Okay, I have a bone to pick.
SO MANY fanfictions I’ve read involving memory loss usually end with the protagonist getting all their memories back with a simple bop on the head. And in the time between losing and regaining, they still have all their mannerisms, attitudes, remember everyone and everything they liked… It’s infuriating!
Amnesia, aka fugue, is like hitting the system restore button on your computer. Everything on that hard drive that made that computer *yours* is gone. The registry is wiped clean. There is no way to redo what you’ve just undone, unless you can remember what was on the computer before you wiped it.
That’s basically the human brain. Maybe, if you’re lucky, there’s a sense of familiarity about a sight, sound, smell, feel, taste, but it is not a memory. It is familiar - you THINK you’ve done it before but you don’t remember, so you’re not quite sure. You do things, like add a little tick at the end of some of your letters, because muscle memory forces you to. You don’t remember how you learned to write like that; you just DO.
And most importantly, there is no personality. Your personality is derived from attitudes and behaviours you have gained because of things in your life. You were bullied in school and ignored at home so you’re a quiet shy person. You were the one everyone knew at school and ran around with older guys instead of going home so you’re more outgoing and flirty. Your mother was a drunk so you either love grog or hate it and everyone who uses it.
But if that slate is wiped clean, you don’t have those memories. You don’t remember a time when you had to stick up for yourself or ask for help or hide under the bed from monsters. You don’t remember any of those. There’s none of them, so there’s no personality beyond confused, scared, and nervous. Confused because people you don’t remember are calling you by nicknames. Scared because you have no idea what the fuck is going on. Nervous because you don’t even know if you can trust the people around you.
Amnesia, or fugue, is not cool. It’s not a temporary thing, either. Most of the time, those who cop it will never entirely remember everything about their past. Sometimes they might get lucky, but it’s not a common thing. And it’s not as simple as being healed by a bop on the head. You have to dig long and hard and deep to recover all that information. You have to go to places, meet people, taste foods. You can’t just be told your memories and get them back; you have to relive a lot of them.
WRITERS - DO YOUR RESEARCH.