I do not try to remember. I’ve always liked keeping my memory soft. Hazey. Indistinguishable. Makes it easier to exist. Remembering simply leads to more hurt than necessary. Remembering simply leads to a past that no longer exists. Leaves me seeing a future that could have been, but died long before I realized I could create it. I could create it now- got enough words to build a citadel to shut myself inside. I don’t. It’s not real, but the thought is too nice to push away, so I make this reality that could have been, where I didn’t believe I was aimless, where I wasn’t worried about if I was running away from myself, where I wasn’t terrified of my father, not for his hands, but for what in my blood is a precursor to him. This thought almost feels close enough to a memory to believe. I remember it’s not. I remember all the things I’m scared of. I remember my body is stuck in between fight or flight every day of my life and no amount of breathing can keep that at bay. I try to remember the people that love me. It doesn’t always work because love has caveats. I don’t always read footnotes. I’m beginning to think I should; fine print has always fucked me over.
I do not try to remember. It’s difficult, to forget. But it gets easier with time and I was very good at it for a long time. I forgot so many things, I even forgot myself for some time. It wasn’t an experience I recommend. It hurt, to remember who I was again. Lead to uncomfortable discoveries I am still bruised from, but sometimes, that ache felt comfortable. I’ve been trying to remember some things now. Trying to remember that there are people who love me, no strings attached. Trying to remember that I have a voice that isn’t empty air. Trying to remember what an apology feels like from my lips- it’s been so long I was worried my mouth had forgotten the syllables for it. I am left sore from recalling these lessons, but it isn’t painful like it used to be.
I do not try to remember- I do remember. It hurts again, like it always does, but it’s something I can handle now. I won’t shatter over this. I won’t be unravelled by my own hand- I remember that about myself now. I remember my mother loves me, and my father does too. I remembered how to say sorry, how to formulate it at least. My lips still taste like rust around the consonants of it, but it’s a start. I remember that a start is something. That beginnings are still good, no matter how small they are. I remember to read footnotes because they hold important information. Sometimes I still gloss over them though, old habits die hard. I remember that’s okay and is an important part of growth- to fail. To fail is to learn what not to do. I’m learning it’s okay to remember like that too.