Saturday, July 23, 2005

Painful Memories without the Pain

Since Thursday's post the heat has seemed to have increased here. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I don’t ever remember this type of scorching temperatures of such a long duration.

Yesterday I visited a close friend who is recovering from recent surgery. Part of our discussion centered upon our memories. We agreed that we may remember physically traumatic situations, be it his surgery or the accident I had in an army tank thirty-some years ago that has left a long scar on my leg. But we do not remember—feel—the actual pain.

That’s good! Today I can tell the story of that tank accident in a humorous manner and people laugh. But, to me back then, it was anything but humorous! It was one of the most distressing events of my life.

I have a friend who lives almost exclusively in the present moment. She has experienced a number of distressing events in her life, from being in a full body cast when she was thirteen as a result of being hit by a car to some really nasty—and illegal—shenanigans pulled on her by her ex-husband. The other night she telephoned me and told me of some guy to whom she did not want to talk who telephoned her forty times in thirty minutes. Each time she said she hoped it wasn’t he on the phone, but it was. Finally, she turned the ringer off and just let the dude call. The episode really stressed her. A day or so later I mentioned the incident and she had forgotten about it. The event was in the past and she resolved to no longer think about it or allow it to control her.

I rather wish that I was like she.


  1. Ah, but the conditioning it took for her to achieve that mindframe, no thank you. So are you going to post your tank story?

    Thank heavens we can't refeel pain. Or at least don't normally. I think you can get pretty close with vivid flashbacks.

  2. I agree on re-feeling pain. Wow! If we were made so that we remembered and felt all the physical pain in out lives, then life would be really hell. I suppose remembering and re-experiencing psychological and emotional pain is another mater. I have done that.

    Yes, I’ll post the tank story sometime in the near future.

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