but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Philippians 3:13
If you have watched the "Niagara Falls" routine of the Three Stooges, or Abbot and Costello, you have seen a comedic rendition of this thinking. A person in normal conversation is suddenly set off by a word or idea that causes them to return to a traumatic event in their lives.
I know two people who are trapped in this behavior pattern. Both revert to childhood experiences and have immature personalities. It is as if they are doomed to repeat, not only the event's memories, but the stage of mind during which it occurred. All forward motion stops as their minds spin their wheels.
One of the troubling aspects of my friends is that they are reluctant to consider new ideas. In one case a lady will accept no new ideas. Conversations with her are about memories from the 1960's. Recently, she confided to a friend that I had slighted her about 40 years ago! Surely, I have upset her more recently than that.
I have not given up on my friends (much as they wish I had). In one case, I suggested that a lady buy a seed starter kit for her daughter who is having a low time. She pretended to consider it for awhile, then declined. My un-gentle tactic: "Don't contact me until you have ordered it." Within minutes she replied that she had.
I figure that there is so much inspiration in watching seeds germinate. It is as if they shout, "We've been seeds long enough, we want to grow!"