Why can't I remember what happened?

Updated: Jan 5

You might struggle to know everything about what happened to you, here's one reason why:

You are normal. It's very common for survivors to have missing pieces to their story. If this is happening in your life, you are 100% normal. This was the case in my life for over 20 years. Most survivors I talk to have blocked out parts of their story, some more than others, but there is one main reason behind this memory-lapse: dissociation.

Dissociation is an adaptive survival mechanism that your mind and body defaulted to when you encountered your traumatic experience. It's the function that says, "Oh my god, this thing that's happening is not safe and is not okay, but there is no way out!! I'll just disconnect my mind and feelings from what's happening to my body."

Dissociation numbed your experience by shielding you from feeling, seeing, or hearing things at their full vibrancy so that the shock of what was happening wouldn't kill you. Dissociation is the reason most survivors have trouble remembering their story AND it's the root of how triggers are formed!


While it might be frustrating to have missing parts to your story, you can rest in the fact that 1, you are on your way to a full recovery, which means putting all the pieces in place in their due time, and 2, what you don't know right know won't keep you from healing. In fact, as you grow in strength as a person (not just as a survivor) your body, mind, and heart will be able to process deeper and deeper revelations and your story will start to come back to you.

For some of you in critical stages of recovery, you may be experiencing flashbacks, or a series of repetitive, intrusive images coming back to haunt you and taunt you with what happened. This will end. Flashbacks end, and even still, there may be pieces of your story that you will want to know more about -- these will come back to you with less intensity and violence as you heal.

More Articles:

• Prayer for Dissociation

 My Dance with Dissociation

• Triggers Contain Trauma DNA

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Trauma 101 Definition: Dissociation noun the disconnection or separation of something from something else or the state of being disconnected. Dissociation is a common coping mechanism survivors develo

by delfina


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