This is a recent post to a friend on another forum which I've edited a bit & might be helpful for you here, basically just my own experiences with suppression, repression & dissociation of my own abuse memories...
"About your mixed bag of memories: Not only do they make sense, but from what I've experienced, heard & read, its not an unexpected or unusual way for survivors to deal with their abuse.
Only in the last year, when my vivid flashbacks started, have I experienced "total recall" of any major abuse event. Before that everything was like the snapshots, quick blurry pictures with no context to tie them together, tho I have now, at least to a large degree. There were even certain things I would smell or taste or sense that others wouldn't, or that would affect me very differently. Now I know where they're from, if not always the details, which don't seem to matter now.
My flashbacks & snapshots have almost vanished, at least for now; maybe there's nothing more of significance or maybe its buried deep down not ready to come out yet, but neither I nor my T think so. Now I get occasional details of an event I've already put together, usually triggered by seeing or hearing about something related to that detail.
Also before the flashbacks, I had a lot of emotional memories that manifested in things like depression, OCD, relational dysfunction, and of course PTSD. There have been intense body memories that show up in FM & related symptoms.
The effects of these still linger, but I know where they're coming from, which helps me deal with them, treat them, and try to stay & live in the present.
But I suffered overt, sexual abuse from age two or three until ten or eleven. About 35 years after that last abuse event, I had my first abuse flashback--and it was of that last event; others poured out after that, until this spring, and its down to a trickle or even a drip.
So for 35 years I blocked out or suppressed my memories. Or I had them, and its like I knew the little boy they'd happened to, but I never associated them with myself--dissociation. Most of my memories were acutally re-pressed, meaning I pressed them down but the pressure built up and they had to come out, in the body, emotional & sensory memories. And thus in the ways I acted, and reacted, in my life.
Still working on that, a lot--old habits like our survival skills die hard because I needed them so much at the time--but not anymore. They still linger on, but I'm trying to find new ways to act & react, not out of the past but in the present, tho of course I've learned from the past. And I want to use that past to survive, and even thrive, in the present, from day to do.
If you keep things in, they will come out in some way or another, no doubt including undeserved guilt & shame. But those things must become more unbearable than your perceived consequences of just opening up, letting them out, admitting them & talking about them & dealing with them. Until that happens, denial, suppression, repression & dissociation will probably be easier for you.
Less painful? I don't know, and I probably wouldn't even if I did know the details of your situation. Only you can really know & make the call on that. And that's as it should be. Only you can control your own recovery, when, how & how much you let this stuff out."
A few added thots:
If you don't have a good regular T having one might help a lot. The same is true of lots of live and/or online support. Just talking about what you do know can help jar memories loose.
Why? To that question I can rarely find satisfactory answers, especially when it comes to my SA, and certainly there are none that would justify it anyway. That's why my T tells me not to focus on why but what: what happened, what I am doing about it, what I can do about it.
Why did God choose me? I used to ask that question a lot. For me the answer has become simple: God didn't choose me, my perps chose me. And that's something they didn't consult God about, something God hates very much. He doesn't hate me. Took me a long time to even start to come to that. Again, this is my answer, for me.
SA is horrible ugly stuff that people would just as soon not have to acknowledge or deal with. So much easier to sweep it under a rug of lies & deceit, stick their heads in the sands of denial & "blissful" uncaring ignorance. No that doesn't make it right. My SA was always covered up, so I just learned to cover it up myself...
And now we're back to the suppressing, repressing & dissociating of our memories...
Take care ScooterSCS
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."