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Memories of Trauma Effect on Anxiety

November 7, 2012 Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

This comment came from a reader, Nikky44 who lived through the Lebanese war. I had an explanation that I thought I'd share with all of you.

I was discussing this morning with my sister some events of the past. We both noticed having the same memories of the same events, but the parts each one of us remembered is different, opposite. If we think for example of the day of an explosion, she would remember how we escaped, and all the positive side of it, I would remember the fear, the destruction, the death. I don’t know how to explain that now.

Memories of Trauma

There are so many things to remember from an event. And our memory gets processed from our story of the event, how we view it, how we view the world, and how we view ourselves. If we see ourselves as less than or a victim, or unworthy, we would remember those parts of the event that went along with that story. Nikky44 remembers the scary parts because she spent so much of her life living in abuse, before and after the explosion. (The voices of her abusers have made her afraid because that is how they hold power.)

Changing the Effects of Trauma

Having been hurt and violated, she sees the fearful things more readily. She knows pain, and she feels worthlessness down to her tippy toes. It is hard not to see the world through these glasses. It is hard not to see her traumatic memories through these glasses. I've gotten to know Nikky44 since she has been reading and commenting on my blogs for a year. I know this has been changing during this time as she is starting to see herself in a new light.

Her kindness and love towards others is overwhelming and she is starting to turn that back in to herself for the first time in forever. She did this by believing in herself. Surprised? Seems like a far jump? First she began by trusting others who believed in her. In these 12 months she has come so far!

As this continues to shift it will be beneficial for her to take a new look at traumatic events during the war and start to re-story–maybe with her sister's help–the other half of her memory. The story of survival, escape, and relief. When doing this, she would recognize that she did something to enable that survival, and that action says something about what she holds precious. She would see that she held it precious all of this time, despite the abuse and war.

Then, knowing what she gives value to, she can create a new identity for herself, instead of Victim and Fearful. She can be "quick thinker" or "caregiver" or "problem solver."

From here she would view the memories and herself in the past and in the present differently. Her memories will be whole and represent all of her instead of a just a story of fear.

Do you have any memories to re-story?

By Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I blog here: Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace
and here: Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog,
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APA Reference
Lobozzo, J. (2012, November 7). Memories of Trauma Effect on Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, July 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/11/memories-of-trauma-effect-on-anxiety



Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

Why Can't You Get Past Your Past? | Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog
February, 27 2013 at 8:58 am

[...] = {"data_track_clickback":true};When we have had trauma in our past. So many things can trigger an old memory to rise up and take over our emotions. It is even worse when those memories are from a traumatic [...]

Cheryl Zelenka
November, 26 2012 at 1:23 pm

Hello,
I have mild anxiety that gives me insomnia but it is getting better. Last year a slow growing brain tumor (left undiagnosed for nearly 10 years) just about killed me. I am now putting my life back together and trying to encourage others going through depression and other difficult trails to do the same.
You can read my personal story by going to the website below and selecting CATEGORY. Scroll down to MY BRAIN TUMOR STORY
http://weepingintodancing.wordpress.com/

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 28 2012 at 4:21 am

Cheryl,
It is heartening to see you turn your pain into helping others through your writing!

Nikky44
November, 8 2012 at 3:07 pm

Thank you very much for the explanation and your very kind words.I may not be able to notice yet the changes in me, but everyone around is seeing it and talking to me about it. it's also true that after discussing the other side of the story with my sister, it feels "nicer". It doesn't sound as bad as I kept it in my mind for all the past years. Thank you for this post, and thank you for all what you've done for me during this past year. Love you <3

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 12 2012 at 4:54 am

You are the welcome-est person ever! I am glad things are shifting. When we look from a different angle everything appears different.

Memories of Trauma Effect on Anxiety - Center for Narrative Practice
November, 7 2012 at 10:37 am

[...] Read More on Heal Now… [...]

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