No, amnesia is not the solution for traumatic memories


Have you ever tried to talk about your PTSD issues with someone, only to have them cut you off with the advice to “just don’t think about it”?

If only it were that simple!

I wanted so desperately to “just stop thinking about” my traumatic memories, that I actually tried to force myself to have amnesia. I thought: other people get amnesia, so why can’t I? I tried everything I could think of to psych myself into having Zero Memories, because total amnesia would surely be better than walking around with a head full of horrible, haunting, trauma memories.

But I could not do it. I even tried self-hypnosis to no avail. My life is still my life, my memories are my memories, and they are, apparently, here to stay.

The best thing I have found for dealing with my trauma memories is simply: acceptance. Accepting that my reality is real, my life is indeed my life, the things that happened actually did happen, and no amount of wishful thinking is ever going to change any of that. It is what it is. And yet, in spite of everything, today I can honestly say that the Lord brought me through!

I recently googled the addresses of two houses that I lived in more than fifty years ago, where some of my worst childhood traumas happened. To my surprise, I discovered that both of these houses are listed online as having been for sale in the recent past. One sold in 2014, the other in 2016. Although they are no longer for sale and their listings expired years ago, all of the interior and exterior pictures are still there.

As I clicked through the photographs, I remembered this terrible thing that happened in this room, and that awful thing happening in another room. On and on, through more than fifty pictures between the two houses, my memories flooded in.

I was feeling overwhelmed! But then, a picture came up that was taken inside a family room that had been added onto the house, after it was foreclosed and my family moved away. This picture, which you can see at the top of this post, is centered on an open doorway that leads from the new family room, into the dining  area and living room beyond, two rooms that hold many haunting memories for me.

Above the wide open doorway between the new part of the house and the old, hangs two large banners. The words on the banners, in beautiful bold letters, declare:


~The above post was inspired by this terrific article by Cynthia Bailey Rug:

The Amazing Healing Power of Love


This is Baby, a sad looking Yellow Lab Retriever Boxer mix that my stepdaughter and I found in the parking lot of a Dollar General store last July. She was thirsty, hungry, hot — the temperature was 105 when we found her — and her life was very much in danger, with all the trucks and cars speeding by. The store manager told us that she had been hanging around, living on the streets, for at least three months.

Her sweet personality melted our hearts. After giving her some food and water, I scooped her up in my arms and we brought her home.

I took the above picture the day after we found her. She looked hopeless and helpless, frightened and sad, like she had been beaten down by life.

I took the picture below, two months and five days later. She doesn’t even look like the same dog. This is the healing power of love!


Love heals dogs, and love heals humans. I have experienced the healing power of love in my own life, and I have seen the miracle happen in the lives of others.

The awesome thing about love is that it flows both ways. We give our rescue dogs love, and they give us love right back.

I believe that God is love, and love is kind. I believe we were created by God, made in His image of love.  I believe that love is as necessary to life and health as the food we eat and the air we breathe.

What causes PTSD? In my case, and in my combat veteran husband’s case, our PTSD was caused by horrific violent acts. Acts of abuse, acts of terror, acts of war. Acts that are the polar opposite of kindness, gentleness, and nurturing love.

Hate kills, but love heals. And the greatest commandment is love! (Matthew 22:36-40)