I received some feedback that made me realize the last episode (7) wasn’t as clear is it could have been. This is a clarification.
I’m not suggesting that the way my memories work is evidence of my trauma or unique to me. I’m well aware that exploring memories is messy and unreliable. I also know that memories morph and change with time. That sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between memory, dreams, and imagination. What I was hoping to do was to lay some groundwork so that when I talk more specifically about how it was hard for me to remember certain events and details, there would be some context.
Specifically, I wanted to lay the ground work for discussing some ‘recovered’ memories of mine. That concept of lost/recovered memories can be hard to grasp for people who don’t have direct experience with them. I understand that and I think I will be able to describe mine in a way that will make sense.
I have had a lot of contact with other male survivors of childhood trauma and I know there is no single way that the mind processes the abuse, nor how it may affect memory. For some people, and for some incidents, the memory is enhanced, or exaggerated. In many cases, usually through dissociation, memories are pushed aside or hidden (for lack of better terms). Many things, traumatic or not, are just simply forgotten and we don’t know why.
I may be mistaken about how “dysfunctional” my memory is compared to the general population but I’m confident there is a relationship between it and my trauma. It doesn’t help that Pam has an incredible memory for dates, sequences of events, song lyrics, almost anything. Next to her I feel like a mush mind and maybe that’s just because my brain works differently than hers. However, if you google “how childhood trauma affects memory” you will find a lot of supporting evidence that trauma can have a profound effect on memory.
I also wanted to introduce the idea of trauma or memories being stored in the body. I think that was clear enough but I will have more to say about it.