Why can it be so hard to forget, even when danger/injury was narrowly avoided?
Last Updated: 05/17/2016 at 1:45am
Sarah Archer, LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
As a Licensed MFT I work with clients to more effectively address, process and learn skills to manage the problems that prevent them from living the life they want.
Top Rated Answers
It can be hard to forget because we like to ponder how an experience could have shifted the direction of our lives. We review those memories to ask ourselves "what if..." and we look at where it took us now to try to determine if it did, in fact, change our direction in the smallest of ways.
During the time an accident is about to happen, you usually subconsciously think of all the bad results of said accident. You may later on even think about the experience you just had and think about how lucky you are to be alive but that's just it; what if? You're mind gets paranoid and you start to think about it reoccurring but the chances of the same accident repeating, is slim to none. When your life is put in the way of danger, no matter how small and insignificant, you start to realise your own self-worth and how valuable your life really is. It can take many tries for a woman to get pregnant, 9 months of pregnancy and then hours on end of labour but in a split second, your life could be no more and when you realise that through an experience of your own, that's when reality becomes a harsh mistress. Try not to take the experience in a negative manner though. I have a book in my head that is filled with negative experiences and I make sure to never forget them. Why? So I can learn from them. Do the same and simply learn from this experience so that if in the unlikely event, it happens again you will know exactly what to do.
We all live our lives day-to-day and take so many things for granted. From the moment our alarm clock rings to when we put our foot out the door, we don't realize how many things may have gone wrong. But when your everyday life is interfered with an experience that is so overwhelming, frightening, and beyond control, they undermine our sense that life is fair, that it is reasonably safe and that we are secure. A traumatic experience makes it very clear that we can die at any time. So our bodies react as they are designed to in times of danger. We feel consistently on guard, protecting ourselves at all times. We start to lose trust and think that the whole universe is out to get us. This is a very normal reaction because our bodies feel at a consistent risk and. What we need to do is understand that we cannot change or forget what has happened. We can only learn to think differently about it, about the world, and about life. When we realize that we are the ones in control of our mind, body and emotions, we will also realize that we are in control of our LIFE. We won't have the need to forget because we would have already moved forward.
Because the hippocampus has a tendency to remember bad events over happy ones, therefore resulting in more bad memories being 'saved', while the happy memories are 'lost'
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