Trauma expert Dr. Julia Vigna Bosson explained just how difficult it can be for survivors to do what Christine Blasey Ford did before the entire nation.
“It can be very difficult for a person to recount a traumatic event in detail,” she explained. “You can have a single event that is at the same time both well-remembered and less well-remembered.”
Dr. Bosson explained that a victim's attention might be so focused on the source of danger itself, that peripheral details might not get remembered. She also said that a traumatic experience that occurs in adolescence can have lifelong effects on an individual.
“Memories formed between adolescence and, maybe early 30s or so, seem to be well-remembered throughout the lifetime more so than some memories that are formed later, say, in your 50s,” she said.
Dr. Bosson said that alcohol can interfere with the encoding of memories as well as with the recollection of memories — and that the surpassing of traumatic memories can occur in victims.
“It seems that the forgetting that sometimes occurs is not necessarily intentional,” she said. “It probably has more to do with the difficulty in integrating the memory from the different memory systems that I talked about and again in integrating the experience with one’s sort of scheme of understanding of the world.”