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love will keep us together

Friday, September 28, 2018

Buried

The country is very divided on the Kavanaugh nomination. People think either she is lying or he is lying. I was thinking about this conundrum, where both individuals appear to be credible to their backers, basically along partisan lines and I thought; how could they both be right? Is there any way?

And my mind goes back to two different friends of mine, who both live in Fallbrook and who both shall remain forever anonymous.

One had a breakdown, after suddenly uncovering real childhood memories of molestation at the hands of her stepfather, events from decades earlier that she had suppressed and her psyche conveniently "forgot." I was there when she recovered her memory and it was truly traumatic and changed her life permanently.

The other friend had been a military captain in Vietnam who while injured, apparently woke up and left the field hospital and led a charge that vanquished the enemy in a valiant and heroic act. His brain had conveniently suppressed that memory too, for over 40 years. when he was reminded of the incident at a military reunion, he too experienced a serious breakdown. Had no knowledge of the incident whatsoever.

Neither of these two had any memory whatsoever of these particulars of their past, they had managed to bury them, probably to save their traumatized psyches.

I wonder if Kavanaugh, whose classmates have hinted and written was a blackout drinker, could have buried some of these sexual aggressions that were alleged to have occurred when he was batshit drunk? And now honestly has no real memory of them.

I had an incident once that is vaguely similar. I was getting a surgery at Sharp and I had unfortunately gotten a little hooked on dilaudid, a type of powerful pharmaceutical heroin. All I had to do was ring a bell and I got a shot. I was in my early twenties, no more.

I was in pain one day and I called for the doctor. Had he been cutting my doses? I was in a lot of agony. I was only getting one shot a day, after all. The doctor showed me a chart. I had been ringing that bell once an hour, like a lab chimp needing a cigarette. My brain had no conscious idea. This incident scared me away from narcotics for the rest of my life. How easily the brain can fool the body.

I wonder if something like that could be happening here?

4 comments:

Renee C. OBrien said...

Why would he remember. She was insignifixant... a prop in his social escapades of elite male priviledge...study and perform hard..play hard...alcohol and bravado combined with the culture why would he remember..it was conquest not relationship.

Jon Harwood said...

Apparently blackout drinking is pretty common in prep. schools. There is no memory of a blackout and it can't be recovered as the memory was not encoded due to alcohol (as I understand it). It probably is not necessary to look further to find a reason that Kavanaugh doesn't believe he did anything. A psychiatrist of psychologist might uncover other issues like those you describe in addition to this. However, in the medical field one diagnostic truism is "don't look for zebras when horses will do. That is, don't run off chasing rare syndromes when a common one provides a proper answer. I suppose another saying would be don't listen to Harwood because psychiatric diagnosis is a complex hall of mirrors and it takes a lot to clinical experience as a diagnostician to be able to use the seemingly simple diagnostic descriptions in the right way.

Is there a doctor in the house?

Blue Heron said...

Jon, both you and Renee happen to have spent your life working in the mental health field. I think you both know of what you speak.

shawnintland said...

Came to the 'comments' to make the same suggestion as I now find Jon already has..."The likelihood that the episode was never even encoded in his brain to begin with due to the alcohol". Same with him never remembering ever drinking to the point of a blackout, though others say they do.

Certainly not making a prediction, but wouldn't it be amazing if years from now the memorable highlight of the Trump Presidency is it having been the turning point of the sexual abuse discussion?

Best comment from the foreign press, "Political operations in Washington have reached that point where senators can meet the current US president on an equal footing: at the bottom."