You are correct to be cautious about hypnosis with this complaint. The mind does hate a vacuum, and it is not at all unusual under hypnosis for an individual to come up with creative “memories” that are not true. Complicating things further is that although the truth of the memories is questionable, the person’s confidence in such “memories” is high. High confidence in false memories has created a great deal of pain in some families.
You are also correct that having so few memories is unusual. Most people’s continuous memory starts around age 4. But unusual doesn’t mean never. There are a number of reasons that people lose their long term memory. Severe abuse is one cause of “blocked memories,” but it is not the only reason. Here are a few more:
- Sometimes life changes so markedly for a kid at some point that it’s as if the child starts the memory bank over again. The child comes to believe that the prior memories are irrelevant. History before the change becomes fuzzy at best.
- It’s important to be checked for a seizure disorder. Not all seizures are dramatic and visible. Some are very quiet and momentary. Seizure activity can cause confusion and memory loss.
- Head injury. Have you ever suffered a blow to the head? Have you ever had a concussion?
- You did not mention if you have a sleep disorder. That’s another possible source of memory deficits.
- Some medications and some street drugs disturb memory.
I suggest you see your doctor and perhaps a neurologist to get an evaluation. It’s always important to rule out medical causes for difficulties before deciding they are psychological.
Meanwhile, continue to talk to the people in your family you love and trust. Look at old picture albums. Perhaps stories and pictures will trigger memories for you.
I wish you well.