Humans store emotional memory in our bodies. It's how God made us. Because of this, when we experience something today that reminds of us a past experience, our bodies conjure the emotional memories of the past experiences.
Think about a favorite old song that takes you back to a wonderful time in your life. Just remembering the song makes you feel all the feels you felt back then. Notice how your body moves as you hear the song. Now notice how your body feels. You feel the memories of the song in your body as well as thinking and seeing images in your mind because the body is where the emotional memory is stored (to read more about this click here).
Memories of abuse and trauma also get stored in our bodies. During abusive and traumatic events, the emotions experienced throughout the body remain right where they are, just as the images, sounds, and smells remain in our minds. Shortness of breath and the dark pit in one's stomach, the shaking, sweating, and pounding heart, all brought on by the terror of the abuse become physical memories.
Any number of things can trigger these physical and cognitive memories of abuse to reappear at any moment such that it is impossible to be aware of and prevent them all. Fortunately, it is not necessary to do so to create Safe Space for good Survivor care in our churches and institutions.
PorchSwing Ministries, Inc is here to help you learn what you can and should do.
Via workshops and consultations, PorchSwing guides churches and other organizations to deeper understanding of the particular needs of Church Abuse Survivors and how to create a Safe Space that ultimately becomes safer for everyone.