Traumatic incidents can impact memories

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Certain snapshots of our lives we remember, especially if they are traumatic. I remember when I was told that my best friend of four years had died. I remember who told me, where we were and how my mother remained dry-eyed and that I did for about a half-day. I don’t remember my friend’s funeral. I don’t remember what time of year it was. I remember when my little sister had an allergy attack and had to go to the hospital. I know it was in the middle of the night and I remember what house we were living in at the time. I don’t remember how long she was in the hospital. I remember my mother having a stroke and being taken to Spokane and then San Francisco. I remember my grandmother coming to stay with us while she was gone. I remember her visit as lasting two months. It was actually a week.

The striking parts of each of these events I remember clearly and have underlined. The peripheral details are not so clear.

My point is: When trauma occurs, pertinent details can remain extremely vivid while details of lesser importance are vague or completely gone. I would be willing to bet anyone with traumatic experiences in their past have similar memories and memory lapses.

Americans need to keep this in mind when they hear criticisms of the memory of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Her trauma happened many years ago. Mine occurred over 45 years ago and I will never forget them. Please don’t call us liars.

DONNA LANG

Sagle

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