“Streams of Memories” by Rebecca Sharrock

HSAM (or Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory) is a rare condition where one is able to recall every day of their life with fair to perfect accuracy. Prior to the year 2011 I didn’t understand why most people can’t remember their days of being a baby in a crib, or when they struggled to walk as a toddler. As my mind can’t discard the negative memories either, I was often told ‘Just get over it. Put it to the back of your mind. It happened many years ago’. Yet no matter how much I try, my brain involuntarily relives past experiences (positive ones too) and the emotions reoccur just as strongly. For almost two years, I’ve been a participant in the UCI’s (University of California, Irvine) study of this rare kind of memory. This was after they had given me several screening tests to determine that I have the condition relevant to their particular study. As I live in Australia, all of my talks and quizzes with the UCI have been done via Skype (Mum very kindly gets up in the early hours of the morning to make me a cup of tea while I wait for the calls). Though last July Mum and I flew over to California so that they could perform an MRI on me at the university. Having autism and anxiety means that I’m unable to work and have a normal life. Yet it does create a nice feeling when I know that there’s something about myself that is kind of interesting for a change (small as it may be). My goal for this book (as well as my other work of promoting HSAM) isn’t for the purpose of making a heap of money. It’s basically because I want to contribute my own little bit to the world, rather than spend all of my time on video games. The reason for me attaching a small price to this book is because it’s taken years of research and writing. So it’s been very time consuming, even though I enjoyed writing it all the same. jpg
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