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#61282 - 07/30/04 06:56 PM Repressd Memory?
reesersgrl Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 37
Loc: ny
Hi Everyone. I would like to hear some opinions or thoughts on repressed memory. So many people I talk to are, well....reluctant to believe that my b/f did not realize he was a victim until 23 years after the fact. I do believe it-100%. I was there and saw the look on his face and the trembling of his body when he did remember. It hit him like the perverbial ton of bricks. For the next two weeks or so, he was flooded with memories. One memory would lead to another and another....He said they were coming to him almost as if it were a slide show. Even his own family is doubting, not only the repression, but the sa itself! I truly believe that our minds are designed to protect us until we are capable of dealing. Any thoughts?


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#61283 - 08/01/04 08:24 PM Re: Repressd Memory?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
repressed memory, and recovered memory more so, is a difficult subject.

Far cleverer people than me have attempted to discover the 'truth' of this subject, and the arguments rage on.

My personal view is that we can probably repress memories into a position of denial.
I think that with enough effort we can maybe force ourselves into a state where we 'refuse' to acknowledge the very existance of what happened to us. The memories are still there, but we become adept at pushing them to one side and behaving as though they just don't exist.

But like I say, that's just my ideas on it, my memories remained with me all the time, I just waited 31 years to tell anyone because I was scared of the possible outcome of disclosure.
Since disclosing, and therapy, I don't believe that I have remembered anything extra. But there are memories that have become clearer.

Probably the most famous, and contravertial, expert on recovered memory is Elizabeth Loftus.
It's not easy reading, but it's worth some effort if you really want to get some understanding of memory.

http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#61284 - 08/02/04 11:02 AM Re: Repressd Memory?
Dan88 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
Personally, I think it's a case of semantics. I don't know how much memories are repressed as much as they are ignored. All the hysterical arguing over this issue seems to suggest that there's some magic being performed either by a survivor's mind or by a psychiatrist in reviving memories. To be it's really basic: When you are in a hopeless situation, it makes no sense to dwell on something that can't be fixed. So I think as a defense mechanism we simply push aside the memories and focus on more positive things. In my case, I can't say I ever lost the memory of what happened, but I certainly went for years ignoring it. And when it bubbles to my consciousness, the memories often come with greater detail. But that's usually because something triggered the memory that hadn't struck me before, so I'm remembering the event from a new perspective.

My advice to your boyfriend would be to allow himself to remember as much as he can without struggling to fill in the gaps, if there are any, or getting obsessed with remembering everything immediately. His memory will push out memories that he needs to recall.

As to the doubters in his family, I think we often want to deny unpleasant things. Just because who, after all, wants to deal with this mess especially 20 years later? Much easier to just stick your head in the sand and pretend it never happened. I have experienced this reaction from some people. The fact is, all of us fit into a network of friends, family and associates. Those people tend to like us the way we are. And anytime something emerges that's going to change the way we interact with them, we can expect resistance because we're disturbing their comfort level. Tell him not to sweat it. People who love him will stick with him and the people who only want him in their life for their own selfish convenient reasons will probably fall away. They may choose to stay in denial. That's their problem. It's upsetting in the beginning, but ultimately you learn a lot about who your real friends are.


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#61285 - 08/03/04 07:39 PM Re: Repressd Memory?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Bill
Quote:
My advice to your boyfriend would be to allow himself to remember as much as he can without struggling to fill in the gaps, if there are any, or getting obsessed with remembering everything immediately. His memory will push out memories that he needs to recall.
Ain't that the truth!

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#61286 - 08/05/04 12:59 PM Re: Repressd Memory?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by reesersgrl:
Hi Everyone. I would like to hear some opinions or thoughts on repressed memory. So many people I talk to are, well....reluctant to believe that my b/f did not realize he was a victim until 23 years after the fact. I do believe it-100%. I was there and saw the look on his face and the trembling of his body when he did remember. It hit him like the perverbial ton of bricks. For the next two weeks or so, he was flooded with memories. One memory would lead to another and another....He said they were coming to him almost as if it were a slide show. Even his own family is doubting, not only the repression, but the sa itself! I truly believe that our minds are designed to protect us until we are capable of dealing. Any thoughts?
I would think that in 2004 surely we are in a much more enlightened age than for some people to continue to think that its NOT possible for someone to remember trauma for years or decades after it happened. There's enough psychological research out there that PROVES that the mind DOES INDEED protect us from things we are not able to process until we are in a time when we CAN process it. Those people who are doubting your b/f need to pick up a psychology 101 textbook from any college or university and get educated on how the brain works.

It pisses me off to no end when the whole "so why didnt you come forward right away" defence is used... (the person who handled my fiance's SA case asked him the same question.. one of his memories of his abuse experiences is still a bit hazy 20 years after the fact). I would hope that sooner or later ALL of society will be enlightened enough to realize that the brain indeed does protect us from things we cannot handle until it is safer for us to do so, and its not abnormal for people NOT to remember such trauma until years later!!!!!!

P


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#61288 - 08/07/04 03:47 PM Re: Repressd Memory?
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Dave

thanks for the link, lots of stuff in their and a lot of answers

thanks again

ste

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Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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