[from a post to the Host list that needs to be edited...just so we can keep better track of it for later]
I've noticed that some people here aren't quite getting the issue about time and memory and how it relates to multiplicity.
I have to try to make this understandable but I'm pulling in a great deal of knowledge I've gained in studying psychology so far...and I have not explicitly studied memory in depth, so please bear with me.
There are many types of memory. Two of utmost importance: one is a linear form of memory. The other is associative. I *believe* that most "normal" (cough) people catalog reliably in both.
Other terminology I might use: short-term memory and long-term memory, which are probably familiar concepts to us: things that are fresher in our mind are still easily recalled. Some type of sorting process then goes on, and either things are relegated to long-term-memory or are dumped in some way...usually the things that are "dumped" are routine things that just simply get cataloged "routine activity x took place here....no notable differences from standard x". Anything else gets categorized into long-term-memory (barring brain damage or chemical interference, etc. More on that if I remember to cover it later, because that is also relevant to us).
Many multiples have been found to have *SOMEONE* who has full access to long-term-memory and linear recall. Enough that it might be safe to say MOST have someone in this capacity who detachedly logs whose memories go in which order at any given point...whether they ever discover this person/function is another thing. Hence, I feel it's safe enough to say that nearly all human beings within reasonable functionality have this capacity whether or not they use it or realize it.
The other type of memory is associative. Some type of association is used to recall the memory. Thinking of a basketball, one might then think about sports balls in general, remember a soccer ball, then remember being on the soccer team when you were growing up. This is associative. We use this type of recall to skip from one place in linear memory to another via a form of cataloguing or indexing.
Another concept needed here is "priming." Memories are either nearer to the surface or farther down and momentarily inaccessible. We make "memory-calls" all the time, constantly -- some are implicit memory (how to hold a pen, to type), some are explicit (someone's phone number). There's at any given moment a shifting pool of memories closer to the surface and others that are completely hidden. Calling up memories that are near the surface is easier. Priming is when something causes memories to approach the surface of the mind -- i.e. when memories are ready to come to conscious recall. Priming works with both linear and associative memory: if someone asks you to recall a birthday when you were 5, priming makes it easier for you to remember other consecutive events AND other associated events: you might then remember what the next week was like or something about that time period like kindergarten, and you might also remember other birthday parties (association) or what happened to the favorite toy you got, after it broke when you were 10 years old...this is how scientists have found memory to work. They can prime people's memories by showing them a list of words, for example...then say the next day give them another test and watch those words creep into the test materials. Other things can prime memories...but "priming" as terminology is usually done deliberately in memory research. The concept is exceptionally useful however.
When taken to another level, associative memory becomes state-dependent-memory or locus-dependent memory. The ability to recall old memories and even one's personality states become primed when you're in a situation that in certain ways resembles the situation that you were in when the memories were recorded. -- State dependent memories can be triggered by the emotions or mental states elicited by a situation. Locus-dependent memories are tied to a location. [I personally believe there must be more than just emotional-state dependent memories and location-based memories....but I'll stick with the words handed me by the science of psychology for the moment, just broadening their definitions to encompass other similar memory-dependent triggers] Holding the soccer ball might elicit not only the MEMORIES of being on the soccer team, but also what it felt like when you were playing -- you might breathe faster and deeper as if you were exerting yourself, get the euphoric rush of the endorphins that flooded your system during an exciting game, and suddenly feel as if you're that age again....suddenly it's easier to remember what happened when you were on the soccer team AND how you thought and felt at the time, etc. State-dependent-memory is one of many keys in multiplicity. This happens to us much more often than it seems to to other people. Rather than walking down the corridors of your old elementary school and thinking "Wow, the place got smaller!" suddenly YOU feel smaller...you lisp, you have the anxiety of getting caught in the hall without a pass, you want a peanut butter & jelly sandwich with milk for lunch, and you wonder where you left your schoolbag. An exceptionally strong form of state-dependent memory.
One thing that happens in multiplicity is an exceptionally overdeveloped sense of state-dependent-memory &/or locus-dependent memory -- when Arhuaine says that location helps her recall better than linear time, that's because things are filed under loci and for Arhuaine location is one of the cataloguing items of importance. Probably has a lot to do with how Arhuaine may have needed to compartmentalize HER memories to protect herself....
With me, it's not just WHERE, it's more WHO...who I'm with. Where will do it some. But not as much as who I'm talking to -- and the more people are present the more confused we get and the more blended and anxious....like we don't know "who to be".
More info on the subject....I'm trying to stay organized but this is exceptionally important stuff and exceptionally complicated to translate to something understandable from the molasses of my brain....
In theory one of the reasons that multiplicity develops is that a need arises to cut portions of memory off from full awareness....whether or not it needs to be an abuse situation can be argued til the cows come home, but it certainly seems to be common enough cause to make a great example. Overwhelming things, such as the conflict between being shamed and disgusted by an experience while being simultaneously aroused and wanting it or needing it on some level, can cause one to need to separate memories off from one another. One set might get relegated to normal memory, the other set might be segregated from the rest of awareness. After a few times (recurring abuse is also an exceptionally common factor) when the same type of things happens in the same place OR with the same person regardless of the place, things start to get filed. When that person or place is around, it will prime the memories, normally, so there's a great deal of need to keep the compartment state nearby when that happens, in case anything needs to be recorded to it, while still not allowing the other state to know that the compartment state exists -- result? Anxiety with an unknown cause. If the "compartment states" are called up enough, or start to diversify enough, they develop their own personalities, memories, experiences, spirituality, etc. because part of them working as a defense mechanism is to not get caught as being "different" -- they have to develop to "pass" as the "genuine person"...to avoid further notice/ill attention.
However, throughout this the main purpose of the whole thing is to obscure what happened. As more time is lost, someone is bound to notice that it is lost. The entire memory cataloguing system needs to be obscured and thus a shell game is played. Take the linear memory and lock it away. Leave everything up to episodic, locus-dependent and state-dependent memory...that's MUCH safer....this way the person whose job it is to get through daily grind crap and to pass-as-normal (required cough) doesn't discover the fact that someone is scurrying off with information, freak out, break, and leave behind a big fat mess.
What I'm saying is that the very fact that people are saying they do not and cannot utilize straightforward linear time recall is one of the very easily noticable signs of --at the very least-- dissociative issues....even plausibly multiplicity. The denial may make one say "Oh, I'm just cataloguing different than everyone else...." but if you look at who you have the most in common with at that point, you're going to find that you're going to get a lot of nodding and agreement and comparisons on this list for this type of memory rather than for linear recall in which the missing pieces will stand out like sore thumbs. On the surface "maybe we're all just different" or maybe it's something to do with otherkinness, or maybe it's a newfangled and advanced means of tracking memory -- but since we're probably all *capable* of both linear and associative recall, the inability to utilize linear recall **MOST LIKELY** points out that someone in your head is playing a smoke-n-mirrors game with you to hide things from you...and to go onwards with a blasť "I'm just different, now I can sweep this difference under the rug and not think about it anymore" attitude is tantamount to denial. This is going to probably be a very very very slippery concept for most of us. Most of us will probably not process the information, will gloss over it, will forget it even before they close the email, will not be able to contemplate the information I'm trying to impart for more than a few seconds without getting sleepy, distracted, a headache, etc.
My strongly opinionated opinion: you're missing something. Someone(or more)'s trying to hide themselves and their information from you. You don't have to find them. You pretty much have to only know that this is at least possible, if not probable....it's not going to be resolved overnight. It's 99.999% probable that it's there, though. The evidence is in the lack of ability to do what most people with higher functioning brains are perfectly capable of doing....the lack is not because you're just different, but because someone wants you to think that so that you won't poke into their corner of your head by accident. Trust them that whatever information they're keeping from you is probably hidden in their and your best interests and even now might be exceptionally hard to take. Send them a message that the "abuse" (or whatever other difficult situations) is over now and that hiding isn't as necessary anymore, and that you'd like to see what they're holding back sometime, when they're ready, and then get on with life...because it's not nice to press the issue too strongly too early in figuring yourself out.
I do not know if it is possible for a non-multiple (or non-dissociative at least) to have such fractured and ill-catalogued memory. I have to study the science of memory more to figure that out. However, this definitely warrants a good hard look at WHY you do not clearly catalogue your memory in a linear AND associative manner....