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#241510 - 07/31/08 09:06 AM Memories - True or False?
LW1527 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
Last Tuesday morning I had a session with my T that brought hidden memories in part back to the present. Obvious these were not plesent memories either. I wondered yesterday how I know if these memories are true and not some distorted piece of imagination. And this is what I came up with:

If they are true, I wouldn't feel the body sensations that went with it. I wouldn't feel extremely numb, like in shock. I wouldn't feel like I was there reliving it. I wouldn't get stronger afterwards.

If they were false, I don't think I would feel anything. I think only my brain would think it was true.

What do you think?

Lance


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#241514 - 07/31/08 09:56 AM Re: Memories - True or False? [Re: LW1527]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Hi Lance,

It's a really good question you're asking.

True or false, you can re-traumatize yourself so that you feel all the body sensations that go with it. So I don't agree that just because you feel all the feelings, that the feelings are about the newly remembered event. Sometimes we can imagine so fully that our body takes over and inserts other feelings that would sensibly go along with it.

At this stage, it's possible the memories are true, it's also possible they are false.

Be very careful in reconstructing memory around these events.

It is often the case that confabulation happens. I don't mean to deny your experience, but I just wanted to add these cautions.

I think what I'd look for in newly remembered memories is this: I'd look for details in the memories that specified a place and a time.

Here's a mind bender: Who cares if they're true or false?

Even if they're imaginings, they should be dealt with and understood because they are symbols of conflict. And if they're real memories, they still need to be dealt with and understood because they symbolize conflict.

Freud came up with a theory called the 'Seduction theory' which is quite intriguing reading - see Wikipedia for example. And later, he abandoned the seduction theory completely. You might spend a few minutes and get a feel for the controversy. Freud was addressing exactly the same issue you are facing. Like Freud or hate him, the Seduction theory and it's rejection are core psychiatric perspectives on the issue you face. And by the way, Freud might have abandoned the Seduction Theory because it could hurt his career. Food for thought.

Yeah yeah Freud sucks yada yada heard it all before yada yada



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/31/08 03:12 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#241515 - 07/31/08 09:58 AM Re: Memories - True or False? [Re: LW1527]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Hi, Lance Ė

I donít know if this will help or not, but the issue of memory is something Iíve struggled with for many years Ė Years ago, I came up with a bunch of memories, some in therapy, but mostly on my own, which I seriously doubt now. And they did me and people I cared about a lot of damage when I turned them into an accusation.

The basic sense I had, that I had been abused, and that I was still badly hurt today, was true. But when I tried to force the feelings into a complete story, I think I went wrong, and mainly because I wasnít comfortable with just knowing that I was hurt. I needed a horror story to justify the feeling. I didnít ďmake anything upĒ deliberately, but I didnít do enough reality-checking.

I donít think thereís any easy guide to ďtruthĒ in memories Ė physical sensations can be produced from a nightmare, or a movie, or an intense daydream. Iím NOT saying I donít believe yours are true, or that Iím sure they are, Iím just saying the facts of recovered memories are much harder to get to.

The good news is that it may not matter that much. Unless weíre trying to put together an accusation or a case, we donít need the whole story before we can work with the pain and strengths we have. Thereís even a point at which the quest for facts, the inner detective work, can be a distraction. The people here who have hazy, uncertain memories are dealing with the same issues, the same struggles as the people who know exactly what happened.

My struggle now is to come to terms with the fact that Iíll never knowÖparts of my childhood are like a tape thatís been recorded and re-recorded so many times, the original sound is lost.

Anyway, just offering this as something Iíve been through. Again, itís not meant to invalidate your experience or your memories.

David


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#241523 - 07/31/08 11:33 AM Re: Memories - True or False? [Re: MemoryVault]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Oh and another thing you can do Lance is try out Google Scholar.

Just plug in "childhood memory trauma" and there are many articles in the form of 'abstracts' that you can leaf through to get an idea for the complexity of the topic.

Abstracts are easy to read and not cumbersome. They can give you leads and some insights.

_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#241540 - 07/31/08 01:22 PM Re: Memories - True or False? [Re: hogan_dawg]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
I found this site, by Jim Hopper, really helpful for thinking about memory issues -- it also has great resources:

http://www.jimhopper.com/memory/


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#241541 - 07/31/08 01:33 PM Re: Memories - True or False? [Re: hogan_dawg]
LW1527 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
Fantasic insights, guys. This really helps me a lot. I guess it doesn't make a lot of difference whether the memories are true or not since the brain thinks it's true, right?

There's more stuff I'd like to say, but I'm relucant at this time. Thanks!

Lance


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