Monday, November 27, 2006

Erasing bad memories a good thing? Possible?

I read a report today that a pill is in development which may be able to erase bad memories in the human brain. I'm simplifying the statement here, of course, but the concept is fascinating. Even if the recall were erased, unresolved issues, resentment and anger all stemming from memories of a bad situation rest in our very bones. Even if you managed to put a bad memory out of your immediate conscious, it has burrowed itself into your soul. How do you erase that? And, even if you could, should you?

A bad situation doesn't necessarily have nothing to offer. We don't see it at the time. The old saying what doesn't kill makes you stronger is certainly true. Adversity tests our mettle. Life isn't about avoiding obstacles and unhappiness but learning how to cope and make your way down the path in a way that makes you most happy. I don't think it is possibly to completely eradicate from the body a bad memory.

I often wonder why I have certain recurring dreams. I have had them for years.

One of the recurring dreams stems from a declaration my mother made back when the Gulf War was going on. She was fearful that my brother Chris would be drafted. She told him (and me) that if Chris were drafted to serve in the conflict, she would move heaven and hell to see that he got immediate and safe transport to Canada to live. "I will not let my son risk his life in a politician's war," she told us. That's how she viewed that conflict and how she views the current conflictin Iraq as well. For some reason, I keep dreaming that Chris was drafted and Mom (and Dad) hurriedly moved him north across the border. Then I couldn't find them. I wake up with a start and wonder if the dream was real. It seems fresh each time I have it.

I wonder if having this recurring dream will create an artificial bad memory? I wasn't particularly worried when Mom told Chris she would pay his way to Canada to avoid being drafted. It's not as if Canada were on some other planet. So I am at a loss as to why I have this dream and it's always upsetting because I can't find my family when I go look for them.

Does some bad memory that I don't recall but is buried in my bone marrow somewhere cause me to have this recurring dream?

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