A woman has opened up about her astonishing ability where she can remember virtually every single detail of her life since she was 12 days old.
Do you remember the details of your very first birthday? Of course you don’t. But Rebecca Sharrock does, because the 27-year-old from Brisbane has got something called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) – a rare condition that gives her an extraordinary memory.
Not only can she remember what she did that day, but she can recall the irrelevant details, including what she wore, what she ate and even the weather forecast.
In her latest blog post, the 27-year-old – who can recite all the Harry Potter books word-for-word – penned about the earliest memory she can remember as a newborn – and the present she was gifted at her first birthday.
“My parents carried me to the driver’s seat of the car (my father’s idea) and placed me down upon it for a photo,” she wrote in a recent blog post. “As a newborn child I was curious as to what the seat cover and steering wheel above me were. Though at that age I hadn’t yet developed the ability to want to get up and explore what such curious objects could be.” As if this isn’t impressive enough, she can even recite the entire collection of Harry Potter books! She’s also currently writing her own book about her experiences, called My Life is a Puzzle, and it sounds as if the contents are going to be very memorable indeed.
She recalled the moment she celebrated her first birthday – and how she broke down in tears when her mother dressed her in an ‘itchy satin dress’.
‘I had no idea what the day was about, all I knew was that mum was putting me in an itchy satin dress, and I was crying,’ she recalled.
‘Though I was told that this was my own special day and that lots of people were coming to see me. I still didn’t understand but stopped crying eventually.
‘That day my parents also gave me a Minnie Mouse plush toy, whose face terrified me, though I could not word this. All I could do was cry and push it away whenever I saw it.’
Ms Sharrock said she remembered the birth of her younger sister Jessica shortly after her second birthday – and how she had to hand down her clothing and toys.
‘Just after my second birthday my sister was born. I didn’t understand what a sister was back then and was far more interested in playing with my toy train,’ she said.
‘Though I did get up to some mischief over the next year or so, when it dawned on me that I wasn’t an only child anymore, and I had to share everything with a sister, as well as give away my old clothes and toys.’
The young woman is just one of just 80 people worldwide who can remember every single day of their lives.
‘This makes me unable to forget any day of my life, and I’m also constantly reliving my past (emotionally) in clear-cut detail,’ she said.
Ms Sharrock said she is currently taking part in two memory research studies in an effort to find answers about how the mind works.
‘The sole purpose is to find answers about the way everybody’s memory works, and to find anything to help people with dementia and Alzheimers,’ she said.
‘Alzheimers is a condition which is very close to my heart as my step-father’s dad had that condition. I loved him as if he was my biological grandfather.’