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Old 10-14-2019, 02:16 PM
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Default Memory Loss Memory Keeping

Hi ladies.
Pardon me while I partially vent, partially mourn, partially rant here.

I'm going through trying to organize some of my older projects. Like multiple years of project life, for example. And organizing photos thinking maybe I will slowly work on it. But then I get to the photos. And just looking at the photos, I can't help but cry. And cry.

I don't remember almost any of these moments that I captured. All these sweet little smiles and moments. What did my son do that made me snap a photo that I thought I'd remember forever? What was the story behind that picture my daughter drew?

The last few years have just been a whirlwind and I have been under so much stress and stretched so far thin, and I wasn't taking notes, and so many times I just snapped a photo thinking "I'll remember later" because for my whole life that is how my mind has worked, I see a picture and remember every detail about that whole day.

Except my mind hasn't been in that healthy state now for years. The last year being my youngest son's first year. I don't remember most of it. I am. So. So. Heartbroken. And angry. Angry with my children's fathers (my 4 girls have one father, my 2 boys have another) for not helping me and making me do it all on my own and causing the stress that caused my memory issues.

I guess I can just fill in the missing weeks/days of the PL album with photos, and ask my kids if they remember certain things, because they probably do. And go back to social media and see what I posted about. All those things will be better than nothing. But none of those will take away the fact that I don't have memories attached to these pictures.

Has anyone ever gone through this? Have the memories ever returned? It's my short term memory that isn't functioning properly, so I don't think they ever will. How did you get yourself to document the memories you no longer had, or did you even bother?

This has, however, caused me to take so much more seriously the fleeting moments and I may become obsessed with writing down our days. And teach my children when they are older about taking care of their mind. Ugh. Praying I can do better going forward, and forgive myself for what I didn't know before.
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Old 10-14-2019, 02:32 PM
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I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this and wish I could give you a hug!

As far as scrapping, when we took our first family trip to Disney, I was on some heavy pain medicine and hardly had any recollection of what happened during our week there. We got home and I looked at the photos wanting to remember what happened, but it was all foggy due to the medicine that I was on. When I scrapped the photos, I'd ask the family "what happened here". It was actually a great time reminiscing about the vacation, almost reliving it at home. I've since printed the album and while there are 100 pages in that album, I probably only truly remember maybe 10-15 of those pages. But the kids, they remember every single detail and probably moreso because I made them tell me it all over again, once we got home!

As far as memory coming back, I think that would be something for you and your doctor to discuss. Every situation is different. Obviously mine got better because I got off the pain medicine.

How do you move forward? Maybe scrapping in the moment. Once you take the photos, take them off your camera/phone and scrapbook them then and there so you can write the journaling of the who's, what's, when's, etc? Or my friend Dawn, journals everything about her photos so when she does get to scrapping them, she has the journaling of the reason behind the photos.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'll be praying you find the answers that you are seeking and with the help of your family are able to move forward with this hobby, documenting you and your children's life for future generations to come!
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:27 PM
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I think the best thing to do is start with the present time and move forward in your scrapping. It is so hard to stay up to date and even harder to go back and scrap old memories. Focus on the present. Focus on the now. And if you ever have a spare minute go back then do your best with the old photos.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:51 PM
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It's easier said than done, but I would relax your standards. There are just too many things to remember with 6 kids (or even 1 for that matter). Take joy in the smiles on their faces even if you don't remember why. What you're describing doesn't sound out of the ordinary. It's super common not to remember those details Hang in there!
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:00 PM
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I'm sorry you are feeling this way towards those photos, when they are more than likely supposed to be a reminder of happy moments.

Even though you are wanting to continue with the PL style album, since you don't have memories of those moments/photos, I say scrap those photos in traditional style....or do your own version of PL where you fill in with the moments you do remember, or use journal cards so you don't have to journal as much.

Then, I say start scrapping the more recent photos since those memories are fresh in your mind and they will be easier to scrap and journal about!

I do agree that using Facebook etc can be a good way to fill in some of the details of those memories/moments. I think even though you may not remember the certain details, scrapping the photos is still important, especially since it sounds like you have a lot of kids, who if they are like mine...they love to look at the photos. And it may not even matter to them if you don't have the full story of the moment. Mine like to just look at the photos and the pages, and sometimes they talk about memories the photos bring up that the page isn't even about. So then scrapping "memories" will have been accomplished!

I'm sure you will figure out a system and a way to do it, so that it will make you and your kids happy!
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:09 PM
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Thank you ladies.
Maybe I should have clarified it's not the scrapbooking that has me so sad. It's that the memories aren't there in my brain - for me, if that makes sense. Not in a sense of "I can't scrap it because I don't remember it". I'm frustrated that I could have forgotten so much of my kids' lives in their little years. But, good to know that it's not an uncommon thing. I guess I wasn't prepared or even aware that this kind of thing happens when the mind is overloaded. There's a big difference in "I don't remember what I ate for dinner" and "I barely recall any of my baby's first year of life" =(
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleSheri View Post
It's easier said than done, but I would relax your standards. There are just too many things to remember with 6 kids (or even 1 for that matter). Take joy in the smiles on their faces even if you don't remember why. What you're describing doesn't sound out of the ordinary. It's super common not to remember those details Hang in there!
I agree with this. I'm sorry you are finding it hard to remember but beating yourself up about it probably won't make you feel better.
HUGS!!!!!!!!

My advice, is scrap a traditional page instead. Just put a date or a small note if you want to put something down, ie. I've frequently scrapped a cute photo of my kids and just put the year.

Also I agree with others, start here, right where you are with current things you have jotted down.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:51 PM
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I have the worst memory... I don't remember much from my childhood... and honestly I don't remember a lot now. I don't know why... probably stress and feeling overwhelmed. I have a lot of older photos to scrap, too. I usually just do general stories, might not really be with those particular photos - but might be something general that I do remember like when my son was 4, he was obsessed with wearing ties. I'm never very detailed on those pages, I let the pictures do the talking and if that if that just shows that they are happy and healthy, so be it.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:23 PM
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Hugs to you!
I agree with everyone, instead of spending so much time being upset with yourself about it, start on scrapbooking the current moments.
I myself set a preference to scrap the newer photos than the old ones, unless there's a specific theme and event I am looking for, because, honestly, I have more photos than time to scrap every single one of them. So, I learn to accept that there will be some events/details that I won't remember in the future.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:31 PM
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Hugs to you but honestly, just scrap the photos and put whatever you remember on it or no journaling if you don't. You'll still enjoy seeing the photos in LOs.

My memory has always been bad. I can't remember probably over half of what I scrap or I have just vague memories of some photos but no details. I'm ok with that. It's just the way I am and I'm not going to stress over something I can't change.

I say, give yourself a break, enjoy the photos and don't worry about what you can't remember.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:50 AM
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I've always had a terrible memory. It's one of the main reasons I scrap--I knew I'd never remember the meaning behind the photos, the kids' personalities or favorites at any given age, etc. if it wasn't written down. I don't have any diagnosed memory problems, but I think it's very common for those early years with children to be a big blur, memory-wise. (The more sleep deprived we are, the worse it is, which makes those years especially bad for my memory; my middle child has a sleep disorder, so it was years after his birth before I got anything approaching a decent night's sleep.) When I think about my kids' younger years, I'm more often picturing my 'cheat-sheets' (ie, the pages I made) than truly remembering the memories.

I know that pictures I take often won't get scrapped for a year or more, so I always take notes in the moment. I like to do it on my phone, often with voice to text to speed it up.

It sounds like you already have some good strategies for filling in the blanks where you can. If you have your calendar, planner, or calendar app from those times you may also be able to match dates on photos with your plans for the day.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. Recreate the milestones and memories from other sources where you can, and just scrap fun photos where you can't.

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Old 10-15-2019, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missmarcy View Post
Thank you ladies.
Maybe I should have clarified it's not the scrapbooking that has me so sad. It's that the memories aren't there in my brain - for me, if that makes sense. Not in a sense of "I can't scrap it because I don't remember it". I'm frustrated that I could have forgotten so much of my kids' lives in their little years. But, good to know that it's not an uncommon thing. I guess I wasn't prepared or even aware that this kind of thing happens when the mind is overloaded. There's a big difference in "I don't remember what I ate for dinner" and "I barely recall any of my baby's first year of life" =(
I totally get what you are saying about this. My husband died when I was pregnant, so a lot of those first moments with my son were lost in my grief and not something that I can really remember. Instead, I just remember being sad, scared and overwhelmed. I think it is the overwhelmed that gets you. There just isn't enough room in your brain to take in, much less store away, everything that is happening.

My advice is two fold. First, stop feeling bad about it, Mom. You were busy taking care of the baby and 5 other kids. I would say doing that successfully on your own is a huge win and that you should be proud of yourself. You may not remember exactly how you did it all, but you did it all. To me, that is mighty impressive.

Second, now that you know your brain is overwhelmed and your memory is going to suffer for it, start a journal. Make it something super easy. Use a day planner that has lines instead of calendar squares and just jot down a few things everyday. If you've taken a photo of a moment, say something like "took a photo of ..." That way you can go back and link the two things up later.

There is no guarantee that you will remember things any better looking back, but honestly, writing things down is a great memory exercise and could help. It definitely won't hurt. And when you do have time to scrap, it will all come together more easily and may spark a good feeling, if not the actual memory itself.
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:13 PM
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I'm so sorry you're feeling this way, Marcy. You are definitely not alone. Our boys are 1-1/2 years apart, and our daughter is 6-1/2 years older. It was a very stressful time. A friend said that our boys were like puppies, and being a bit of an older mom, I was overwhelmed (add in all the other life stressors and it was a recipe for disaster)! I stopped scrapping. My daughter has albums up until the boys were born. I saved everything, but didn't scrapbook any of it. AND in one of our moves, all of the kids' early school papers, drawings, etc, got lost.

So... all of this to say, I am in the same boat. I look at some photos, and I don't remember why I took them. But, I scrap them because I have them. Sometimes the kids will remember things. Sometimes they're just cute photos. They're in the scrapbook and that's a good thing, right?

Big hugs to you. I hope that your overwhelm diminishes and your memory returns!
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:24 PM
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Big hugs from me. Raising six kids is a huge responsibility, and if your brain can't hold more information, that seems legit. Plus, honestly, when I look back at the scrapbooks I made for my kids when they were little, I don't have legitimate memories of half of the things I scrapped, and I only have half the kids you have. If I hadn't been scrapping as these things happened, I wouldn't remember it at all. But to be fair, I also wasn't making dinner or cleaning the house or doing anything responsible, so you probably just made better choices than I did and now I have something to show for my bad choices while you don't (which doesn't seem fair because your kids probably don't remember all the sacrifices you made to keep them fed and clean and healthy).

I think our brains just prioritize what's most important, which is often surviving, right? I'm glad you're making time for scrapping again; I love your pages & seeing your beautiful children.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:56 PM
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I have definitely forgotten things I was sure I would always remember. It is sad, frustrating and disappointing for sure. I try to be thankful for those things I do remember about those early years. My husband remembers even less than I do. It doesn't bother him the way it bothers me. He feels like it is just a normal part of life to forget some things. I take it like a personal failure that I forget such things.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:24 PM
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Thank you ladies, all of you, for your kind words of encouragement <3 I am happy to be somewhat back on the wagon - slowly but surely. And I've done a much better job of jotting down things since I made this post, so a big YAY for that, ha!
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