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Author Topic: Triggers of emotional memories
LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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So here I am, formerly 11 months single (not long as a general rule, but for me it's a fairly lengthy passage of time) just starting a new relationship. All signs are pointing to awesomeness, and she's a really sweet, pretty, friendly, girl whom I adore.

Problem: My ex. Every time I hear "Do You Realize" by The Flaming Lips or "Everlong" by The Foo Fighters (the two songs were "our songs") or see my ex in a picture (unwittingly, while flipping through friends' Facebook albums for example), I get that bad kind of nostalgia where I just feel miserable. I'm fully aware of the finality of the break up. She lives 2 hours away now. The few instances we do talk it's awkward and cold. I don't have any dillusions of it being able to "work" again. It's just that these triggers get me thinking back to before everything fell apart, and to that warm, fuzzy feeling of being head over heels in love with someone that I had for about a year and a half. THAT is what I miss.

And I hope I will find that eventually with my current girlfriend. We've only been dating for a month, of course, and love is no quick thing. I just miss being in it. And I may have to stop listening to the radio.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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If you ever figure out how to make those "emotional" triggers completely go away- bottle it and sell it.

7 years later and I still get caught off guard sometimes.

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"My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh! No...Pluto..."~ Steven Colbert

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Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I sympathize. The first time I got out of a long-term relationship, I had to put away all the pictures of him, all the gifts he'd given me, all the souvenirs of our good times together, and everything else that reminded me of him. When I finished throwing these things in a box, I looked around at my bare walls, dresser top, window seat, and nightstand, and cried. My room was empty, and in my emotionally fragile state, it seemed acutely symbolic of my life.

For me, writing about it helped, although I'm glad I poured my whiny heart out to a private journal instead of a message board or blog--not that there's anything wrong with doing that. It's just that I now re-read those entries and think I must have been completely psycho to obsess over this guy for so long, and I'd be embarrassed to have anyone else read them. I also found that the pain did fade with time, as it always does, though of course it never went away entirely.

Eleven months may be too short a time to expect to be completely over someone you dated a year and a half. One month is definitely too short a time to feel for your new girlfriend what you felt for your ex. Be patient with yourself, give yourself permission to mope occasionally, and switch the radio to a classical station or something that won't play those two songs when you're with the new girl.

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"If God wrote it, the grammar must be infallible. Perhaps it is we who are mistaken." -MapleLeaf

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Lydia Oh Lydia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I second the sentiments of Bach_girl.

I'm married now, but certain songs (and other things) tend to bring back memories of two of my ex bfs in particular. All I can say is that it does get easier with time.

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"My name is the symbol for my identity and must not be lost." Motto of the Lucy Stone League.

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Midgard_Dragon
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Heh, I still get an emotional trigger from the smell of certain kinds of shampoo. They remind me of a girl I dated for no less than a month (but was friends with all through highschool, and had a perpetual crush on.) I can't figure out how to make these go away either, even though I've been married, am now divorced, and am getting with another girl whom I'm very much in love with. I even find myself dreaming about the girl due to such triggers. If I go to bed immediately after taking a shower, even though my shampoo isn't the same fruity smelling, I'll almost certainly have weird dreams about her all night. Of course then there's the emotional trigger of seeing someone who looks exactly like her in the Target (until she turns around). :/ I wish I could get inside my brain and figure out what I was thinking sometimes. [lol]

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Midgard Dragon
-==UDIC==-
MidgardDragon's MySpace

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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It will diminish with time, but it won't go away totally. Even after 25 years with my wife, certain smells, sounds, thoughts will trigger "funny" (as in not right vs. ha ha) feelings. It is not like what I had then was even a tenth of what I have now, the memories just trigger.

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And now for something completely different...

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Mickey is a Hanukkah Bush
O Come Let Us Adore Sales


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Nothing really takes the sting away. With time, it'll dull. I've noticed that those feelings I've had dulled with creating new memories with the SO I have at that time. But I still have a hard time listening to that mix CD that M sent me. And I still remember that he sent that package, along with a picture of him framed with a poem he wrote to my apartment in Orlando, to arrive on Valentine's Day. The song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" by The Ramones will never be associated with anyone else but him.

I wonder if listening to it now that I'm friends with him again will open old wounds...

Anyway, enough with my rambling. MapleLeaf, you can try to desensitize yourself by listening to those songs when you're feeling comfortable with where you are. Until then, CDs are your friend.

Edited because "notive" isn't a word, to my knowledge.

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My mom, about my nervousness with Jeopardy!: "Don't worry about it. Just get drunk and you'll do fine."
Blog Just call me Mickey 2

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Ana Ng
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I'm kinda lucky/unlucky in that when something's too emotional for me, I just tend to block it out. It's there, but like it happened when I was three.

I can have a painful argument (oh, lawdy) and not recall even the gist ten minutes later. Does this happen to anyone else or am I a freaky freak?

Anyway, time does make it better, which is of no use to you. [lol]

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My great grandfather planted that tree!

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Well it is of use to me as a general rule, seeing as I still have 60-65 odd years left (assuming an average lifespan, as opposed to the superhuman radioactive one that I plan on living). So time may be the one thing that I DO have.

Thanks, freaky freak! [Razz]

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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Photo Spread
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I've been divorced for 6+ years now (longer than I was married, actually), and I still get emotional when I get out some of the Christmas decorations from way-back-when. Yeah, I know, I could just get rid of them and get new Christmas decorations... but the cheapskate in me won't let me get rid of perfectly good items. So, even though I'm happily remarried, I still get icky emotional weirdness every Christmas. It sticks around for a long time.

(So... anybody want to buy an artificial Xmas tree, lots of lights, and some red-and-gold ornaments? Cheap? [Cool] )

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Photo Spread

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Class Bravo
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I'm another who is triggered by smells, most notably certain types of shampoo and perfume.
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gopher
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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With me it is a whole country (Wales). Still miss her.
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Barbara
Layaway in a Manger


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Count me as another whose memories are triggered by scents. One prime example of that is baby powder - the scent of it immediately makes me think about a fella I dated 30 years ago who always smelled of it. That relationship was short-lived and relatively unimportant in my life, and so the unbidden response of "I'm suddenly thinking of Joe" is not a matter of my missing him or wishing more had happened between us - it's all a matter of a particular person having become strongly associated with a particular scent.

Barbara "of all the old boyfriends I should be subject to suddenly thinking of, he shouldn't even have made the list and yet there he is" Mikkelson

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Lydia Oh Lydia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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And it's not just ex bfs for me with the smells.

For instance, I had an uncle who passed away over 10 years ago. He always wore a particular cologne. Every time I smell it, I think of him. One time, I was in a store and I semi-stalked a man wearing the cologne, just so I could smell it a little longer. lol.

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"My name is the symbol for my identity and must not be lost." Motto of the Lucy Stone League.

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frogpond
Jingle Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Lydia Oh Lydia:
And it's not just ex bfs for me with the smells.

For instance, I had an uncle who passed away over 10 years ago. He always wore a particular cologne. Every time I smell it, I think of him. One time, I was in a store and I semi-stalked a man wearing the cologne, just so I could smell it a little longer. lol.

My dad smoked a pipe so whenever I get a whiff of pipe tobacco I start to miss him!

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So many books, so little time.

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Loyhargil
We Three Blings


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My first marriage ended over four years ago. During it the last few years of it, my then-husband would come home quite often smelling like a bar, that kind of cigarette-beer-hot wings combo smell. Now any time I catch a whiff of that "bar smell" on someone, I start feeling very anxious and sometimes full-on nauseous.

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Bender: Oh cruel fate, to be thusly boned. Ask not for whom the bone bones, it bones for thee.

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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My great uncle was a wonderful person who owned a farm where he raised cattle and donkeys. He passed away several years ago, and due to the pettiness of his wife, I only found out when a short note was attached to a card several weeks after the funeral. Any time I smell Camel cigarettes or musty hay, I think of him.

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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Egg Note
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Add in another person who has problems with certain things triggering emotional memories.

I cannot play any MMORPGs without triggering certain memories I'd rather not remember. This has made it hard to play one game. It's weird though, at first I was fine and I was enjoying the game even with its numerous flaws but then certain aspects of gameplay triggered certain memories. Despite the fact that I'm at the last part of the game I don't think I'll be able to beat it for quite some time.

It's not like I don't have other games to play [I actually have quite a huge backlog of games to play] but it's just... frustrating. I don't want to remember this crap! [Mad]

Strangely, I had the same trouble with playing Sonic games, but that seemed to have gone now. But it took years to do so.

I hope my PS2 will be able to last for a few more years.

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Okay, just to make it clear, there is a real world out there. No really, there is. I checked.

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