An interesting concept to think about.
I used to chalk my belief up to a weird perversion of object permanence. I guess this kind of is exactly that. I tend to believe if people don’t see me and interact with me regularly, they forget me. I get the impression it actually happens. I also fear that people find me really annoying and distasteful to be around. I have trouble reaching out to friends and family because I worry that 1) they hate me, and because of that, they 2) consciously try to forget me or remain away from me.
Lemme tell you, it frustrates my friends. I can’t tell you how often I get asked why I didn’t call or come by… How do you explain that you feel like people would rather gouge their eyes out than have to spend a moment with me?
There was another part that stuck out to me: the fear of forgetting. I often hoard memorabilia, and I journal incessantly in an effort not to forget more than I already have. People call it materialistic or anal, but I keep hoping an object connected to a memory will keep the memory alive. When so much of my past is a huge blank, I grasp at anything that may help me to not forget… Sadly, it doesn’t really work. I go back and read journals but cannot connect to them or remember accurately what I was talking about. I look at items from my past, and have no clue what they were from, or who gave them to me. I take pictures all the time hoping photographic evidence will trigger a memory, yet so much is still lost. It’s not as bad as it had been before college, but it’s still there. One of the worst memories to have lost is my first date with my wife. I know what she has recited to me over the years, but the rest is super foggy. I have snippets of moments from the night, but most of it is gone. It’s no reflection on her or the night (because I’m still with her, and we went on a second date relatively soon at my initiation). It’s just “the story of my life”…
But I digress. This is an interesting blog on a phobia I had not heard of before, but one that makes perfect sense to me.
I have learned a new word today.
Athazagoraphobia is the fear of being forgotten, ignored, or being replaced.
Ooooh boy, what a powerful word that relates to intense feelings held by soooo many dissociative trauma survivors. And since abandonment and neglect is often a huge and prominent part of the trauma history, is there any wonder?
First, let’s learn more about athazagoraphobia.
Here is a quote from http://www.fearof.net :
“Athazagoraphobia is a rarely discussed phobia. It means the fear of forgetting or the fear of being forgotten or ignored. Thus, Athazagoraphobia is of two types or has dual components: it might be seen in dementia patients in their early stages (or patients suffering from other medical conditions where memory loss occurs) where they fear forgetting their own identity and other things. Alternatively, it may be seen in spouses or caregivers of Alzheimer’s/dementia patients…
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