Meeting Topic 1/29/21: "The Subconscious Mind & Suppressed Memories" and their effects on recovery

The meeting was based off of information from "The Completion Process" by Teal Swan and pages are referenced in this post.

This was an OUTSTANDING meeting, one that was intense and really opened a lot of wounds. It also gave us some sense as to why certain things in our history laid the foundation for our dysfunctional adult lives. No person is perfect, no parents are perfect. There are many opportunities to get it WRONG along the way. What we know is that many of us chocked down our pain, fear kept us resisting our true authentic feelings and left us feeling safe only when someone else was around to be our check in. It was as if our inner child was lost and the role we assumed at a young age was one we kept into adulthood. Many of us are doing our steps, or are working or are in therapy. In that process, we likely dove deep into our past and things sometimes were foggy, or inaccessible. We may have memories that contradict the feelings in our bodies about a time in our lives. We may have very fractured relationships with our parents or family of origin. Many of us even have large gaps of time in our past with no recollection of what went on at all.

Seeking information for my own inner child work, I stumbled upon an amazing book by a controversial author who I respect and adore, Teal Swan. I am NOT saying she has all the answers or can offer any clarity for you, she did however do just that for me. I can say that with my education and degree in Psychology coupled with years of research that helped to open my eyes to my past, this book explained some very complex theories of trauma and the subconscious mind and how we store memories. I respect her personal story which is similar to the horror I had to live through in my childhood, so our wounds being of similar proportion, I decided to read the book. I found tremendous wisdom in her explanations and she provided me with clarity on things like why I struggled with loving and hating a parent that abused me. Years of this tug of war inside of myself, struggling to attach any feelings whatsoever with my care giver and judging myself harshly because of it.

I created a power point presentation and I cross referenced CoDA material to show how deeply connected these issues are. We will present PART TWO on Friday the 5th. Some of the wisdom we discussed were as follows:

  • "The subconscious mind takes over anything that interferes with the conscious mind" (page 13)

  • "Your subconscious mind take over your thoughts and emotions when things are extreme, it can take over entire memories when the threat is extreme." (page 14)

  • "But there are times when the subconscious mind takes over things for the sake of survival, and this mechanism that benefits us in the short term can harm us immensely in the long-term." (page 13)

  • "...people who recover suppressed memories often perceive them or begin to remember them in fragments, which is why it can be so confusing to go through the process of recovering them." (page 15)

  • "By disassociating from an experience, you push it out of your awareness so you don't have to endure the pain of discomfort of the feelings associated with the event. It also serves the mind because it prioritizes survival, not just physical but mental and emotional survival." (page 17)

  • "In essence, cognitive dissonance associated with "living with the monster" is so great that you actually could not go on living in the atmosphere of that much terror. So by suppressing the memory of the abuse, you maintain your attachment to the adult who is abusing you and thus your survival." (page 17)

Heavy stuff! This Friday we will finish up the "The Rejected Self Doesn't Go Away"; How Attraction and Projection Keeps Us Stuck. I hope you will join us for the presentation and rich discussion following.

Special is the Video

In Service, Kimberly S.

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