I've always thought my childhood would remain a vague outline of my past. Attempting to conjure up events and images I believed to have happened. It was my "attempt to impose order on the environment"(Schacter, 95) around me. But the question was always lurking in the back of my head: Why was I repressing events that happened before and after my parents got divorced? And why was I so angry about something I could hardly remember? The only way I would be able to come to terms with this anger and finally free myself of the burden of always thinking about my parents divorce would be to begin a process of understanding why I was repressing these memories. .
The first step in understanding the basis of my repression was to look at a definition of repression: "A psychological process of keeping something out of awareness because of an unpleasant affect connected with it. The something maybe a meaning (or part of a memory) a fantasy, a thought, an idea, a feeling, a wish or impulse, or a connection" (Madison,5). From this definition my own theories on repression began to take form slowly. I was now beginning to see that repression was a coping device.
(my defense) I used unconsciously to deal with unwanted situations (the realization that my parents were getting divorced). Freud states in this passage that repression is unconscious motivated forgetting:.
"These patients who I analyzed had enjoyed good mental health up to the time at which an intolerable idea presented itself within the content of their ideational life; that is to say, until their ego was confronted by an experience, an idea, a feeling, an affect so painful that a person resolved to forget it, since he had no confidence in his power to resolve the incompatibility between the unbearable idea and his ego by the process of thought" (Freud, 61-62). .
Freud's theory in my eyes makes absolute sense: humans forget hurtful situations so they won't have to deal with their emotions and figuring out how to get over the event and move on.