I have dissociative disorder. Needless to say, I’ve had some severely messed up things happen to me. My mind responded by deleting large chunks of memory. I am grateful for this because it allows me to function.
On the other hand–because there is always an other hand to something good–I loathe this dissociation. You see, dissociation isn’t very precise. I’m not lucky enough to just have the horrible memories deleted, all memories are deleted. Well, virtually all memories.
So what does this have to do with gum? You’re going to have to wait a little longer for that answer.
My mother’s mother was my favorite grandma (not that she had much competition, but that’s another story for another day). I say was because she’s dead. I’m sure that she’s on a pedestal in my head not only because she’s deceased, but also because I have almost no memories of her. She died when I was 11, so I should have at least some memories, but I don’t.
I only have one memory of her. When I was younger, I was severely attached to my mother. I know every child is attached to their mother, but I was freakishly attached. I would get hysterical every time she went to work, sometimes crying for over an hour. This was even worse when she worked nights. Sometimes we would stay with my grandma overnight while my parents worked. The memory I have of her is a short, fuzzy flash of her rocking me in her arms like a baby while I was crying and watching my mom leave for work.
But I digress.
I was at my mom’s the other day and she told me that she went to a local ice cream store and bought a bunch of stuff. She got this gum. Do I remember this gum? My great grandma (and I would assume grandma too) loved this gum. No, I don’t remember it at all. But then she sticks the package under my nose and I take a big whiff and… I feel pure bliss. I felt so happy I could cry. No, I do not remember that gum, but that feeling gives me hope that, one day, I might.