memories of war, rape, near-fatal accidents, and collapsing buildings aren’t like other memories. They are kept separate in the mind. I remembered the images from PET scans of PTSD patients and the coloured highlights showing increased blood flow to the right brain and to the limbic and paralimbic areas, the old brain in evolutionary terms, and decreased flow to the left cortical areas, the language sites. Trauma doesn’t appear in words, but in a roar of terror, sometimes with images. Words create the anatomy of a story, but within that story there are openings that can’t be closed.

– Siri Hustvedt, The Sorrows of an American, Sceptre, G.B., 2008, p. 85 [my emphasis in scale]