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  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default Forgetting as a means of self-preservation

    It's been said that people can forget some events that were too traumatizing for them to remember. The concept seems interesting.

    I've got a personal example of this; I've forgotten the name of one woman who harassed and stalked me for almost a year. I had known her for two years by that time. And no, that harassment wasn't a small deal. It was a big deal.

    Thoughts, opinions, experiences? What to make of it?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I don't think I'm capable of it myself. Rather, I don't want to be. I want to remember everything, especially the bad stuff as well. I do however think there is a major difference between being able to reflect upon traumatizing events from a distance or forcing yourself to relive it and go way deep into depressions. :P

    I'm definately the kind of person capable of reflecting on the past from a distance myself.
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    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    It's been said that people can forget some events that were too traumatizing for them to remember. The concept seems interesting.

    I've got a personal example of this; I've forgotten the name of one woman who harassed and stalked me for almost a year. I had known her for two years by that time. And no, that harassment wasn't a small deal. It was a big deal.

    Thoughts, opinions, experiences? What to make of it?
    ?
    Yes, I do this often. Negative events are either forgotten or twisted into a positive event. Of course I don't know if I truly have forgotten them or not unless someone mentions to me the incident itself in which they are sure I was there but I am not. There are many more times where an incident would be talked about and I would remember it in a far more positive manner than what actually happened. It's more difficult to forget memories than to alter them.

  4. #4
    figsfiggyfigs
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    Wouldn't be better to remember the name of your stalker? JUST IN CASE.

    I dust aside anything of little relevance to me.

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    Wild Card Atomic Fiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    Wouldn't be better to remember the name of your stalker? JUST IN CASE.
    +1
    I encounter this in other people all the time. I've never understood it myself, not that I haven't had my fair share of trauma mind you, it's just. Why would you want to forget? What happens if you have to deal with the same situation again? Is this a coping mechanism used for when you can't deal?

  6. #6
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Interesting topic. To me, it seems that forgetting as a means of self-preservation is done when you feel like you were stuck in a situation that you could not remedy or fix but the situation made you feel bad about yourself or others. So you put it out of your mind in order to not deal with the pain of that. In that sense, the "forgetting" seems to be deliberately done, but I can see how if one can't face the situation head on, they might evade it or forget about it. The only thing is by doing so you might not learn the lessons that come from some of life's painful events.

  7. #7
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    It's been said that people can forget some events that were too traumatizing for them to remember. The concept seems interesting.

    I've got a personal example of this; I've forgotten the name of one woman who harassed and stalked me for almost a year. I had known her for two years by that time. And no, that harassment wasn't a small deal. It was a big deal.

    Thoughts, opinions, experiences? What to make of it?
    Can't forget things I want to forget, can't remember things I REALLY want to remember.

    Example?

    There are things that I really would not mind forgetting that has happened long past its time. The thing is, I can't seem to forget it and let it vanish. Sometimes I remember mundane things that really don't need to be in my memory, like what I did at the doctor's office. For one reason or another, the mundane memories are there.

    The other side? People seem to remember me easier than I remember them. It sucks when someone remembers me and the person is like
    Person: "Hey! Do you remember me?"
    Me: "Ummm... I remember you but I.... umm don't remember your name..."
    Person: "My name's [insert name.] I was in your [insert class.] I sat at so and so."
    Yeah... awkward.

    I think not having to remember some traumatizing events can be a good thing. Especially if some of those traumatizing events were actually brutal. As for me, I think the memories I have are there as a "just in case" scenario in which I need them (not so much the mundane ones though.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member ICUP's Avatar
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    Yes, it's very possible.

    If one has an abusive family while growing up, such as alcoholism or drug addicted parents, molestation, etc., their minds are too immature to deal with what is happening to them. Some children "forget" until a later date when they are more mature, and "ready", and then the memory resurfaces. Many of these children are disassociating. And then when they get older, they continue to choose abusive relationships, and the pattern continues until they are able to find their way out. People go into states of disassociation as a way to deal with situations they cannot emotionally deal with at the time. They have to wake up everyday and keep on going in spite of the fact that their attacker is also their caregiver, and this is how their mind is able to deal with that. And in these states, they forget. It's much like being in a different world, like being sedated or lost. These memories are totally gone at the time, and they have no recollection of being attacked.

    Forgetting the name of a stalker is similar, yet different. It's not nearly as serious, as you haven't forgotten the entire ordeal, like it never occurred. It seems maybe you have forgotten the name in order to lessen the impact of the memories. Many times people forget just because they want to..... it feels better to get that creepy bitch out of your mind, and therefore, become less affected in general by the situation that occurred. Take that and make it happen when you were too young to defend yourself, and had no one to help you, and you have the child who totally forgets.
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  9. #9
    Ginkgo
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    I've caught myself twisting events that I initially thought were negative into positive ones. Not in the form of acceptance, but in a form of mythologizing a memory that I wanted to remember but couldn't fully cope with. Acceptance is coming to terms with exactly what you perceived to be the truth, and possibly even making light of it. Death is a good example.

    Most of my "traumatic" experiences are vibrant and vivid in my memory, but I harbor anger about them.

    Even more troubling is when a loved one denies a tragedy to cope, while another seeks recognition and rehabilitation from a dire problem.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ICUP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post

    Even more troubling is when a loved one denies a tragedy to cope, while another seeks recognition and rehabilitation from a dire problem.
    Yea, you can say that again lol..... my mom is a 9, so I am very aware of these states of occurrence.
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