An unforgettable residency at Adrian College brought “Prisoner of Her Past” to a large audience during a screening on the evening of March 23, 2015. The panel discussion afterward centered on the subject of memory: how to preserve it, how to cope with it. Monique Savage, longtime director of the school’s Counseling Services Center, made a searing point when can young guys take viagra asked by an audience member why patients haunted by PTSD can’t simply take medicine to make the memories go away. “Some people don’t like medicine because it does work,” said Savage, referring to advanced drugs.
“It does take away some of that pain, but that’s the strongest link to one’s past.” To erase that pain and those memories, in other words, is to erase a measure of one’s identity. And that can be unbearable. Scholar Sarah Garibova, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Michigan, discussed her travels to the killing grounds of Eastern Europe, pointing out that there’s much Holocaust research yet to be done there, uncounted memories to be gleaned more than 70 years later.
- Howard Reich