August 2019
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prosopagnosia and memory as it relates to taking photos and believing in love

icon: "disassociative (a digital painting of a stylized person in profile with wide open screaming mouth and arms up with palms spread wide. Head and hands flow into strands like blood vessels)"

The other day I had a terrible depressive crash and I cried from 9am to 4pm, almost solid. The worst point was when I thought to myself that I could feel the truth that I am loved if I could picture someone looking at me lovingly. But I couldn't. I can't picture people's faces in my head, not even when I look at them and then close my eyes. I don't think it's just coincidence that the two people who have made me feel the most loved even when we're apart for a long time are the same as the two people who I have taken the most photos of. I can remember photos. And when I take the photo and then look at it, I can access that moment. So if I can take photos of people in moments where I feel loved, I can access that memory almost like other sighted people can in general. I feel like no one understands this as an access need. "You can't NEED to take a photo."

I remember someone talking about how taking photos requires consent and although I agree, it makes me uncomfortable because other sighted people can just look and remember, but I can't, so in not taking photos I am blocked off from remembering. I wish it was just a general habit that people took photos but never shared them without consent, so that it wouldn't be a problem for others. I understand that it is, and I respect that. But it means that my memory is a dark blurry mazelike gallery that I traverse with a flashlight. If I could take photos any time I was in a loved moment, I wouldn't have such a hard time believing that it's true. I can't just flip through memories- and my memory gets significantly worse when I am depressed or stressed.

If I had only one wish that applied only to my own self, I would wish for a perfect memory. Not money, not even love or the ability to find all the people who would be good connections for me. My lack of memory is the most painful part of my life. I can't even remember my own favorite things (music, books, etc), which is why I write them down. Otherwise I have to go actually look through what I own to know, and if I don't own it, it could be one of my very favorite books and I wouldn't remember it. I don't know if the bad memory and the prosopagnosia are related, but they make each other much worse.

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queerbychoice ══╣╠══
I'm so sorry that you're going through this.

I hope you can explain to your loved ones - maybe they'll understand if they read this entry - why you need such photos. I would think they would want to accommodate such a need. At the very least, if they feel a need for more control over the process than they would have if you take photos of them, I would think they might be willing to take photos of themselves that are specifically meant to express love for you.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
*nodnod* that actually has been true -- once I was able to articulate this post and share it, some of my people have been actively supporting me in that.
lordsauron ══╣╠══
I wish it was generally accepted that having a photo taken is the norm as well. I would really like to work on portrait/model photography but, I have a really hard time walking up to someone and asking "Hi, may I please take your photo?"

That said, the times I've asked...very few...they agreed so long as they felt like their visage wasn't used for malicious or selfish reasons (blackmail, profiting).

Side note: My medical dictionary grew just now.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I understand that difficulty! I have not managed to do that, ever.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.