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#415829 - 11/10/12 12:06 AM Thinking in 3rd Person
Letourski Offline

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who has just started dealing with the sexual abuse he suffered at the age of 4 or 5. In April of 2012 I explained to him that I had been sexually abused, and it triggered him badly. It took him another 4 months to tell me that my story unearthed his repressed memories of abuse.

In our most recent conversation he explained that his T explained to him that he has spent most of life disassociating by thinking and feeling in third person. She encouraged him to draw out his feelings. He said that it was tremendously helpful in that he felt in control of his emotions. For a long time, I recalled memories in third person. In fact, as I type right now I still see the abuse as a separate person. Kind of like I am standing away from where it all took place.

Is there any value in remembering the abuse from a first person perspective? I ask this because I feel it could be really intense and emotionally volatile. It took me awhile to realize that I was sexually abused and that it wasn't something that just happened to me. James deliberately manipulated me, and used me to satisfy his own ends. That took me awhile.

Heal well brothers


Edited by Letourski (11/10/12 12:07 AM)
I am the warrior.

#415830 - 11/10/12 12:19 AM Re: Thinking in 3rd Person [Re: Letourski]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3750
Loc: somewhere in Africa
sort of related:

i can say that something happened - as in an objective statement without a personal pronoun referring to myself - but have a hard time saying that a certain person did a certain thing to me. i always avoid using the words "me," "my" and "mine" when referring to an abuser or perp and what happened.

"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"

#415831 - 11/10/12 12:28 AM Re: Thinking in 3rd Person [Re: Letourski]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA

Sexual abuse at age 4 - 5 often causes Dissociative Identity Disorder. And it can also cause related dissociative disorders such as derealization disorder (loss of a sense of the reality of the events such as seeing one's self from a distance) or depersonalization disorder (loss of sense of who he is). That is probably what has happened to him. He probably has some or all of these. That means for one thing that the emotions are separated from other memories of the events. It is probably a step in healing to be able to remember the abusive events in terms of both the emotions and the visualization and/or hearing of them. Yes it would be upsetting. The dissociation was/is a defense mechanism that kept him alive and functional through csa. He probably needs a T (therapist) to help him work things out. I'm sure your help is already invaluable to him.



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