This Is The Painful Reality Of Living With Repressed Memories


The truth: I am a writer. And as a writer, I write what is honest and real, even if it’s painful to see, read, or hear.

The purpose: I write to encourage; I write to inspire. I write to let someone, somewhere in the world know that they are not alone. I write to be the voice saying it’s okay to hurt; it’s okay to be brave; it’s okay to stand on your own.

The story: I am genuinely a happy person. I wholeheartedly believe that the way we get through life in one piece is to smile; to laugh; to not take yourself and your surroundings too seriously.

The reality: Sometimes, we don’t have a choice but to believe otherwise. Sometimes, given the circumstance, we have to do and feel the way we believe is best in order to continue moving forward; to continue living; to continue surviving in one piece.

Ever heard of “repressed memory”? It’s a haunting concept — one that happens for a reason. It happens because the individual has suffered from a high-level stress or traumatic experience, leaving the human brain to unconsciously block out the event because it is not one we want to remember, be associated with, or recall. Ever again.

The reality is, although our minds have blocked the event from our conscious, emotions ranging from across the board still exist within our subconscious as an everyday distraction. That is until someone, or something, triggers a distant emotion, touch, or smell causing the memory to resurface.

For a while now, I have been experiencing high-level anxiety, sometimes for no particular reason. I have been suffering from amnesia in my everyday life, not being able to remember or recall even the simplest of things. When it comes to new faces, or dating for that matter, I have not been able to bring myself to be somewhere alone with someone in 1:1 settings, only a large group out of comfort and zero room for isolation. When it comes to my everyday emotions, my everyday life; I am happy and I have chosen to be happy because that is how I have been able to move forward in crisis situations. But outside of happiness, I feel empty; I feel absent.

Now, I understand why.

But, what is different now? What is different now is that everything makes sense that didn’t before?

Earlier when I referred to triggers — mine was a Neurologist. Odd, right? We talked and went through your standard physical and cognitive examinations due to the symptoms I had been experiencing. I still didn’t realize it at the time, or even understand it, but my Neurologist mentioned the symptoms I had been experiencing seem to be due to a distraction that my conscious mind was not aware of. I was then referred to see a Neuropsychologist — and next thing I know, pieces slowly started to coming together.

I now understand why I have a tendency to shy away from 1:1 situations. I now understand why it’s so hard for me to be vulnerable. I now understand why I have wanted to take control and feel powerful when it comes to men, and my life as a whole. I now understand why it’s so hard for me to feel; I now understand why it’s so hard for me to feel anything: love, hate, anger, sad — I now understand why for so long I have felt blank; empty when it comes to an emotional and physical touch.

Nearly two years ago, I started writing for the first time in many, many years. Now, nearly two years later, I finally understand why. The confusing and unsettling pieces have slowly been coming together — my emotions have been all over the place, but I’ve found some level of comfort in finally being able to just understand.

I’m still trying to sort through how I feel, because as anyone could guess it’s not an easy thing to overcome right off of the bat. But once again, you can overcome; you will overcome.

This is the part of life where your limits are tested and you have to simply let yourself feel. You let yourself sort through every emotion because you are allowed that much. But once you do, you keep telling yourself that this is your comeback story. This is the fight. And you will win.