I was at a cookie exchange this weekend and spent time chatting with a friend who was also exchanging cookies. I couldn't help but think about all the information we gathered this week in class,about the connection between emotions and episodic memories.
She was sharing her family of origin information. There had been so much stress brought on by parental alcohol abuse, verbal and physical abuse and child neglect. As she recalled this information her eyes glazed and then became teary. Her facial expressions were painful for me to watch and actually conveyed extreme fear.
These memories have haunted her for her entire adult life and she struggles to keep it all together. At times she is introspective as she speaks, looking for reasons, looking at her own contributions to her families dysfunction, although as a child she had no fault.
Other times responses emerge as tears and sorrow. Each and every time she recalls this information her memory of it is strengthened and so are her emotional reactions.