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TOPIC: what really upsets me about this is.....

what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 3 months ago #2500

  • sdegenov
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My dad died when I was 5. My father was in the navy in Connecticut. He was an engineer on a nuclear submarine, and when the sub sank, there was no body, no closure, no nothing. As a child, I would have nightmares that we found him but the person never looked anything like him...and I have no memories of how he looked. Fortunately there are photographs, but I have always been angry that my own brain has no visual memories of him. I also cannot visualize how my children looked as babies, as newborns, as toddlers, etc. It seems unfair that others can pull up these pictures in their minds but I (we ) cannot. So on a very basic level, this upsets me.
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 3 months ago #2506

  • Faustine
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That upsets me too. People I loved are now completely gone to me (I recognise them in photos but the photos themselves conjure up no further experience beyond the occasional vague non-sensory recollection of the particular event) yet, they live on in a variety of ways for other people. Dreaming about people who have passed is always a bitter-sweet thing, because no matter how unclear, blurry, and often faceless that dream was, for a moment they were within reach... but it's so rare and random, and waking up that moment is again completely out of reach.

It's why photos are so important to me and definitely a factor in the type of photography I strive to do. For example, I want a high quality photo with good composition that tells a story about that day or portrays an emotion related to that day. Some may find that a bit "fake" compared to the more "authentic" cluttered amateur snapshot with often somewhat unflattering angles and actions, but I prefer when my only visual representation of my memories are representations of what I actually experienced... and when we experience something first hand (and presumably when others remember things visually) our minds cut out all that clutter, we see people in their best lights and their best angles (and not with one eye half closed, mouth twisted and gut out, the way the camera captures them when we take "candid" photos mid word), we are influenced by emotions we just had that are not best visually represented by the ragged old sofa we spent most of the time sitting on, etc.

It also makes me think about other media. For example I'm currently working on something of a multi-media recollection base for myself. I'm doing high quality audio-records of my husband. I'm working out the details for how I want to do un-forced, but still good quality video. For example, I'd love to get good video and sound of my father being relaxed and talking about his childhood nostalgia (his favourite thing ever), in decent light and an uncluttered setting, so now I have to work out the hows and wheres before he comes to visit next time. Not just for me, either. He has young grandchildren and he's been battling heart disease for 30 years and this sort of thing could be of interest to them too one day, or even their children if they start to wonder about their genealogy. But it takes planning. And tact (because asking people who are afraid to talk about death to please sit down and be really comfortable in front of a video camera because you'd like to remember them when they're dead... is no easy task).
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 3 months ago #2508

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wow, you're taking memory to a whole other level. What a great idea to video your family members...that will have such meaning for me too. It would be tricky to get it done in a relaxed, "visit" sort of way, but I think it will be well worth it. Perhaps knowing that you have aphantasia will be a motivating factor in their participating...?
Anyway, I really like the idea and might try and do this too.
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 3 months ago #2555

  • CanISee
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I take tons of photos (ever since I first got a camera). I try to video if something neat/funny/cute happens. I often wish I just had an invisible camera rolling.
My partner isn't fond of being photographed or recorded, and it seems his mom dosn't let hers be done (he clearly takes after her...) that was a bummer on our christmas trip, wanted a group photo. >_<
~*~ Still figuring it all out, I either have aphantasia or weak visualization ability, definitely 0 purposeful visualization. ~*~
~*~ I suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, OCD; and potentially some sort of high functioning autism, but that one is unconfirmed. ~*~
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 3 months ago #2574

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I love photos too. they really help me remember times but my hubby hates them and so do my kids. Its unfair. Pictures are fun!
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 2 months ago #2712

  • Raven
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I have felt a lot of emotional loss when being unable to remember what certain things look like which meant a huge amount to me earlier in my life. But I can vividly recall relationships between things, events, experiences, emotions, just not what things looked like.
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 1 month ago #2843

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Photos do almost nothing for me in terms of memory. It's kind of sad.
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 1 month ago #2851

  • Dria
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Raven wrote:
I have felt a lot of emotional loss when being unable to remember what certain things look like which meant a huge amount to me earlier in my life. But I can vividly recall relationships between things, events, experiences, emotions, just not what things looked like.

I think this is where I'm at as well. The emotional connection is what evokes memories for me. My brother died several years ago and when I dream about him I never see him, but somehow I *know* it's him. We have a cool conversation, he tells me he has to go, and I wake up. Those mornings are hard because I'm sure he's still alive for sometimes up to a few minutes afterwards and then I remember.
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 3 weeks ago #3042

  • Sophie
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My grandma died a couple of years ago (she was the only one of my parents parents I really knew, but she lived far away), but I cant see a picture of her in my mind. I have one photograph of us two, where I was angry at her and that makes me even more sad.

Thats one reason why I collect a whole bunch of pictures, printing and sorting them in books, so I can see the faces of my beloved ones and the landscapes and places I went to.

Its kinda paradox, I want to have a lot of memory pictures, but I never want to be on one.
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 3 weeks ago #3047

  • Martin Edge
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Like the rest of you, I only became upset about my inability to recall visually once I knew that aphantasia isn't normal - i.e. other people can recall just fine, but i can't.

My father & i were beside my mother's bedside when she died. He burst into tears and for the first time in my life I hugged him. I looked down at his green pullover and I can remember the general shape of the knitting in that pullover as my head touched his shoulder. I can vaguely remember the room we were standing in and the bed my mother was lying on and the grey light in the room on a winter's day. But i just can't visualise the man I was holding or the lady lying beside us. It never bothered me until it dawned on me a few weeks ago that most people would have retained something visual about a scene as powerful & resonant as that one. I feel robbed of a memory, I guess.

Dad died a couple of years later. I can only remember his face if I have a photo of him in my hand. Otherwise it's a complete blank unless I have a freak dream in which he appears, but the dream disappears as soon as i wake.
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 2 weeks ago #3072

  • moemobile
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Thank you all
I did not know not having image memories of people would bother other people without visual memories. I also don't have any visual memories of people from my past (or the present...). Recently, my uncle died. He was frankly the best person I have every met and I miss him greatly. He was pure of thought and action. The thing is, I don't feel any loss for a lack of visual imagery of him. I know his thoughts, his beliefs, I know who he was without the images. I take solace in the memory of how he was as a person. I am interested in how you all remember people without images. What do you do to remember someone? I think about how they reacted, what they said, the ideas they communicated to me.
Shannon
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 2 weeks ago #3078

  • Sophie
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Hm... How someone remembers a person is a difficult question:
I collect Data about people, like the location and colors od face-parts, the way they're walking. Also I take a whole bunch of pictures.
Moreover, I try to remember how they reacted in what kind of situations, how they talk, the memories I share with them. I kinda try to remember it all, even though its not possible for me.
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what really upsets me about this is..... 3 years 1 week ago #3130

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I don't have any photos of my grandmother, that really bothers me, and only one of my grandpa. My grandma didn't like photos taken of her, said it was superstition but I wonder if actually it was that she didn't like how she looked at her age. :(
Sometimes I see her in dreams though.
~*~ Still figuring it all out, I either have aphantasia or weak visualization ability, definitely 0 purposeful visualization. ~*~
~*~ I suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, OCD; and potentially some sort of high functioning autism, but that one is unconfirmed. ~*~
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