8 thoughts on “Memories – Are There Any You’d Rather Forget?

  • December 1, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Are there any memories that you’d rather not have? Any too painful to look at for long? Ones you might give away or ‘erase’ if you could.

    My mind has already answered these questions, I remember zero about my childhood; same with both of my sisters.

  • December 1, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Let’s see… I was thinking I’d like to erase the memory of things I’ve done wrong, but then of course other people would still remember, and then I’d be in the position of not remembering something that causes somebody else pain. That makes me insensitive, and puts the burden on that person to suffer alone. Maybe remembering those things keeps me humble and makes me not want to do them again. So — what if I just forget the things that were embarrassing and didn’t hurt anybody? How about if I forget what other people did to hurt me? That’s something to think about.

  • December 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

    My post on PsychCentral 12/1/10 on article about purposely forgetting & memory

    Regarding recovering forgotten memories, my wife’s early stage of dementia (most likely Alzheimer’s) suggests how a neurological factor is involved when traumatic childhood memories arise in later life. Our brain contains two distinct types of memory “systems”. One is explicit memory based on recalling facts/instructions/information we’ve actively learned or been TAUGHT. Unfortunately, explicit (left hemisphere) memory degenerates more easily than “implicit” or sub-conscious memory. Implicit (right hemisphere stored) traumatic experiences often remain; while sequential, explicit memories tend to fade more in later life. PTSD is an example of implicit, emotionally-embedded nightmares that won’t go away — like “unfinished business”. This may account for later life re-emergence of childhood trauma experiences in dreams that sub-consciously “intrude” causing a vague feeling of anxiety or fear — while not knowing “explicitly” the source or cause. In our case, my wife and I work with a neuropsychologist to control this anxiety-producing dynamic. As a brain health and emotional health educator I also am aware that this anxiety, fear and memory problem sequence typically arises after retirement — a time we count on as being carefree and worry free. I’ve written about this memory dynamic and edit the “Senior Brain News” for retirees in our senior community. Those interested in reading more on this dynamic may request (brainworks3@cox.net) an article I’ve written on “Experiences of Childhood trauma — Re-emergence in Later Life”. This may alsobe a significant cause of senior stress responsible for the high level of depression and suicide among retirees. Any prolonged stressors such as this also contribute to stress hormone release that attacks the brain center regulating attention, memory and learning. Stress is also a major factor that can accelerate the rate of seniors’ memory/cognitive decline into dementia.

  • December 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I have so many memories I would like to have erased. Painful memories from an abusive childhood, recent memories of betrayal and rejection.

    Who would I be without them? Considering the sheer number of years spent in painful circumstances, I fear, I would be an empty shell, unfortunately. If, by some miracle, I could replace those hours, days and years, with pleasant or even benign memories, I imagine this…

    I imagine I would be a better me, a stronger version, not plagued by doubt, not paralyzed by painful bouts of depression. My accomplishments, quite extraordinary considering what I was given to work with, would be more in line with what I expected of myself. Not simply to have finished graduate school but to have published books and to have made some sort of mark on the world, rather than live a life of obscurity, in secret despair.

  • December 5, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Someday I will look at my ‘train wrecks’ with gratitude 🙂 In the meantime, I am adding sweet memories in my life album…

  • December 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    There is one major “train wreck” I’d rather forget, because whenever I remember it, it brings up such anxiety and sadness… it hurts so badly.

    Funny thing is I have SO much to be happy about, that these “PROS” should totally knock out the cons…but it takes to long for this to happen.

  • December 19, 2010 at 2:49 am

    I not only have memories,but I actually relive the entire memory from start to finish. I can feel exactly what I went through as if were happening all over again. This is so painful emotionally and the feeling cause an onset of panic attacks. How do I stop reliving such tramatic moments? I’ve had enough and can’t seem to push these memories out of my head.

  • December 23, 2010 at 2:37 am

    I really really loved this paragraph.. it resonated with me in creative ways. I write poetry and do art to help me in my own healing process…. i get tired of idk how to explain it.. despite so many people having PTSD or being abused.. it’s still our own individual experiences that makes feeling together almost impossible… like knowing someone else with ptsd and shares a similar circumstance or catergories of cause as you doens’t necessarily lead to feeling understood…. sometimes it’s almost like being a part of a vase thats cracked up and been glued together… we all have our piece.. we fit together under these labels.. under humanity but we still are seperate and not quite touching, connectiong or sealed… anyways i love the following:
    “The first image in the album (above) is of a train wreck…

    So what of your own memories? Especially the hard ones. The literal and metaphorical ‘train wrecks’ you might carry within you somewhere.

    Where do you actually keep them?
    In your head?
    In your heart?
    In an internal box with the lid locked-down tight?

    Are there any memories that you’d rather not have? Any too painful to look at for long? Ones you might give away or ‘erase’ if you could.”

    So true… i love the internal box with a lid locked down tight… lol… oh the places i could go with that. in fact im going to copy this comment and use it for future creative fodder when I feel able to write it out…..


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