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Reply #68: well, hopefully it is a little more nuanced and helpful than just "get over it" [View All]

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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-29-07 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #55
68. well, hopefully it is a little more nuanced and helpful than just "get over it"
i too have noticed this:

The one thing I have noticed over time is that the periods of old re-activated pain and rage become a lot shorter. I find that I no longer obsess over the past for weeks at a time, and this was NOT true even 20 years ago, which itself was 20 years after the fact. The INTENSITY may be the same, but the DURATION isn't even close to the same. It's a fairly brief burst of anger now. When I get done typing this note, I'll most likely start thinking about something completely unrelated, or doing something more relevant to my life in the present. I won't dig out my old journals (again!) and spend the rest of the day and the rest of tomorrow obsessing over the past.

as you say, the flashbacks of pain do have intensity, and apparently they always will, but there is enormous positive value in the fact that the flashbacks don't have the same duration -- a brief short pain is not incapacitating, it can even be empowering if it inspires us to do something useful -- the thing is, i think there are things we can do that we don't have to wait 20 yrs or 40 yrs for the pain to be at a reasonable level, we are not such long-lived species that we shouldn't try to shorten this process somehow

unfortunately i think much of the thrust of recent therapy and recent culture is such that it actually prolongs people's pain and anguish, a wound can't heal if you keep scratching at it

you state: It is NOT the culture! What you don't appear to understand is that the tendency to endlessly re-live the past, to obsess over old traumas, is in and of itself one of the consequences of those traumas! That is PART of the damage, a big part of it, in fact.

well, could be, but i'm not so sure, in my life i've observed an enormous change in what is expected of victims -- bearing in mind that i was raised partly in appalachia and there was still perhaps an out-dated attitude of the strong person doesn't whine, the strong person doesn't show pain, and so on -- and then the wider culture went almost entirely toward the confessional culture of showing one's wounds, showing one's pain, and honestly -- it is crystal clear to me that the culture has changed in how we encouraged to deal with our pain

i look at a person like my husband, who has a near total memory loss of several years of his childhood, and quite frankly, he's about a million times healthier than some of our friends who became actively involved in recovering their memories, confronting their abusers, etc.

"get over it" is not helpful without useful help on HOW to get over it, clearly, but the older i get the more i'm inclined toward abe lincoln's view: the secret to happiness, ma'am, is having a bad memory
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