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#386873 - 02/23/12 12:41 AM Re: From total amnesia to spontaneous recall [Re: Life's A Dream]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6712
Loc: USA
LAD,

It's different with each person. Some never forget and are knowledgeable about their difficult childhoods even in their twenties. I think that's unusual. It's actually a defense mechanism that allows some to forget or have amnesia. Some went through such crazy stuff that they would be ill if they had to remember it all at once.

But to speed up the healing, which is of course justified, maybe several things could be done:

I probably needed some stronger medication. I appeared to my therapists to have everything under control. It wasn't that I was lying, but it was actually my dissociative defense mechanisms that fooled everybody including myself. My therapists somehow needed to lift my mask and to see the pain that was really there. Then that pain had to be handled with care because it was like having an explosive device attached to my vest. I made more rapid progress when I had light hypnosis and EMDR treatments. But talk therapy was essential too because the real me was trapped in a little steel box, or trapped behind an iron mask. I had to make new bridges with the real world.

To try to go too fast can be quite destructive. There is only so much pain that we can bear before we self destruct. It needs to be helped with some skilful therapy. Actually a great limitation I had was simply the lack of money to spend on therapy. Therapy is expensive. Insurance only helped a little bit. I had a family to support. As it was, I lost my job, ostensibly for other reasons but essentially because of the nuttiness of what I went through as a kid. The world around me was basically not supportive to healing. There were a lot of people who would point the finger instead of lend a hand.

Puffer


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#386915 - 02/23/12 10:03 AM Re: From total amnesia to spontaneous recall [Re: Life's A Dream]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3204
Loc: back in the USA
Life’s A Dream:

IMHO you are asking some good questions and are serious about working on recovery.

I’m trying to be systematic about this – so will quote your questions and then try to answer from my perspective. Keep in mind that though you may see points in common with some other people's stories, everyone is different - so you can't expect things to go quite the same way for you as for others...

Q - ** I just want to ask, so there was a period of time when, if somebody asked you if you'd been sexually abused, you would have (in all honesty) said no? It's the period of time when you remember nothing that I'm most interested in. I'm just looking for as much de>
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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#386992 - 02/23/12 10:30 PM Re: From total amnesia to spontaneous recall [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3204
Loc: back in the USA
P. S. - Here's an example of a "work in progress" - a partial memory that just came back to me today.

I was in one of the boy's rest rooms at school and no one else was in there becasue it was during classes. I don't know what triggered it - the smell of pee and disinfectant, the tiled walls, the position of the uninals on the wall, the echoing sound, "a certain slant of light," maybe even partly having thought so much about lost memories to write the post above - but suddenly i had a picture in my mind of the boys room at the middle school i went to. Before this i could not have even told you what it looked like. I lived half a block from school and went home for lunch and tried my best to avoid using the rest rooms at school, but just hold it and wait till i was home. Not that it was a safe place either - but at least there was only one perp there and the step-father was not there all the time.

Anyway - my vision was of part of the wall with urinals, the terrazzo floor, and the corner of one of the stalls with the door partly open, light from a high window reflecting off the floor under the stall partition, and pressure on my back...

That's all. I do wonder what came next, but at this point in my life, it doesn't make me crazy not to know. Maybe more will open up - or not - I'm OK with it either way. I don't have to open every can of pickled beets and taste them to know that i HATE beets. At this point, knowing the whole story of this memory fragment would just be more of the same as before. I know enough from other episodes to try to deal with it the same as the rest.

That said, i can understand how confusing and worrying it is not to remember anything - like you seem to be experiencing. I feel for you. If you can take it a little easier - push yourself less, maybe the decrease in tension will help?

best wishes...
Lee

_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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#387016 - 02/24/12 01:29 AM Re: From total amnesia to spontaneous recall [Re: traveler]
little big man Offline


Registered: 06/19/10
Posts: 106
Loc: nevada
Lee, I dont have clear memories of the pysical molesting that happened to me since most of it happened befire first grade, but i do remeber incestous behaivor. I just trusted my gut after going to an incest survivior meeting out of the blue to see what that was about. I was not aware then that I had been molested. Well the people started coming in and I broke down in sobs. i wongered what that was about. but I knew after that. And I applied that was molested and found it explaied every thing. So I sometimes think I made it up, but I know i did not and my intuition tells me exactly what was done to me. I have known now for 16 yrs.


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#387052 - 02/24/12 08:55 AM Re: From total amnesia to spontaneous recall [Re: Life's A Dream]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
I'm 56 and I still remember nothing. As long as I can remember I've known "something just wasn't right". I agonize sometimes about not remembering. But there have been times I've gotten close, like remembering shadows before one event - and I have a severe panic attack.

For a while I tried to just come to terms with maybe I'd never remember - but that hasn't worked either. Currently I'm in therapy just learning to cope with who I am - if I even know who I am. Memories, if they come, will come when it's time - I suppose.

Probably not exactly what you wanted to hear - but that's my experience.

_________________________
the story
    https://1in6.org/men/bristlecone/mark-krueger/

Kirkridge - October 2008
Alta - September 2012
Alta - September 2013

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#387065 - 02/24/12 10:44 AM Re: From total amnesia to spontaneous recall [Re: Life's A Dream]
Casmir213 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Northeast, USA
Life's A Dream,

There was a period of about 11 years when the memory of my abuse was buried in my unconscious mind. It wasn't until I felt safe (away from home at 19 yrs old) that the memory spontaneously popped into my mind one night when I was lying in bed. During the period of time when I didn't remember it, if asked if I was sexually abuse I would have said no, but I don't think it would have been a willful forcing down of the memory at all. As others have said, it is a defense mechanism to repress those traumatic memories until they can be dealt with or remembered in relative safety (for some, decades later). Once I really began talking about the abuse in detail other forgotten memories came back, but that was only when I had the opportunity to speak with someone who cared about hearing about what happened. Most people don't want to hear the details of what happened, which makes it harder to process the traumatic sexual abuse in my opinion.

Hope this helps.

_________________________
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

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#387295 - 02/25/12 11:59 PM Re: From total amnesia to spontaneous recall [Re: Life's A Dream]
tohui Offline


Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 15
Loc: N Las Vegas NV
im having a form of amnesia, I can recall the event i can see it in my head. what im having problems with is the feelings, what did i feel then. strange thing is that i dont know what love is, I can describe it because I have read about it but i know i have never felt it. I think my head has repressed emotions and parts of the event to mask the pain. what doesnt change is the attitude towards life and others that is left behind. I am suspicious towards everyone and I cant talk to anyone past the age of 14 I always thought this was curious as I read these posts and examine myself It makes sense. i am 36 and my abuse started, from what i know, i was 3 or under. The more you talk about it the more likely it is that the pieces will come together. dont force your mind or it will shut more, let it come out slowly it takes time.


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#387310 - 02/26/12 04:33 AM . [Re: traveler]
Life's A Dream Offline


Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island
.


Edited by Life's A Dream (01/12/13 11:29 PM)

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#387311 - 02/26/12 04:36 AM . [Re: tohui]
Life's A Dream Offline


Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island
.


Edited by Life's A Dream (01/12/13 11:29 PM)

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#387316 - 02/26/12 05:59 AM Re: From total amnesia to spontaneous recall [Re: Life's A Dream]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3204
Loc: back in the USA
Life's a Dream -

Don't worry about causing a memory to surface for me - not a problem. It was probably the location and other sensory details. Even if you did give a nudge, I'm glad it happened. In fact it was a very positive experience to realize that i can now handle not knowing everything. I quote from myself:

***I’m learning to accept what IS – and part of that is not just what happened – but also what I can’t do anything about… I am learning that it is NOT weakness or vulnerability to accept ambiguity or the inability to fix or control or force issues. There is actually strength in embracing the present and even “owning” the unknown.***

Lee

_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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