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#413322 - 10/16/12 06:54 PM What causes the memories?
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
To the survivors reading the Family and Friends page, what causes the memories? My H says he always sort of knew something happened, but specific memories didn't really come up until later. And I feel like it was when I told my H I was pregnant that things really started to unravel.

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#413324 - 10/16/12 07:04 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
Blue1966 Offline


Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
It can be anything that triggers a suppressed memory to surface. For me it's more religious things than anything else, but just talking can do it as well.

You being pregnant may have got him thinking more on his childhood, and that released the memories. Only your H really knows the answer.

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#413331 - 10/16/12 07:44 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
It can be a certain word or a place or a smell. Whatever trigger it is. I still have not idea of what all happened to me. I know some details but not all. Maybe it is my brains way of protecting me. I don't really think it will help me to know all the details.
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#413339 - 10/16/12 08:04 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3377
Loc: somewhere in Africa
for me - the memories broke through when my defenses were weak. kind of like having a low immune system physically. i was unemployed, running out of savings, had just moved cross-country - so no friends or familiar surroundings, it was winter in a northern climate when i was used to warm southern weather, we had fled an abusive church/cult, had car problems, extended family stresses, pressure to support a wife and 2 kids, etc. physically and emotionally, i was running on empty, stalled and broke down. all my well-constructed defenses shattered and i fell apart, memories overwhelming me like a tsunami.

that was the beginning. at first some memories were partial and others more complete but lacking depth and texture. once i came back from the initial depression, it was like the door would not close again. every once in a while, there would be another monster that slithered through. it was unpredictable. sometimes a sight, sound, or smell would click and i'd be back as a child reliving an event. sometimes i never knew what had brought it on - maybe just a moment of unguarded weakness. but more details have filled in - like puzzle pieces being dropped into place to complete the pictures. the more recent memories have not affected me as seriously as i am learning to cope and manage my own reactions.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#413755 - 10/20/12 01:50 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
FishmanofRI Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 13
For my ex it was when his son turned the age he was when he could begin the memories of abuse ... that was age 3 ... and it went on until he was almost 11. He has memories and it triggered feelings of helplessness. He would zone out - become lost in those thoughts ... I can't imagine it.

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#413777 - 10/20/12 09:38 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
head&heart Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 17
Loc: Chose the hard place--left the...
HiRachelmac

The answer to your question is ...yes, pregnancy does elicit flashbacks,memory return and lots of other inexplicable, possibly dysfunctional responses in survivors. I only perceived this in retrospect because my husband's memory of his abuse did not surface for another 17 years after the birth of our first child. It was a very difficult time and I believe that it was one of those times when it was just possible that his memories could have surfaced but sadly, he was not yet ready. So, be thankful that your husband is beginning to remember because repression is so much worse.
That being said, your prime directive now is the well being of yourself and your baby. Be there for your husband when you can but be aware of your stress levels and apply all your deepest inner resources to nurturing yourself first.
H&H

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#413782 - 10/20/12 10:28 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 598
Loc: VA
One psychologist told me, "children are powerful triggers." My flashbacks started just after we took our 3-y.o. son to his first-ever "pre-kindergarten." We had never entrusted him to someone else before.

Then too, a psychiatrist told me, "Late thirties, early forties... that's when these things tend to emerge." I was 42 when my mental roof fell in.

Another "tipping point" just before my FB's started was having a serious illness for several months (strep pneumonia). The doctors were asking lots of questions about my childhood health, and I didn't know the answers. Also, my breathing was impaired (well, duh!), which reminded me that the perv tried to suffocate me with a pillow.

IOW, many things can set off recall of CSA and other traumas--even things that don't seem connected in any way. Peace.

John

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#413786 - 10/21/12 12:33 AM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: unhappycamper]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6857
Loc: USA
Apparently there is some maturation process going on within the brain that connects the part containing the csa memories with the other parts. I don't really understand it beyond that.

I had a few glimmers which broke through my amnesia.

In college we passed a parked car and I smelled motor oil. That was a trigger because of being abused in a garage. But they didn't come out.

The sight of kids the age I got csa are triggering. My kids got to that age and I was asked to help with the school carnival. Just seeing them caused emotions in me. It was very painful for me and I got really tense and tired. I didn't touch anybody at all. I didn't have a clue why all that was going on inside of me. I tended to just think I was defective. I didn't start to understand what was happening until many years later. But it undoubtedly was the triggering of memories in my own mind.

About 5 years before my memories really emerged I passed a book store. I looked over and there was a book in the window that had a picture of a broken doll with tears streaming down. I had a tearful reaction. I didn't know why.

Puffer

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#413787 - 10/21/12 12:38 AM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
(((((((Puffer))))))))
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#413788 - 10/21/12 01:08 AM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
ShortedDiode Offline


Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 97
Loc: Hamilton, ON Canada
Music is a big one for me. Hearing various songs that I used to listen to around the time of the abuses really does me in. About a month ago I was on vacation, eating dinner with a friend in a restaurant and a song came on and it was a real struggle to keep my composure and not break down right at the table. Does anybody else react to music like this?
_________________________
If it's a choice between laughing or crying, I'd rather laugh.

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