Memories and The Sense of Smell

Today, Sweetie 4 and I went grocery shopping at Sprouts Super Market.  They have this little area for tasting coffee.  They had a flavored coffee “Texas Pecan”, and I wanted to just taste it.  So I did.
INSTANTLY, and I DO MEAN INSTANTLY, a memory popped into my head from 25 years ago!
My memory  was of Mike and I sipping Coffee, “Texas Pecan” coffee,  before we were married, and having a meaningful conversation.
This was a very pleasant memory.

Karyn Purvis mentioned that the sense that goes straight to the memory the fastest is smell.

It made me think, what if that coffee aroma had triggered a terrifying memory?
What if I was a child, who had many, many traumas in my past and one included that smell?
It would be quite possible that I could have been happily shopping with my mother and then suddenly taken back to a place of terror.
And then…. possibly I could have acted out, suddenly shut down, or became disrespectful or billugerent.  That fear reaction can be overpowering!  And what if my mom just didn’t have any idea what was happening and reacted in a way that was not helpful but harmful?
It wouldn’t have been her intention, but she would be left perplexed and confused!

Are you following what I am saying?
Have you ever had that type of unexplainable experience happen?
We have on numerous occasions.  They are much fewer now, and the girls have learned ways to cope and not act out when it does happen.
Keeping on alert as parents can help us to recognize when something is a fear reaction.

Giving children  tools for coping can be VERY helpful.  The older they get, the easier it is to talk about these things and learn coping strategies.
We will go into those strategies in the next few days to help with ideas.
If YOU have any good coping ideas for kids who suffer from PTSD, then please write them in the comments section!

Comments warmly welcomed!


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