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Old 02-19-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
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Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

Hi! Thanks for reading. I'm just looking for opinions and honestly, I needed a place to write some of this out.

Lately, I have been suffering from intense emotional pain to the point where I feel like I'm going to have a breakdown. In talking to my husband about it, I was able to identify feelings of shame, guilt, helplessness and anger. However, I cannot identify the cause. Since talking to him, I have tried to be more open to the feelings and I realize that I really can't remember a time when I did not feel them to some extent.

So I am attempting to discover the cause of feeling ashamed, hoping that will lead me to making more discoveries and ultimately effect some healing.

I have no recall of being sexually abused as a child, but because of the following, I have wondered, now and again in as an adult, if it may have happened.
  • When 5 or 6 I complained to my mom that it "hurt where I go to the bathroom." When recalling this later in life, I thought it was probably a UTI, but I can't be sure.
  • At about 7 years old I had sexual thoughts (although I didn't recognize them as such, of course) of my younger female cousin unclothed. These thoughts did not continue after I began squelching them
  • At 9 I had an "icky" feeling when my dad carried me up to bed after I had fallen asleep. I never have been able to explain it. It was never repeated.
  • At 11 an uncle of mine (most likely culprit if something had happened) insisted I sit next to him and hold hands out of the sight of the other adults (but not my older cousins, who teased my uncle but I felt bad and wanted to escape)
  • At 12 this same uncle kissed me on the lips (out of sight of anyone), and was upset when I didn't like it.
  • On my wedding night (first intercourse) I wasn't "intact" However this may have happened during a brief encounter with my previous boyfriend (fingers, not organ).
  • Intercourse has always been very painful, despite the doctors being unable to find a physical reason for it.
There are a few other things that have come to mind as I have been pondering the possibility, but they are even more flimsy than the facts given above (violent reaction to tickling, inexplicable anger when someone is in my way physically).

Can't afford a therapist to delve further, but I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. I have a great respect for the survivors of the sufferings I have read here, so I was almost embarrassed to post. But I needed to.Thanks

Last edited by Nomrena; 02-21-2012 at 05:30 AM. Reason: changed "violent reaction to teasing" to "tickling" (not too happy with teasing either, but have never broken bones over it)

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

I am a survivor of severe child abuse, including sexual abuse by some 15 molesters. I had no idea of any of this until age 35 when I began to remember. However, I did it with the help of a therapist.

However, I also had a 19 year span when I continued to recover memories without a therapist so I know a bit about it.

Memories will come back only when the psyche feels that you are safe enough to remember. Like you, I had an armload of things that I did notice(many like yours) but I also had x-rays of fractures I never remembered getting. So I knew SOMETHING did happen. But if you allow yourself to try guessing, you'll muddy the process.

Concentrate on feeling safe and find that safe person for you to go to when you do remember....be it your husband or a friend or a pastor. You need a safe person who will make sure you don't do anything to yourself if and when you do remember. Many react to repressed memories with suicidal thoughts and that is the fastest way to shut it down. You and your safe person must keep remembering that you already survived whatever and that you are now safe.

And then you wait. It may come as a flashback where you suddenly see something happening to you. But it may be partial so you wait for it to fill out. Scary but harmless. May give you a panic attack(part of PTSD) but that is normal...relax..you are safe. Or it may come back as a nightmare...if you wake up...try to write down as much as you remember.

Repressed memories tend to not be complete so take what you can get and then wait for more to come. In my experience with years of this, they tend to change as you accept what you've already remembered. An example of this is an act of molestation that you initially remember may turn out to be a close call when later remembered in full. So avoid confronting people on your memories.

This can be a life long thing. I am still remembering at age 60. As my granddaughter grows up, my psyche is seeing me at her age and letting me remember what happened to me at that age. I got a small amount with my own daughter but I am getting major memories back with my granddaughter. My brain feels so much safer the older I get.

Good luck and I'm here if you have questions or need a shoulder.

hugs.......Jenny

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

Hi Normarena. I just want you to know that you're being heard and someone will be along soon to maybe help you.

It sounds like you were sexually abused as a child and the memories are coming out now. I was sexually abused by a family member and it came out when I was 24.

There are therapists who work on a sliding scale and you could probably see one for a very small fee.

I hope everything works out well for you

~Belle~

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

I never thought writing my thoughts down would make me feel better but I was wrong.

Journaling has helped me more than I can tell.

~Belle~

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:12 PM   #5
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

Thanks Jenny! Finding a safe place sounds very right. Also not guessing or speculating but just allowing the memories to surface makes sense.

In addition to my intense feelings of shame, I also have a serious fear of confrontation in any form, sometime to the point where it is paralyzing. It's an interesting insight: to the rest of the world I function fairly normally. Makes me wonder what other people are going through that I have no clue about. And we wonder why people do and say strange things. Goodness knows what they have had to deal with.

Thanks so much for responding and the good advice.

 
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:52 AM   #6
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

Belle, thank you for your posts and assurances. I tried to reply a few days ago but I haven't quite figured out how the posting works so I wasn't sure if it made it through.

 
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:16 AM   #7
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

Wow, the tickling thing really jumped out at me. I still cant talk too much but wabted to read what you have to say because I have been having horrid nightmares each night waking up screaming! In my dream there is a dark shadow of a big man and he is gonna hurt me. I about had a heart attack the other night when my husband was getting up to use the bathroom, it wojke me out of the dream and as I was partially awake, I thought he was the shadow. I have other things to. It is in your gut. Chronic pain fibro sufferer. Constant uti and bed wetting as a kid and sometimes even now.The tickling thing really got my attention. It sounds like a symptom od ptsd. I was diagnosed with that. I go to bed with hidden weapons all around me.I have a hammer, stun gun etc.. They say that is being hypervigilat. I am very aware of my surroundings and very intutive. I am a loner and have no friends and do not trust peiople. I have noticed others suffering with childhood trauma have some of these characteristics also. I have been an under achiever and just afraid of life hiding away my whole entire life. So sorry you are going through this. I wonder what is worse recovering the trauma or keeping the symptoms. I rock and chant when I start to think about the subject or piece together symptoms. ... "dont think, dont think" over and over again. I realized that is not normal.I also had a "icky" feeling that a uncle who was taking us out to the theater (intuitive) was gonna do as in my child mind described, "icky sex stuff". I was around nine or ten. Why would I think that and worrry about that.I also have the worst memory ever! I only have a few childhood memories, very foggy. It is almost that I have had no childhood at all.Take care.

 
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:21 PM   #8
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

MinnesotaLady--hugs to you! Thanks for posting. I know what you mean about the fear of discovering the truth vs. living with the symptoms. I'm still looking for my safe place where no matter what is revealed, I'll be able to handle it.

Truthfully, I'm not completely convinced that something did happen. I can find answers, however lame, for almost all my memories and feelings. I don't know if they are the real answers or not.

Little things have resurfaced in my memory that I haven't thought about in ages. Nothing new, though, that I had never remembered previously.

Yeah, the tickling thing is odd. I have three older brothers and they used to tickle me and my two younger brothers. Not mercilessly. I don't remember ever being freaked out by it. But when my husband tickled me (and I hadn't been tickled for years and years, all of us having grown out of it I guess), I completely lost control and reacted so violently that I broke his finger. On another occasion I kicked him and put a knot in his leg. Needless to say, he doesn't tickle me anymore . I've always just figured that it was a result of having been tickled by my brothers--but my reaction was a shock even to me.

Last edited by Nomrena; 03-16-2012 at 03:54 PM.

 
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:00 PM   #9
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

Hello Nomrena,

There are things in my past that I can't seem to remember and my parents weren't any help in assisting me to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

I have certain scars and burns on my body that I can't recall their origin and was told I drank turpentine at a young age.

Some things just don't add up and I know that my psyche is protecting me from these horrors as a means of coping with the day to day.

The only thing for me though,since my motor vehicle accident of 2005,the flood gates have seemed to open and it sort of concerns me what will next be revealed.

It's not easy;not by a long shot.

Sincerely
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:44 PM   #10
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

I am new to the board here, but I can relate so much to your post. I have had many body flashes but no memories of specific abuse at all. Yet I have claimed that I was sexually abused by my father and part of me is saying I made it up. My family of origin also says I made it up, that I always was an expert at story telling. Even 7 yrs of counselling (altho very helpful in many ways) have not unlocked cognitive memories, yet.....!!

 
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:22 AM   #11
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Re: Possible repressed memories, seeking opinions

I can relate too. All my life I have hated a photo that hug on my parents wall, in it I am scowling. Because of the look on my face my family has pointed that photo out time and time again to all that enter the house and every time I felt all these feelings overwhelm me, pain, hate, anger, fear, sadness exc... And I had no idea why but felt sham, sadness and like there was something wrong with me for feeling these things. Then one day out of no were I remembered what had happened to me right before the photo.
Your body remembers the truth and your brain can confuse it

 
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