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If You Could, Would You Forget Certain Memories?


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#1 solaris32

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 02:50 PM

I'm sure we've all got memories we sometimes wish we didn't have, or knowledge we wish we had never divined. But what if you could make yourself, and just yourself, forget? Would you? Like that time you did something embarrassing in front of somebody, and the knowledge that they know what you did, is too much to bear, don't you just wish you could forget? I do sometimes. But what these things are does not matter, only if you would willingly forget these and any other memories you don't like.

Personally, I would have to say no. I've done some embarrassing things, had things happen to me, but I realized that these are the things that make us who we are. We can't learn from our experiences if we can't remember them. So that's why, no matter how horrible a memory is, I would just live with it because it happened and nothing can change that. I might have blissful ignorance, but I prefer to learn from my experiences with the occasional, painful flashback.

So would you forget if you could?
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#2 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 03:07 PM

No I would not.

#3 mz30

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 03:09 PM

have to agree with you solaris i would choose not to forget ,as you said these are what define us but on the other hand sometimes we do not learn from our mistakes(especially when there drunken mistakes)as you tend to do them over and over again .


by the way great idea for a topic :thumbsup:
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#4 dfence

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 04:16 PM

hmmmmm an interesting idea for a topic, on the one hand i have to agree with all of you and say that some of the more painfull / embarassing / disappointing memories are indeed shapers of one's personality. Yet then again i am one of the few that has a particular memory directly related to a quite severe and traumatising moment in my life, a moment of untold pain and injury. It would be a blessed thing if i were not able to relive that moment as i currently do in the form of occassional "night-terrors" and daytime "flashbacks", my recovery from same would be vastly improved methinks.

I think the whole idea is rather Utopian in it's approach but it is indeed a thought provoking one Solaris32
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#5 MaraM

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 06:08 PM

A far deeper question than it would appear on the surface, for me at least. Good one, solaris32!

I would want the option of being 'selective' in which memories vanished forever. Social glitches - gone! (Because they can live on and mini-haunt us).

But the biggies - traumatic events. Hmmm.

My first inclination would be - yes, gone! But on further thought, these biggies are the ones I'd chose to keep.

For instance, if someone that meant the world to us died, to wish the memory of their death away would, at first seem a great thing. But doing that we would wish away all the incredible memories before the terrible event - or else keep the good memories and having wished away the memory of the death, be forever more thinking them alive.

The question reminds me of a book I read in elementary school (I was mentally too young to have been reading it) ... an elderly lady who's son died at sea and she got her wish of having him back. Too bad she hadn't said 'in what condition' she wanted him back - yipes! Anyway, I've forgotten the name of the story but even now try to 'be careful what I wish for' - gentle smile.
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#6 boopme

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 08:51 PM

Agree with others on the embarrassing type ,we do learn from these. Usually it's a good lesson. That said I think I would like the others to forget what I did at the time.
I have to say I share the experience of dfense and it would be nice if they would finally go away.
Yet another type of emotional memory I would like to forget. (Tho it doesn't wake me,certain instances in life remind me). With out much detail.... my sister died in my arms. I'd like to forget the look on her face. More so the look on her children faces. I still can't explain it.
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#7 MaraM

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 08:57 PM

Oh boopme, I'm just so so so so sorry about your dear sister.

You need not try to explain the look on her face or on her children's faces - it would be impossible unless someone had been in a very similar circumstance. But I hope so much the part of the memory that is so hurtful fades in time. There are few things I loathe more than that saying, "Living is hard, dying is easy'. For what it's worth, in my heart I believe she knew it was you holding her in your arms and your love there with her - huge gentle hug.
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#8 ghostwriter

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:00 PM

Hmmmmm, like everyone else I too would have to agree with all. I too have some memories which I would gladly like to forget but by the sounds of Boopme and Dfence I have no traumatic memories to depense with - so I would just like say I'm sorry to you both to have been through something so harmful.

There is only one thing that I would truly like to forget and that is that I smoke. All the other memories as painful or embarrassing as they may be, I have to concede that without them I wouldn't be the person I am today.....so in saying that I wouldn't forget or change a thing in my life.

Thanks Solaris32 for the interesting topic!
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#9 Pandy

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:02 PM

Hmmm interesting question. I would not think it would do any good at all to be able to forget an embarrassing memory, or a traumatic one.. if you are going to think in this vein it might be better to consider if other people could forget your embarrassing moment along with you. What I mean is.. what good would forgetting do, if it was not a collective happening.

For instance, If you forget slipping on that banana peel in front of a crowd then that is all well and good until someone else brings up the issue to you. You have forgotten about it so, you look twice as silly and clueless. Remembering and laughing it off later has more grace to it I think.

We assimilate our memories and make us who we are as individuals. Good thing we cannot forget on purpose.

You know, a person with amnesia forgets, but the family and friends remember and how much pain does that cause, I wonder (but would not ever really want to know by experience).

For boopme and dfence and for others too.
I truly believe that witnesses are needed, so humans can learn from each other. I am not sure the explanation I am thinking of would make sense. I cannot imagine how painful that must have been for you.
I guess to counter the memories, maybe we have to strive to recall the good things to counteract the bad that has happened in our lives. And maybe that is the good part that derives from the bad. The silver lining of the cloud. The act of rising above the negative energy in our lives. A way to WIN. Maybe. I do not know.

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#10 annabackwards

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:11 PM

No i would not.

I believe that our memories are what make us what we are.

I also believe that one day we will be able to remember those bad moments and be strong enough to accept it.

Well, that's what i believe, i guess you could call me a sentimental buffoon, but that's me!

Have a nice day all :thumbsup:
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#11 BlackSpyder

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:20 PM

Id like to forget a lot of my past but I can't and I think if I were given the option I'd keep those memories. The painful ones always tie themselves to the Happy ones and without one you cannot have the other. I'd love to forget watching my great uncle die (emphysema) over 6 months but I'd end up loosing all he taught me about living life like there is no tomorrow.

There is always the catch22 isnt there.

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#12 annabackwards

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:24 PM

Totally agree with you BlackSpyder....
I too have painful memories, but as you said, there's always the catch.
Sorry about your great uncle.
One day we will be able to remember the things that matter, not the bad.

Edited by annabackwards, 20 July 2007 - 10:16 PM.

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#13 xcr0okedx

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:56 PM

Everything that i have encountered in my past ... the good and the bad, define who i am today and how i handle certain issues that need resolve.

I would never trade or want to forget any of my experiences for the world!

Edited by xcr0okedx, 20 July 2007 - 09:57 PM.


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#14 boopme

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 10:30 PM

Oh boopme, I'm just so so so so sorry about your dear sister.

You need not try to explain the look on her face or on her children's faces - it would be impossible unless someone had been in a very similar circumstance. But I hope so much the part of the memory that is so hurtful fades in time. There are few things I loathe more than that saying, "Living is hard, dying is easy'. For what it's worth, in my heart I believe she knew it was you holding her in your arms and your love there with her - huge gentle hug.

Thank you for the kindness and especially the hug. I love hugs. Life heals all wounds.
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#15 dfence

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 02:36 AM

You know, a person with amnesia forgets, but the family and friends remember and how much pain does that cause, I wonder (but would not ever really want to know by experience).


quite true pandy, i did indeed suffer amnesia and lost 4 days. 2 before my accident and then 2 after coming too in an ICU. My family was quite distressed by what happened, and relayed to me certain events and conversations we had that have meant nothing to me ergo the memory loss

For boopme and dfence and for others too.
I truly believe that witnesses are needed, so humans can learn from each other. I am not sure the explanation I am thinking of would make sense. I cannot imagine how painful that must have been for you.
I guess to counter the memories, maybe we have to strive to recall the good things to counteract the bad that has happened in our lives. And maybe that is the good part that derives from the bad. The silver lining of the cloud. The act of rising above the negative energy in our lives. A way to WIN. Maybe. I do not know.


No in fact you know more than you credit yourself for, speaking only for myself of course this is the approach i adopt. My new saying is "Any day above the ground is a good day" and so i keep edging forward. Yet with regards to this topic i shall let a little personal info out. The memory i would like most erased is the sound of the impact my vehicle made when it hit a power pole, the black & white blurred imagery as i spin out of control toward it, and the visuals ( i refrain from describing so as not to upset anyone ) of the injuries i observe before the pain sends me unconscious. How i came to remember these things is not known, they began appearing in the 3rd week of my hopsitalisation, they are accompanied by crystal clear audio, and they are all i have about my incident. So these are the ones i wished erased, i do not need to remember these images for any reason i can fathom.

Oh and another one too, the night i got so drunk i kissed my nanna and she slipped me some tongue :thumbsup:
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