Our brain is designed to be a kind of anticipation machine.  We are supposed to be able to learn in the present, and from what happened in the past, to prepare for events that lie ahead of us.  It is my belief that among the many brain development changes that happen to abused and severely traumatized infants and young children is a change in how the frontal regions of our later-maturing ‘future thought’ brain abilities form themselves.

Our future thinking is connected to our ability to learn.  It is connected to our ability to anticipate consequences of our own and other people’s actions.  It is connected to our ability to take care of ourselves in the future, to plan and make wise choices and decisions.  I also believe that these abilities are the ones that musicians use because most of them CAN use them so that they can listen to a song and either sing it or play it on an instrument – in the future.

As I struggle through learning to read music and to play keyboard I realize that the severe trauma I experienced through abuse in my infancy and childhood has all but removed the ability from me to be able to listen to a song AND TO REMEMBER IT LONG ENOUGH to be able to play it in my own future.  I can clearly recognize that this lack of future memory ability prevents me from being able to accomplish something that to most musicians is taken as a given.

I do not believe I am in any way less musically talented that other musicians that can do this.  What is missing inside of me is a normally formed ability to remember the future – to remember INTO the future.

Throughout all of my early years of life my own experience of being a little person was interfered with by brutalizing trauma.  My life was continually interrupted.  Every time my own experience of myself in my own life was interfered with by my mother’s abuse DISSOCIATION happened.  These repeated and violent breaks in my own experience formed my early-developing body-brain differently from normal.  My ability to future think was changed.  I experience these changes all of the time.

How do we know, as early trauma survivors, that we are not processing information in the same way that others do who did not suffer what we did?  I am not going to name the ways we know right now.  I am only mentioning this one because I have been stymied by my inability to REMEMBER the music – sometimes even past the split second my fingers hit a key and move onto the next one.  The music is very hard for me to remember in an ongoing way as being a WHOLE song.  This is, I am realizing, not unlike the difficulties I truly have with remembering myself in my whole life as I move on through it.

I went searching online and found some related articles I share here (anything said in these links about astrology is merely anecdotal to this discussion – the abilities to future think are directly built into the early forming human brain – or not).


Mind & Brain / Memory, Emotions, & Decisions

The Brain Memories Are Crucial for Looking Into the Future — Click here to find out more!


Remembering the future: Our brain saves energy by predicting what it will see


Does the brain “Remember The Future?”


Why Do We Remember Bad Things?


Brain Scans Of The Future
Psychologists Use fMRI To Understand Ties Between Memories And The Imagination

July 1, 2007 — “Psychologists have found that thought patterns used to recall the past and imagine the future are strikingly similar. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to show the brain at work, they have observed the same regions activated in a similar pattern whenever a person remembers an event from the past or imagines himself in a future situation. This challenges long-standing beliefs that thoughts about the future develop exclusively in the frontal lobe.”

Remembering your past may go hand-in-hand with envisioning your future! It’s an important link researchers found using high-tech brain scans. It’s answering questions and may one day help those with memory loss.” [Click on title for rest of article and video]


Enchanted Mind – Future Memory

“Time and space are modes by which we think
and not conditions in which we live.”

Albert Einstein

A truly creative mind can remember the future. Though this reads as an oxymoron – true to the wisdom within all paradox – it is possible to remember the future. A book by the same title has been written by a most extraordinary woman, P. M. H. Atwater. She has experienced future memory all of her life. She tells her story so well this book is hard to put down. She also gives all of the relevant science behind this phenomena in a very readable and understandable format.

“Einstein, Bohm, Hawking and other noted physicists, as well as Penrose, Bentov and others on the leading edge of mathematics and cosmology are documented as accepting and promoting this theory.  Their ideas and discoveries are simplified and connected in a very unique way in Future Memory. Ms. Atwater does a superb job of using simple images and simple language to explain complicated physical and mathematical concepts.  She also integrates this with the work of leading philosophers, psychologists, neurophysiologists, and biologists. This work is so comprehensive you will realize no stone was left unturned in revealing the simplicity of how future memory is possible.”


Remembering the past to imagine the future: the prospective brain



  1. There is no way to change the past, obviously, but knowing what I now know at age 60 I look back and truly believe there would have been great power for the betterment of my life if I had somehow known the value of recording the history of my abusive childhood at the time I left home at 18. I say this because I truly believe there is great value in knowing what happened to us instead of wandering through much of our adult life as I did trying to do my best with all the choices that lay in front of me — at the same time I made all of those choices blind as to HOW I was in the world and WHO I was in the world because of what had happened to me.

    Perhaps I would have been able to understand that I had obstacles in front of me — and physiological body-brain changes inside of me — that nearly all of the other people I encountered in my adult life knew nothing about. I would have perhaps understood that I had a great deal to make up for in terms of being kind to myself!

    Along my journey I ended up marrying a good man I was not in love with and who was not in love with me — though I knew nothing of the fact that I had no idea what love even was. I had never felt it before. When I first met this man in the fall of 1971 just after my 20th birthday I evidently cried every day. I only know this because years later he told me so.

    I have no memory of the crying, I suppose, because being sad and crying had always been such a part of my life during my first 18 years it was completely normal to me. Carrying that kind of wounded sadness did not let me begin to know that 99.9% of what is a NORMAL person’s experience of being alive in our culture was completely unknown to me.

    With all the research available today about ‘attachment disorders’ and the permanent physiological body-brain changes to development that infant-child abuse causes I would like to think that as a culture — if we are not yet ready to STOP abuse of little ones, that we can at least find a way to help those who survive and exit their abusive childhoods in their young adult years carrying all those wounds — and not knowing it.

  2. To overpower depression I imagine my past into turning it around into a happy future. During my young adult years I had to block not think at all about my past for everytime I did I would cry uncontrollably. I went through five years of this. I was visiting my great aunt and she told me one day make happy memories now for when you are old memories are all you have left. Well you can read on my blog true story of me in nursing school. The one titled anything worth doing is worth doing well. Sorry I am on my phone. And the comment under was my point in writing that. “If you look back and see sad Memories start making happy ones because the brain will remember the long term memories the older you get. So I myself try my best to remember every happy time during my sad childhood and when recollecting the sadness image a happy outcome from that experience. This exercise over powers depression and keeps me sane in an insane world. The older I get the happier I get.

    • Yes, we DESERVE to be happy — and we have the part to play to make that so, don’t we? Thank you for sharing this! Your blog picture is so bright and lovely!

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