Friday, 16 May 2008

Why can't we remember the names of other patients?

I thought I was odd because I couldn't remember the names of other patients who were in MHH with me, but I've begun to notice that I'm not alone - several bloggers have mentioned it, and I find it quite interesting. Because Ann Shaw has been running the Craig-y-Nos blog now for some years (see the link at the side) I mentioned it to her, and she has found that:

Not remembering names is very common. It is rare to come across anyone who can reel off names of people they knew in hospital as children. I had one the other day and I was amazed. She could remember 20 names of girls she was in with.

I think this must be part of how we children coped dealt with this whole experience. I think kids are amazingly resilient and tend to accept what they find as perfectly normal, but presumably when we came out of hospital, it would become clear that it was very different from the home world.
I mentioned Ann's view in an email a little while ago, and Harry made this very interesting comment, from Malcolm I think:

Ann is quite correct. I recall nothing of the other boys and although I can remember a few things some of the nureses did, this is because such acts were out of the norm. I remember absolutely nothing of what anyone looked like. In fact, as I said in an earlier email, whilst at MHMH I tried to run away with another boy and I cannot recall his name or even what he looked like. I believe that this is because each day and each month and each year was the same as the one before with nothing out of the ordinary to recall. Everything blurs in ones mind.. One does remember a few events out of the norm, or at least part of the event. I recall the erection of the dove cote. The bombs, my operation, and a few of the many visits my parents made but very little else.

Any other ideas? Did we just live an awful lot in our imaginations, then when reality got a bit more interesting just forgot all that, like a dream?