induced amnesia (Kismet Column)


Monday, November 7th, 2005

Wein3AMNESIA – according to the thesaurus is a
noun meaning loss of memory. Sometimes it is caused by an accident –
where the head was hurt or bumped with force.

Remember our daily routine. Passing the same street, meeting the
same people and going to the same house and all of a sudden we exist in
a strange place without even knowing our names. This is amnesia. Two
years ago, I’ve watch a movie starring Jim Carey in a movie titled,
“Majestic.” It explored the theme on amnesia.

Everyday, we also experience “simple amnesia.” We’re introduced to
Jane and when we bump into her five days later, we hate ourselves
because we can’t remember her. (Is it amnesia?) Well, maybe because we
didn’t listen when she was introduced or maybe, there’ nothing
significant in the meeting at all. Whichever, we still have a loss of

Three weeks ago, a friend told me this: “I was standing in front of
the library waiting for the rain to stop. Pissed as I was because my
uniform was already drenched with dirt, I stood there for 30 minutes
and I felt sick. I felt like vomiting because my migraine and asthma
were killing me. I wish I were dead. But then, huh, I’m still alive.”

Yesterday, I ask her how was the rain? She told me: “I felt good
and the rain was a blessed moment.” I raised my eyebrows and said,
smiling, “Amnesia.”

Forgetfulness, but what about when we can’t forget something we
want to forget? With it, comes my favorite term, “induced amnesia.” I
always laugh every time I get across this phrase because it makes me
reminisce something I want to forget and yet I can’t. Again, I induce
myself to an amnesia.

I was in Cebu once and got lost in a street they call “Happy
Valley” – only to know that it’s a place where people get to enjoy
themselves with prostitutes. It didn’t scare me. I continued walking
and then two guys asked me, “Hey, do you want to be happy?” I told
them: “Nah! I am happy!”

When I reached my destination, I told my companions what happened.
I was trembling with fear when I realized where I’ve been. I don’t want
to have that feeling anymore so I have used “induced amnesia” as my
defense mechanism.

I know you also have those weird situations when you want to induce
yourself to amnesia. Whatever it is, we just can’t forget it.

A good professor told me once, “I don’t really believe that the
opposite of love is hate rather – apathy.” “Why?” I asked, curious of
her answer. “You know when you say you hate the person or it – you’re
actually thinking about the person or it. Whereas, in apathy – you
don’t feel anything. You don’t care. Don’t you think it’s a good way to
get rid of annoying people in your life?” I looked at her and nodded,

It’s one of those moments when I get to realize that we could
always do away with things by being apathetic. Induced amnesia. I don’t
really want you to adapt it but there are things we just have to do if
we don’t want to have such feelings.

If you try this, just be responsible. Sometimes, we need to be
apathetic to some unnecessary memories to protect ourselves, and I
might as well learn to induce myself to amnesia to forget I felt sleepy
while writing this article.

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