The Fear State
In a fear state (dysregulated), there is a “shutdown” of some of the systems in higher areas of the brain (e.g., cortical). This makes retrieval of previous linear narrative memory inefficient; a common example of this is test anxiety. The content has been stored, but in the moment (e.g., during the test), retrieval is not possible. When the person is regulated, and feeling connected and safe, the stored content is accessible and easier to retrieve.
(Extract from: What Happened To You, Bruce D Perry, MD, PHD)