*Phrase I totally stole off Aleks Voinov. He’s welcome.
This idea of tapping into sense-memory came up during a chat we had about Aleks and Rachel Haimowitz’s Break and Enter.
I can’t lie. The story freaked me out. Well, that’s not *entirely* true. It was only a certain aspect which gave me the heebie jeebies and here’s the reason why:
I’ve only just now realised what it was. It was how vivid the imagery was re: the gloves. I could not only see it, but feel it. It made me feel nauseous.
I couldn’t work out why, but taking a step back and thinking about it I now understand it was a reaction to a past memory I have when, as a child, I badly burned one of my hands on an iron. The wrapping, the changes of dressing, the healing process, etc.
Fascinating association, but still freaks me out.
Yep, it definitely does.
It was not long after this that I picked up Jenny (‘The Bloggess’) Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I was having the absolute time of my life reading her story and then…
Her description of what it’s like to have an anxiety attack.
And that was it.
I couldn’t read anything beyond the first couple of lines. It was too real.
So much so that I haven’t been able to open the book again. In fact, as I write this, my heart is pounding at the thought of even attempting to reread this particular section.
As much as I realise it’s not the most rational of responses, it taps into my memories. It reminds me of the thoughts, the feelings and the physical symptoms I had during those experiences.
Two very personal and very intense reactions to two very different books. Interesting, yes?
It made me wonder how many other readers have felt the same thing and so I thought I’d ask. Being nosy and all.
Please only share if you are up to it as such reminders of past events can be extremely vivid and emotional. Something about which I am more than aware.