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Your thoughts...?

Posted by Szilvia , 05 August 2012 · 174 views

I'm reading through the debate of "repressed memories" with regard to child sexual abuse. I remember some things, but not all. I can feel myself blocking the memories.

What is your take on repressed memories? Please, I need input for my own peace of mind.

Thanks. Take care.

Hi Szil

I trust my repressed memories, I also have memories that I didn't repress so maybe it's easier for me (last one from CSA from when I was older). Also look for reference points, if there is some most likely it happened. I feel they are true as well, not like a day dream or something like that.

Take care

Aug 05 2012 09:42 AM
I don't think I have a position on that debate as a whole, but I know reading about all that can really make you doubt yourself an feel uncertain. Assuming you haven't been pressured into remembering anything, either by obsessing on your own or by a therapist who pushes too hard or by some other means, the best thing to do in my opinion is to trust yourself. It doesn't seem that strange or controversial to me that you would remember more detail about an experience as you let yourself think about it and process it, but I guess that whole debate is so heated that everything becomes more controversial if you look at it in that context.

I read an entire academic paper on whether traumatic memories are "special," aka stored or processed differently from normal memories, that was available online the other night. It made me feel like an absolute crazy person, or someone who makes too much out of nothing, to read 10 pages of arguments by respected academics who make their lives out of studying these things, stating that there's no evidence that a traumatic memory is any different from a regular one. You're not alone in this.
believe your memories and trust your feelings behind them. When I remembered my childhood assualt I didn't expect it. I wasn't even looking for it. Actually I had given up try to figure it out. When it flooded back I was floored for a couple of days. I cried and my whole body trembled (violently), I still have tremors. maybe you could save the acedemic material for a little later. I read Courage to heal and the last section is about that battle and they suggest to only read it when your up to the debate. so i'm waiting. I also have the Trauma Myth by Clancy which I'm going to wait a while to read. i'm working on me right now.
Thank you. I have many memories. My therapist does not push or pry. She has a lot of experience with sexual abuse patients. It just makes me feel bad.

take care,
Aug 07 2012 09:15 AM
You're welcome, Szil. Just to give additional perspective on my post above, the vast majority of what I remember I have always remembered. It's just that the memories feel so different from my memories of anything else that the suggestion that they are really just the same and it's just the media or therapists or whomever making traumatic memory out to be a real "thing" just makes me feel insane *anyway*. Your therapist sounds great, and I'm glad you have her. You have nothing to feel bad over, and it wouldn't be wrong to stay away from the whole "debate" aspect of this until you're feeling a little steadier, if that would help.

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