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  1. #21
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    ^ Excellent points about coping, @Z Buck McFate and @metalmommy.

    I agree with many others on this thread, that I wouldn't want to erase my more traumatic (or positive) memories because they've shaped who I am today. I don't want to risk becoming a worse, or less developed, human being, by erasing something that's made me grow.

    Additionally:

    1. I don't trust myself enough to play God; it's possible that I'd erase a memory that I didn't think would cause the rest of me a lot of harm, were it removed, and then cause serious, unforeseen consequences, such as a negative change in my personality.

    2. I am of the opinion that without having suffered, life's joy doesn't feel as joyous.

    However... an exception would be if I had seen one horrendous thing, something no human should ever have to see*, that had seared its image into my brain and would haunt me forever. It would be nice to forget the image, but remember the event. If there was a suspicious hole in my memory, right there, I know that I'd try to remember it, and then it would be really bad when I did. But if the memory was technically there, but significantly deadened, then that would be much better.


    *examples: The Human Centipede, Cthulhu
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  2. #22
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    @Z Buck & @Orangey
    I think you're both making unfounded assumptions about the necessity of bad experiences in producing good judgment.

    Are the people you know that have suffered the most misfortune the ones with the best judgment?
    Because that has not been my experience at all. Quite the reverse, in fact.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  3. #23
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Does that mean when you don't know about something that happened you're lying to yourself?
    You can't know everything. What's wrong with being the editor of your own story?
    I pretty much just meant what I said. For whatever reason, to purposeful deny something that happened (i.e, rejecting a part of the historical record) to me is a factual lie, just like saying that Kennedy was never president in the 60's or that milk is naturally pink and the sun is blue.

    I'd even remove pleasurable memories, just so I could experience something again - for the "first" time.
    hmmm. So would you know that you removed it, just to experience it again for the first time? I'd still feel a bit weird about doing that, but I wouldn't have the same gut response as I described above. Because I'd be saying, "Hey, I erased my memory just so I could experience it again." Which to me is being honest about what I did and why.... Vs erasing something and then pretending I never erased it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #24
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    No. Resilience is built through painful experiences and, discounting extreme scenarios, erasing these memories could easily do more harm than good.

  5. #25
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    Cool, good question.

    I'd do it if I needed it--because I don't particularly need it. That is, I have a really shitty memory as it is, and I've gotten by pretty well so far without having to recall detailed memories of the more tragic past experiences.

    For me, experiences simply get mashed into general principles that guide me, either reinforcing them or otherwise modifying them; I tend to discard the experiences themselves afterward. As long as I can keep the wisdom that those memories have contributed to, I'd be all for it.


    I wouldn't use this as an immediate fix--to remove immediate memories from the short term--because I want to extract what I can from them, which can take some 'down in the weeds' introspection. Once they're of no further 'use,' though, it's a waste of mental energy to keep them kicking around.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Would you erase your painful memories?
    Never.
    They all have contributed to who I am, today.

  7. #27
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Are the people you know that have suffered the most misfortune the ones with the best judgment?
    Because that has not been my experience at all. Quite the reverse, in fact.
    This comes back to the point I was making about the present standards of 'professional mental health' really just not being very good. The people I know who have suffered the most and have only been driven farther into their unconscious coping methods- as a result of not finding the actual source of their suffering- definitely do not have the best judgment.

    The causes of suffering are relative- and if we remove that which causes suffering instead of learning how to deal with it, then we'll just 'suffer' from lesser things instead. The 'first world problems' meme exemplifies this rather well. The things which cause suffering will only get more and more pathetic and lame as time goes on.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  8. #28
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    from Troubled Childhood May Predict PTSD


    As compared with the resilient Danish soldiers, all those who developed PTSD were much more likely to have suffered emotional problems and traumatic events prior to deployment. In fact, the onset of PTSD was not predicted by traumatic war experiences but rather by childhood experiences of violence, especially punishment severe enough to cause bruises, cuts, burns and broken bones. PTSD sufferers were also more likely to have witnessed family violence and to have experienced physical attacks, stalking or death threats by a spouse. They also more often had past experiences that they could not, or would not, talk about.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  9. #29
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    I would. There are certain memories that I think make me weaker rather than stronger despite overcoming them. Grudges, anxieties rooted in things that other people had done. There things I think should be let go of. Other painful memories I might keep.

    For instance I might not erase all of a bad relationship but just certain things he said that pop up now when I trying to interact with new people
    I generally agree with this.

    Experience can increase knowledge, so I would want to keep whatever made me stronger.

    Strangely enough the memories I would most like to erase are ones I can't remember. They are memories embedded somewhere in my mind when I was preverbal which I *think* are manifesting themselves through physical pain and generalized anxiety. They aren't memories per se, but negative imprints in my mind that affect me still. If that could alleviate my generalized anxiety disorder, I'd be game for it.

    I can also think of a few memories that would be useful to not have that are specific enough that I don't think it would impair my future interactions to be cleared of them.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.

  10. #30
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I pretty much just meant what I said. For whatever reason, to purposeful deny something that happened (i.e, rejecting a part of the historical record) to me is a factual lie, just like saying that Kennedy was never president in the 60's or that milk is naturally pink and the sun is blue.
    Wow. That's ... weird.

    hmmm. So would you know that you removed it, just to experience it again for the first time? I'd still feel a bit weird about doing that, but I wouldn't have the same gut response as I described above. Because I'd be saying, "Hey, I erased my memory just so I could experience it again." Which to me is being honest about what I did and why.... Vs erasing something and then pretending I never erased it.
    What if you didn't pretend? You'd remember the removal, after all. And you'd have knowledge of the event, you'd just be removing the negative (or positive) emotional content.

    The example given on the programme was NYPD officers - many of whom committed suicide after 9/11 or else suffered crippling PTSD. I don't see how removing the traumatic memories and feelings associated with that day could be other than a good thing. Especially if it saved a life. Interestingly though, only 20% of officers said they would take a drug to do that. (Presumably the ones who suffered the most.)

    It's really weird to me because this is an extension of a natural process. Sometimes the brain manages to forget trauma on its own, as a protective measure.

    It's also funny because most people think nothing of going out and drinking themselves into a state of oblivion - not only wrecking their memory of one night but doing lasting damage to their brain and other organs. Something I think is really fucking stupid and wouldn't do...

    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    For me, experiences simply get mashed into general principles that guide me, either reinforcing them or otherwise modifying them; I tend to discard the experiences themselves afterward. As long as I can keep the wisdom that those memories have contributed to, I'd be all for it.
    That sounds...useful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    So much for bad experiences building character...

    I think the argument that your experiences make you who you are is unconvincing. Our personalities are pretty much formed by the age of 11, after that we're just cataloging experiences. And bad experiences are so utterly arbitrary. Are we really a completely different person because we left the house 5 mins late one day and accidentally ran a child over, say? No. What defines us as who we are is how we would react to such an event, and that potential remains unchanged irrespective of how life plays out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

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