Christmas memories

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phil72

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Christmas memories
« on: December 21, 2021, 05:23:57 PM »
My wife, mother-in-law, and I were talking about Christmas on Sunday... they ended up talking about what they remember about Christmases past... smells, laughter, being together, etc.
Well, I've been trying since then to remember a single Christmas event or anything from my childhood. And nothing.
Not a single Christmas memory.. no birthday memories.. not a joyful memory at all.. not one.

Is it possible that our brains can block pleasant memories too?
Would processing trauma be too difficult with pleasant memories still active?
I mean, I assume there had to have been some joy back then at some time, no?
Right now it's really just fear that I can ever remember.

My wife's family (mine now too), always talks about old times, bringing up funny or special times shared...
I can't remember a time my family ever recollected good times together... it's just been 8 years no contact, you'd think I could remember a happy family story even, if not the memory itself.
I'm sure I'm not alone with this, it's just odd.. but maybe for the best I will assume :)



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Kizzie

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Re: Christmas memories
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2021, 05:55:38 PM »
This is common for a lot of trauma survivors, it's a survival mechanism.  If you Google "traumatic amnesia" and/or "traumatic dissociation" there is quite a lot written about it.  There may be some happy times but if we remember those there's a danger the traumatic memories would seep out so makes sense for them all to be 'forgotten'. 

Hope this is helpful.

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Blueberry

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Re: Christmas memories
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2021, 06:11:59 PM »
Is it possible that our brains can block pleasant memories too?

Yes.
As a late teen / early twen (not sure anymore) FOO said: some bad things might have happened to you but best to forget them and move on.

I did this huge forgetting thing and 'forgot' all my good memories too. I lost particularly good memories of around that time rather than from earlier years, things like the colour of the trees in autumn and the blue of the sky where we lived (which is different from where I now live). And even when the memories started coming back years later in therapy, the colour isn't there much. I didn't actually forget, I blocked them because that was the only way to deal with all the bad stuff.

So, that in addition to what Kizzie wrote.

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Armee

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Re: Christmas memories
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2021, 06:21:44 PM »
You are definitely not alone in this Paul. I do remember being silly with my sister safe from our parents but no happy memories with them. My memories are incredibly sparse. So much so that I could barely tell my therapist anything for a couple years because everything lacked so much detail that it sounded like I was making stuff up. I could only say "stuff like x would happen" and asked for any specifics I would immediately dissociate.

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phil72

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Re: Christmas memories
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2021, 07:00:33 PM »
Thank you Kizzie, Blueberry and Armee for your replies...
Makes complete sense..
I guess I never considered the good memories would be gone too (again, assuming some there to begin with)
I do remember playing baseball (hotbox) at the school with my brother for days and days (like you Armee, safe from parents) but that's the extent for me.

« Last Edit: December 22, 2021, 11:52:37 AM by paul72 »

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Kizzie

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Re: Christmas memories
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2021, 05:28:37 PM »
I hope if/when you are able to bring your trauma memories up and process them you'll be able to find some positive ones Paul.  :yes:

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CactusFlower

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Re: Christmas memories
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2021, 05:58:08 PM »
Totally possible. Before the first panic attack and starting to work on all this, I've always been weirded out by people who say they can remember being 4 years old or whatever. I literally had ZERO conscious memories before being 6 years old. It's been very strange to have stuff come up that never has before. Unfortunately, I'm an only child and my "good" parent passed away about 7.5 years ago, so there's no one to corroborate my memories or even ask, "Hey, do you remember this" or "Where were we living when we had X?"

I hope some good memories come back eventually.

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phil72

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Re: Christmas memories
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2021, 08:37:38 PM »
thanks for the kind wishes Kizzie and CactusFlower :)
I tried to force memories all Christmas... you can guess how well that went .. all in good time I suppose :)