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False Memory Syndrome


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You can absolutely repress memories of CSA. I'm living proof of this, you see, I had complete amnesia of my trauma that had happened when I was 8 years old at school. However I had all the symptoms of abuse I just didn't realise it until 4 months ago. I went looking for help for phobias; social phobia, erotophobia (this one speaks volumes), Mottephobia and other anxiety related problems. I hunted high and low on the internet looking for therapy, that's when I bumped into Pure hypnoanalysis and booked myself in. I have been treated by a lovely therapist who helped me uncover my memories so that I can begin healing of these phobias and distress I have been living with for 22 years. I still feel really bad but I now know why, all those phobias are triggers to my abusive past.

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I was misdiagnosed with bipolar in 1986. I had flashbackas of being molested by a grandfather and was told it was a delusion and recieved a bipolar dx...flashbacks happened again in 1991 and I got a referral to a shrink who specialized in PTSD and she changed my dx to PTSD accurately. I received the misdiagnosis of bipolar in 2002 again during a hospitalizaiton but managed to keep the PTSD dx miraculously. I do not consider myself bipolar. I had a bad break last year with 2 hospitalizations and spent a year in therapy with my clinic's PTSD therapist. It's all we did..PTSD recovery work. Now they put me with a therapist for bipolar....but I do not agree with the diagnosis...I have gone to that clinic for 9 years. When I was released form the hospital last year, the last hospitalization, as the first, was after many PTSD flashbacks of a childhood I surpressed, my psych nurse insinuated my memories were delusions.

I trust the lady to do my meds. It matters to me that my reality is not ackonwledge. They are denying me my truth. I have been on disability since 2007. I would like to heal and get on with life...but cannot because my present therapsit will not acknowledge the memories I have had. He has told mek, when I asked to be with a therapist for PTSD, that the clinic feels if I go back and work on past memories that I will decompensate and be hospitalized again. What I have remembered is being ingored. I am being told to move on. I am being told to volunteer here and there...I am being told Im FINE when I am not.

Should I change clinics. basically, I am being accused of false memories? Of lying? Of being a delusional person when finally after all these years I have finally recalled what causes me my mental illness??

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  • 2 months later...
soulconstance

Thanks for posting this.

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  • 11 months later...
SynergyMind01

Can't say thank you enough for this thread. I plan to expand on my story here at some point...

This thread means a lot to me. I can relate A LOT to the things people are saying here

Questioning what's "real"

Misdiagnosis

Frustration

Thank you very much.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for sharing everyone.

Like many of you, I've had repressed memories from my childhood.

This is still a contentious debate in academia...I was sitting in a Psychology class a couple of years ago on this very topic at my country's top research university. Although it presented both sides of the argument (repressed memories real vs repressed memories are made up by people with some sort of vendetta or attention-seeking problem) , we were strongly encouraged to believe that they're false.

I think everyone was convinced except me. A few years before that I got a confessional email from my oldest friend, who had been in therapy trying to deal with what she'd done to me as a child. Instantly it all came flooding back. Every single detail. Wow...and that's something I have never ever articulated before

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LavenderFairy

Thanks for this thread. I only remembered parts of my abuse until I was 26, sober and no longer in contact with my abusers. I had to be safe enough to remember it all.

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  • 7 months later...

Thank you for such helpful information. It's good that repressed memories and recovered memories are scientifically acknowledged. It helps me feel more sane as I recover from things that happened decades ago...

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  • 3 months later...

Dear god, I was a witness then was brainwashed - I learned that proseltysing occurs over the allegation "oh, youre just crazy".

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  • 2 months later...

Hello, I'm not sure if this is the right thread so I apologise if it's not. I'd be grateful for any advice.

So my main problem is I’m not sure if I was molested. I’m 22 years old man and throughout my whole life I’ve had symptoms characteristic for people who were abused in the early childhood. I can’t recall it consciously but I’ve always been uncomfortable with people touching me, felt ashamed of my body and constantly dirty and felt the need to touch my genitals as if something ‘felt wrong’ there, also when I hit puberty I was turned on by rape abuse scenes and I had sick thoughts about it , I’ve had trouble making friends and always felt not good enough I was bullied because I wasn’t good at sport due to the fact that I was always kind of living ‘in a dream’ I couldn’t concentrate and was often sleepy. I also had a hard time accepting the fact that I’m gay. I have OCD as well. I suspect the person who did this to me was my father because I’ve always had strange resentment and physical fear of him touching me even though he never hit me and was rarely angry. I also felt that he was much more interested in my personal life than my sister’s. At first I thought that it was simply the ‘male descendant’ of the name thing but it was very creepy (also towards my male friends) throughout my whole life. How can I know for sure? The thing is this isn’t only about me because was triggered me to talk was the fact that my sister recently gave birth to a son and I felt the strong need to protect him from any possible threat. I’ve been to psychologist and she pretty much ignored the problem and told me this might be my OCD but I’ve had this feeling for a longer time than OCD. I’ve told my mother and sister but they are more worried about people talking about it than the real problem here. I also fear that I'll become a pedophile myself, because sometimes when I 'm down and thinking about it I get these sick obsessive unwanted thoughts about naked children, including my nephew and me molesting them and as much as I hate it they are causing some unwanted sexual tension in me. Is it normal for people who were molested to thave such thoughts? And what is the best way to find out if this really happened to me in the past? Hypnosis, going to psychic? I'll add that I live in the country in middle Europe that is not comfortable with these issues and most therapists prefer to turn their eyes from the problem as the one I mentioned before. I'm sorry for any mistakes as English is not my first language. Thank you in advance for any help.

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When I was 22, I could have written your exact words above. I KNEW something was wrong. But I had no surface knowledge of what it was that was wrong. Throughout my childhood and into my mid twenties I did things (self mutilation, drugs and alcohol) to help myself forget the abuse and keep the memories down. When I went to therapists they could not talk to me about sexual abuse, I think out of fear that they could be sued for making suggestions and creating false memories. So they would ask if I had been molested as a child. And when I said that I didn't know and I couldn't remember, they would drop it.

When I was 30, I had my first child, a daughter. And the memories started returning. I didn't understand that I was triggered at the time. At first I thought that there was something wrong with me. That I wanted to hurt my daughter. But I really didn't. Now that many more memories have returned over the last 5 years, I understand that the images and "fantasies" I was seeing that were making me feel sick, were flashes of images of close up images of things that my father had done to me.Taking care of my daughter, wanting to protect her, having years of sobriety and being free of self harm, all combined enabled me to allow myself to remember again.

I do not know and I cannot say if you were molested or not. But I do know that your story is very similar to what I experienced. I hope that you will be able to change your status to "survivor" so that you can get more support here. There are many others with experiences similar to you but you'll need to change your status to see them.

And your English was perfect!

Hypnosis and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) can help people remember, but be prepared to face a lot of people who will say that the memories are not real if you did something to "recover" the memories, instead of allowing the memories to return on their own. My memories returned on their own, without hypnosis, without a therapist, slowly over the course of several years, but most of my family still does not believe me. I told them because I wanted to protect my cousin's children. They were frequently left alone with my father. But it took years before my cousins started believing me and even now they still allow my father to see their children during holidays.

If you need support, please feel free to send me a private message. Take care.

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How scandal and cover up at work? I've seen news behind the scenes - silenced and sequestered.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Religion and abuses of it can make the experience a lot worse. Never doubt abuse.

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  • 10 months later...

Again this is amazing information from this site I'm lying or this really did not happen, or it was not that bad because I can't remember it all has been somethings I have told myself for years.

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It’s not a question if I forgot it or repressed it because I remember everything. I just went numb and never talked about it. I tried so hard to forget it and wish I’d had. It was always just beneath the other memories; I just would never let them out. I don’t feel any of my memories are faked or made up just because they happened when I was three and four. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to.

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Well, I'm a survivor of rape, not CSA, I was twenty-two. I had a host of false memories connected with my being beaten and raped. So, false memories aren't just associated with children. I was twenty-two years old. For fifty years, I believed that I had escaped and stood screaming, naked one the top of the staircase. This humiliated me because I thought the world saw me.

Within the past year, I reconnected with my boyfriend who found me. What he told me was that he found me sobbing, in the dark still in the room. As soon as he said that, I knew he was right. Why did I mis remember? I have no idea.

I did some research and the research said that when under threat, your hypothalamus comes into play, cortisol is released as are a lot of enzymes, hormones etc., all trying to help survive and they are al competing and causing false memories.

That is why it is so hard to prosecute a rapist because the victim often remembers out of sequence of creates false memories.

Anyway, it is all quite interesting.

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  • 1 year later...

Well it looks like this is an old topic, but I am glad to have read it.  I am just starting to remember/ have flashbacks of abuse from my childhood.  Until now, all I knew was that when I was 16 I had a crisis, like just could not tolerate life and I tried to kill myself.  I ended up going to counseling and my psychologist after several sessions just blurted out "you were abused, weren't you"  Just like that.  I can still remember the words and the sting that came with them and couldn't understand why but I didn't deny it.  It felt like she had slapped me across the face!  However, I couldn't remember anything specifically.  So they used a chemical to hypnotize me, and they said I said it was my uncle, and apparently was able to give details, but I was able to choose to remember or to forget, so I forgot.  I was 16. I had a terrible support system, to the point that the psychologist was seriously considering fostering me.  But I had sisters I didn't want to leave, not that I could talk to them, but I thought it would be hard on my younger sister.  Well anyway, for years I was not sure if they were real.  I had times that I was absolutely convinced that they were made up!  And then recently, I mean like 1-2 weeks ago, I had my first real flashback.  Wholly cow, it was vivid and so upsetting.  Then last night another one.  Now I'm sure.  Now I also believe there were 3 men, not just 1.  One was family and was repeated, the other 2 were like 1 or 2 times each.  But I am fairly sure there were 3.  Regardless.  I am 40 years old, finally after all these years its bubbling up inside me and coming to the light.  I always felt like there was a doorway in my mind, that I kept tight under lock and key terrified of what was inside.  This is what is inside.  So I'm finally opening that door.  And its terrifying.  I'm terrified about what will be behind the door.  I'm afraid it will ruin me.  That I will become undone.  This is scary!  My husband says that its a good thing, that it will help me to recover.  I want to believe him but it doesn't feel good.  I'm scared.  But at least i know I am not a liar, I know I didn't shun the man who did this for no reason.  Thanks so much for this topic, it has helped me feel like I'm not the only one.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest It took 20 years

I always felt different. Afraid. Out of place. Fragile. 

I remember my first psychologist asking if I was sexually assaulted after hearing me babble for 30 minutes. I told her about an incident that happened when I was 15. That was closer to be consensual than rape, but it was still wrong. 

 

Three years later, after reading books based on sexual abuse and seeing friends interact with their families. . . I realized my upbringing wasn't normal. The person whom I trusted most. The person who raised me and loved me more than anyone I know, was my rapist. She was my grandmother. The puzzle started to come together...I remember waking up bare naked on her bed, French kissing, being "petted". I haven't seen a therapist after my self discovery...I still don't know how to verbally communicate about my problems to a stranger. My friends will listen to my story but there isn't much they can do or say.

 

I spend hours stuck in my head wondering "why". Was it for power over me? I lived in a daze for 25 years under my grandmother's thumb. My mother is schizophrenic...my grandmother will use my mother too as a way to get under my skin. 

 

This woman...who has had a hard life...I pity her. Not enough to justify what she has done. Not enough for me to not hate her. I never imagined leaving her side because I had anxiety that she might die and I wouldn't be around to say goodbye. But I moved out...my rage was growing. 

 

I'm still working through the rage five months later. I'm not suicidal but I'm angry at my parents for allowing me to be born. I'm so unhappy with the life I was given I refuse to have any children. I don't want any child to have to live like I have lived. 

 

I don't know if my story counts as amnesia or ignorance. I always had memories of the kisses and the petting...but it didn't occur to me as being wrong until adulthood. 

Reading stories of others' sexual abuse disgusts me and I wish there was a way to stop it all. I'm in a prison. I know that all victims are. 

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  • 2 months later...
Guest SickGirl

I have been struggling with whether or not I want to try to delve deeper into my subconscious to fill in the blanks. I feel like I remember enough already for it to be effecting my life, and I doubt that understanding more detail would benefit me and I fear that stewing on these memories longer and with more detail would end up causing a relapse.

Besides the emotional/mental risk, everything that has happened, has well passed the statute of limitations- as well as the fact that I have no proof, so it wouldn't help me that way. Sometimes I feel it might be better for me to just let myself forget those things, as long as I'm still moving forward in my overall healing process.

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  • 2 months later...

So profound to read another's words yet feel like they could be my own. I always remembered it happened but not the specifics. I've always had nightmares but as me being an observer to the horrors. I always tried to pretend it was someone else's life.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest hopelessdreamer15

Reading this has given me much needed relief that I needed today. This is my first time reaching out, and I have to be honest I'm terrified to even need this group. Is that crazy? I didn't think it was real, I thought it was just bad dreams these past few years but then I felt his touch on my skin and I got flashes of it. I kept telling myself that it wasn't real, but now I'm this emotional erratic mess. My anxiety is through the roof and I can't seem to ever stop crying, and I finally admitted to my parents and one told me I lied. After all, he's my brother, the one who was suppose to protect and love me. Why would he do that? My dad told me to just suck it up and get over it, because it's not like he could do anything if I couldn't even recall the full details of it all. Part of me wishes I could forget again, to be oblivious but then there is this other part of me that feels I deserve to know exactly what he did to me... I need answers for my sanity. I feel broken, used. I have a right to know..

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  • 4 weeks later...

T.

I had a trigger today about an encounter with a family friend's son. I too struggle with wondering if what I remember truly happened. I didn't remember it at all until my late teens when I shook his hand in a public space. I don't remember how old I was when it happened, I just seen to remember babysitting. Soon after that this memory came to my head and has not left or changed in it's re-play. I've asked my mom about him babysitting. At first she said he was never asked to babysit. More recently she says she can't remember asking him, neither can dad. I saw his step mother today and since I've seen her I have been distracted with the memory playing over and over, I can't sleep. I'm constantly asking if it's real... what do you do? Go up and ask him if he raped me? I briefly spoke to a therapist about it, she said with my survival mechanisms like not sleeping with my back to my door, all doors closed, and the recurring account- that it's probably true... but still it's a probably. This memory pops up every once in a while and derails me a bit. It's nice to read that I'm not the only one who feels crazy or like I'm making it up. 

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Dazed & Confused

Thank you for this thread is all I can say! For years, I have been struggling feeling like I didn't remember things correctly or I was being dramatic when I told my story and it didn't happen like I remember. Knowing, that I am not the only one in this situation honestly, took a load off my shoulder especially considering the person who abused me was a family member and the situation destroyed my family. Spending years feeling like you destroyed your family over nothing, but closing your eyes and seeing and feeling my abuse to vividly has left me dazed & confused for so long! so THANK YOU!

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