"We try to repeat those experiences that we
remember with pleasure and pride, and we
try to avoid repeating those that we remember with embarrassment and regret. The
trouble is that we often don't remember
them correctly. Remembering an
a lot like opening a drawer and retrieving a story that was filed away on the
day it was written. That feeling is one of our
mind's most sophisticated illusions.
Memory is not a dutiful scribe
that keeps a complete transcript of our experiences, but a sophisticated editor that clips
and saves key elements of an
experience and then uses these
elements to rewrite the
story each time we ask
to reread it. The clip-and-save method usually works pretty well because the
editor usually has a keen sense of which elements
are essential and which are disposable. Alas, as
keen as its editorial skills may be,
memory does have a few quirks
that cause it to misrepresent the past and hence causes us to incorrectly
imagine the future. " - Daniel
memory is defined as:
all that a
Capacity for storing
fact of being
a combination of
instinct and intuition
The act or an
instance of remembering;
The power of retaining and
recalling past experience.
A unit of a computer that
preserves data for retrieval.
time within which past events can be or are
The area of cognitive
psychology that studies
cognitive processes whereby past
experience is remembered.
The set of past events
affecting a given event in a stochastic process.
thought or emotion
brought to consciousness from the
Persistent modification of
behavior resulting from an
The period of time covered by the remembrance or recollection of a
individual or group of
of a material, such as plastic or metal, to
return to a previous shape after deformation.
The faculty of the
mind by which it retains the
knowledge of previous thoughts, impressions, or events.
ability of the immune system to
respond faster and more powerfully to subsequent
exposure to an antigen.
Something, or an
aggregate of things,
remembered; hence, character, conduct, etc., as
preserved in remembrance, history, or
tradition; posthumous fame.
reach and positiveness with which a individual can
remember; the strength and
trustworthiness of one's power to reach and represent or to recall the
the generic term, denoting the power by which we
impressions. Remembrance is an exercise
of that power when things
occur spontaneously to our thoughts. In
recollection we make a distinct effort to collect again, or call back, what we
know has been formerly in the
mind. Reminiscence is intermediate between
remembrance and recollection, being a conscious process of recalling
past occurrences, but
without that full and varied
reference to particular things which characterizes
Memory is a complicated process,
only partly understood.
Research suggests that the qualities of a
memory do not in and of
themselves provide a reliable way to determine accuracy. For example, a vivid
and detailed memory may be
based upon inaccurate reconstruction of facts, or largely self-created
impressions that appear to have actually occurred. Likewise, continuity of
memory is no guarantee of
truth, and disruption of
memory is no guarantee of
memory is believed to be a
reconstructed phenomenon, and
so it can often be strongly influenced by
expectation (one's own or other
people's), emotions, the implied
beliefs of others, inappropriate
déjà vu is an
illusion, a vivid mental
trick played by the
mind on itself.
You walk into a charming
Suddenly, you are certain, absolutely positive, you have been in that
exact spot doing the exact same thing before.
There is a puzzling but
very strong feeling of familiarity.
What is really happening is your mind is
processing the experience along several
neural pathways at once.
déjà vu is a neurological anomaly related to improperly
timed synapses firings resulting in an erroneous sensation of
memory of previous
experience coupled with an inability to grasp any
details of the underlying memory of that
Improperly filed information
meets in the mind's higher processing centers as a time overlapping incident.
It is as if one series of messages have taken a shortcut and ziped into
memory first. When others
identical messages arrive, the mind announces,
accurately, that the new memories are replicas of previous
mind, this means you have been here and done this
70% of people say they have had a déjà vu
Is it possible to
consciously delete existing memory?
People that have
had extremely traumatic experiences that do not
fit in to that person's typical
reality seem to be able to delete the
memory of the actual
Although they are able to
consciously forget the actual memory, or perhaps mask or
wall up the
memory, they are unable to mask
to their inner most selves, the emotional response
that occurs when similar events take place that their
subconscious mind recognizes
and categorizes as familiar to past events.
If it is possible to
consciously delete existing
memory - how would that
individual ever know that
memories had been
It is necessary and crucial step required for
healing to allow traumatized people to talk about their trauma. Allowing people
to talk about what has befallen them allows them to connect with their emotions
and process the trauma."Focusing on children who are
not abuse victims (because, thankfully, children who are not abused by their
caregivers are the majority), let us consider an ordinary childhood event that
developed into trauma, rather than just fright or hurt. Take a few moments to
view things through the eyes of five-year old Dylan, who gets off the school
bus at the wrong stop.
kindergarten on Tuesday. Today is Wednesday. He is riding the school bus home
for the second time in his life. He feels a little intimidated by the big
ten-year-old sitting beside him, he misses his mother, and he is not at all
sure that he knows how to be a school bus rider. Nearly everything during the
past day and a half has been new, and Dylan is worn out, and eager to get back
to the homey sofa in the den, and his Quack Pack videos. His mother promised
that she would be waiting for him at the bus stop, just like yesterday. He
looks expectantly out the window as the bus travels by places that look dimly
When the bus finally stops, bunches of loud, laughing,
pushing children migrate hastily toward the door. The children disembark in an
impenetrable tangle of thrashing heads and arms, Dylan among them, confused but
earnestly striving to be a good bus rider. There are some adults by the side of
the road. They greet the children, and in a matter of seconds, the bus has
departed, and everyone has moved away from the bus stop.
is not there. And as people walk out of sight, chattering and swinging each
other's hands, no one notices that one five-year-old boy has been left standing
alone. The boy does not even think about calling after the people. He is too
stunned, and besides, he does not know them. He stands right there, for a long
time, hoping that his mother will appear. He looks like a tiny statue at the
edge of the road, until a monstrous truck, air horn blaring, zooms by just a
few feet in front of him, causing him to lurch sideways into some trees. He
looks around at the wooded area, and decides he had better hide there until his
Dylan sits down under an elm, where he is concealed from
the road by a small embankment. He puts his legs out in front of him, and leans
back against the tree. His new backpack, which he still has on, cushions him a
bit. He stares straight ahead, and begins to tap his new sneakers together. He
is scared, but he knows his mother will come soon. He sits that way for about
half an hour, the length of one Quack Pack video, and then he thinks the
unthinkable: maybe she is not coming. As soon as this thought occurs to him, he
feels clammy all over; his stomach feels shaky, and he begins to cry.
Soon, the tears have turned to desperate sobs. He cries convulsively
for several minutes, until he is gasping for breath. Then, he gets an idea. He
inhales as deeply as he can, stands up, and walks cautiously back to the
roadside, where he looks around briefly. He calls out, "Mommy!" and then, more
Dylan is about three quarters of a mile from his
home, in a nice, safe suburban neighborhood. As long as he stays out of the
road, which he knows to do, he is in no physical danger. Serene middleclass
houses sit at the ends of the driveways that join the street on both sides.
Really, all that Dylan has to do is go up one of the driveways and knock on a
door, which in all likelihood will be answered by a sympathetic adult who will
quickly contact his mother. But five-year-old Dylan does not know this. In his
so far brief time on earth, he has never knocked on a strange door. He has
never even gone all alone to someone else's house. And in his current panicked
state, he does not even put it together that the silent houses contain people
at all. The houses are only another aspect of what is impersonal and
frightening all around him.
After shouting "Mommy" a few more times, he
gives up and returns to his tree behind the embankment. His pants are damp in
back, from the ground he sits on. He feels cold in the warm September
afternoon, and he shivers. He whispers "Mommy" once, and a few more tears leak
onto his cheeks. But then he is quiet. He sits quite still under the tree, as
the enormity of his situation engulfs him. He is lost. His mother is gone. He
will never get to talk to her again. He is never going home.
way, he remains for about another hour. He begins to feel that the world is
very far away, and he is just a teeny speck floating somewhere in a fuzzy gray
space. He wonders, in a detached sort of way, whether he is going to die now.
Finally, he does not feel anything, not even cold and shivery. Still wearing
his backpack, he curls up in a fetal position on the ground, and, in his mind,
completely disappears from himself and his surroundings.
passes. Dylan is brought back to himself when his mother dives to her knees by
the tree, and grabs him up in her arms. Some other grown-ups are there, also.
Without emotion, Dylan says, "Mommy?" His mother is sobbing and jubilant at the
same time, and she does not notice that Dylan is neither.
drives Dylan, and his mother home. They sit in the backseat, where his mother
hugs and kisses him over and over, and tells him that everything is okay. Dylan
does not say anything. When they get home, his mother places several emotional
phone calls, and then she makes some chicken noodle soup for Dylan. When he
does not eat it, she
tells him once again that everything is okay. She assures him that from now on,
she will pick him up at kindergarten herself. No more school bus. Then, feeling
at a loss, she suggests that they sit on the cozy sofa together and watch one
of his videos. She holds him close, and he watches the movie. He does not keep
up a running commentary, or wiggle away to bounce on the furniture the way he
usually does, but she knows that he must be exhausted, and probably still
frightened. She is, too.
When the movie is over, she decides that Dylan
looks pale. She hopes he has not gotten sick from lying on the damp ground, and
she suggests that he go to sleep right now, though it is still early. Without
protest, Dylan lets his mother put him to bed, where he resumes his fetal
When we imagine this event from inside Dylan's mind, we see
that he is much more than tired and very scared. He is traumatized. His nascent
views of the world and the people in it have been violated, and his ability to
cope has been utterly overwhelmed. At the age of five, he has imagined the face
of death, and has experienced the fact that one can terminate such imaginings
by being dissociative. All of this without any objective danger, and though the
story had a happy ending Dylan has still been traumatized."
Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness, by Martha Stout,
An adult can easily
forget the trauma inflicted on a child.
Adults may never realize a
child has been traumatized.
A child will forget what caused the trauma
but there will always be a set of circumstance that will send that child into a
It is unlikely that an adult will remember what
initially caused the trauma while not in a dissociative
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