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Understanding How Traumatic Memory Works

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One heartbreaking element of trauma, is the tendency to question your reality of the trauma because there is so much you can't explicitly remember.

But you implicitly remember it all.

Those body sensations that trigger when you think of the traumatic event or relationship ARE memories. They are called IMPLICIT memories or body memories.

They are stored differently than non traumatic memory because when you were in the traumatic situation you did not feel safe, so your prefrontal cortex shut down and gave the steering wheel to your limbic system.

Instead of having details like time and color and the data your executive brain takes in, you have details like sweating and smelling and your heart racing and feeling nauseous, that your safety brain takes in.

Just because your memory doesn't feel sequential and logic oriented, doesn't mean you don't remember. It means you remember with your nervous system instead of with your prefrontal cortex.


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