’re there, those memories. They may shoot to the forefront of your thoughts at the most unlikely of times.
A trigger may bring them to the surface of your thoughts. Your brain reaches to retrieve the memory that is being summoned.
Sometimes that memory comes to you easily. Other times it is illusive.
“Time moves in one direction, memory in another.”
Repression is where there is the retrieval of a record but is not allowed into consciousness.
“Clinicians claim that repressed memories are a type of defense mechanism developed following a traumatic event.
“The idea behind this is that when a traumatic experience is overwhelming and may be detrimental to the health of the individual, the mind unconsciously hides the memory of the experience from conscious awareness.
“As the memory is repressed, the individual loses the ability to recollect the experience that triggered this defense mechanism, and they often become unaware that they have been traumatized.” – The Debate On Repressed Memories
Gaps In My Memory Junkyard:
I have large gaps in my memory. There is little from my childhood that I can actually recall. Huge blocks of time seem to be gone and I can’t retrieve any memory of them.
It is hard to thread the needle that would connect the years like gathering beads on a necklace.
It’s just in flashes of memories, like a lightning bug appears in the darkness, that they come to me. Then they’re gone just as quickly.
The light goes out and the wisp of the memory is gone with it. Like the smoke from a candle that’s been extinguished.
And then it’s dark again.