The Mind Knows Best

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all it’s contents”

–H.P. Lovecraft (The Call of Cthulhu)

This is my favorite quote.  Ever since I read The Call of Cthulhu, it’s stuck with me.  I interpret his meaning to be, that if we recalled everything that we’ve ever seen, done or know…we’d lose our minds.  Madness was such a focal point of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories.

A recurring theme in his stories focuses on a world that stays just outside human perception, and those unlucky fools who glimpse this world in any way, become insane.  The Other Gods and their role in the world are too alien and horrible for the human mind to fathom.  They are the very essence of insanity and horror.  Some things we just shouldn’t know about, if for no other reason than to save our sanity.

As a survivor going through the healing process, I feel like this sometimes.  Whenever I have a flashback, or finally remember in detail a specific memory that I have suppressed.  Sometimes I wish those memories would go right back to the corner of my brain where they came from.  Sometimes uncovering things is too intense to have any benefit whatsoever.  Sometimes I really wonder why in the hell I want to recall the terrible things that happened to me.  I know I can’t stop the memories from coming, but when I dig into my head to actively try to recall certain things, I always wish I hadn’t.  It takes days to recover from sometimes.

It may not be the healthiest thing in the world to not want to remember everything, but it saves my sanity not to.

What am I not remembering?  I have holes in my memory banks, and there’s still a lot of memories that are only partially there.  My husband can tell me story upon story about his childhood.  Books and books of memories.  I have a handful at the most.  I think there’s more abuse there that I don’t remember.

I’ve recalled enough trauma to last me a lifetime already, and I have no idea what the hell else is in there.  I don’t want to remember anything else.  That’s my mind saving my sanity.  That’s my mind having mercy on me.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wordsweneversaid
    Jan 24, 2011 @ 18:42:04


    I read this….

    “I’ve recalled enough trauma to last me a lifetime already, and I have no idea what the hell else is in there. I don’t want to remember anything else. That’s my mind saving my sanity. That’s my mind having mercy on me.”

    I know it.

    I know.

    Lovecraft pretty well captured it in that quote you have shared – the therapists might disagree but holy crap – where the hell were they when it was all going down???!!!

    If I was some kind of Dr. Phil guru/jerk – I would tell you all about all the services and and programs available… blah blah blah

    I’m not.


    When it all comes oozing back in…?


    Someone will read.

    Someone will read and recognize.

    Someone will read and KNOW that they are not alone.

    What else is there to do?

    Just be you.



    • insaneheart09
      Jan 24, 2011 @ 20:53:40

      Thank you so much for this. It’s a relief to know that I’m not alone. I know what therapy tells you, but I also know some of the scary places I’ve been. I don’t see the harm in not remembering all of it.


  2. DarkSouls
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 17:50:14

    My therapist says I will remember the parts I *need* to remember- as I need to remember them. Not all of it- just what I have to, when I have to. That brings me some measure of cold comfort.


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