Unexpected Memories - what to do when unexpected memories show up
Have you ever had a song activate a memory? Do certain times of the year remind you of loved ones you’ve lost? Maybe a place, like a beach, reminds you of something or someone, or maybe a certain aroma does. For me, the smell of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake reminds me of my Nanny (grandmother).  
These memories may be welcome, or they may take us by surprise, striking suddenly. Without expecting it, they may bring us back to another place and time.
In the same way, experiences can activate memories. Last year, I sat in the dentist’s chair, and they gently told me they needed to strap my head to the chair so I wouldn’t move during the delicate procedure. I was totally okay with it.
What I didn’t expect was how that experience of being restrained would activate memories of past trauma. Several memories flooded in, and I was brought back mentally and emotionally to places I really didn’t want to think about. My trauma was activated, and I couldn’t make it go away. I relived it over and over.
It’s not that I had forgotten these traumatic things had happened, I just didn’t expect them to return at that moment and with such ferocious intrusion into my life.
Thankfully, I found help and dissolved the emotion attached to those traumatic memories. It’s a process that can be done independently or with a practitioner, and I did both. The good thing is, I did not have to verbalize or share my memories at all during my sessions. Plus, I walked away with the tools needed to process other memories when they came up.
If you want to know more about how memories are stored, here’s a blog post. 

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