Tom often feels like the lights have dimmed in his memory. Like he can tell the story of his life, but when he tries to picture it all that he has are brief images, flashes of himself in a different time, a different place, but nothing there to string them together into a sense of self. He knows who he is. He's Thomson Richards. He just wishes that didn't seem to uncertain sometimes.
A doctor told him once that memory loss is a symptom of addiction. A doctor will tell him one day that memory loss is a symptom of trauma.
On his own in the meantime, Tom can guess this is a survival instinct. His brain keeping the lights turned off to protect itself. The flashes he can remember are always so upsetting, tense and adrenaline filled. Or if they're not, they're calm in a way that makes him ache, knowing that somewhere in the intervening darkness something went wrong. The lights have dimmed in his memory. What would happen if he turned them back on?