Recently, though, my therapist explained something that made me feel much better about the whole deal. Apparently, most parents interact with their children in a way that helps them make sense of the world. (What? You mean other kids don't have to figure it all out for themselves as they go along? Damn, that must be nice. Not that I'm bitter.) These repeated interactions, where your parents help you process the events of your young life, also help you to encode memories. I never really had anyone to consistently help me with, well, anything. Forget having anyone who could help me make sense of my world. I lived in a world that didn't make sense for anyone else, either. And so where a child with more support would have processed events and encoded them into memories, I just lived through events and then forgot them.
For me, this explanation was kind of a relief. I was already well aware that I didn't have anyone who could really help shepherd me through my growing-up years, so that didn't exactly come as a shock. I'll definitely take that explanation over feeling like I have all of these unremembered traumas circling below the surface, just waiting to float up and bite me. Awesome it is not -- but I'll take what I can get.