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#70162 - 05/02/06 01:42 AM No Memories - Help!
Healer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 2
Loc: North Carolina
I have a strong or at least moderately strong suscpision that I was sexually abused by my father. As a gay man, I've always felt that my father had unresolved homosexual issues. However, I have no memories of him actually doing anything to me - just a strong suscpision. I have nightmares of someone trying to kill me which I always identify the person as my father and it usually takes place in a bedroom. The only memory of my father is of being in the shower with him when I was a child but I can't recall anything else. I'm working with a therapist who says that it's not really that important that I recall a specific memory however, I feel that I could really give this thing credibility if I had a very specific memory - otherwise I feel like I'm making all this up. If anyone has had repressed memories or has dealt with sexual abuse in the context of repression, I'd greatly appreciate hearing more about it. Thanks.


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#70163 - 05/02/06 05:02 AM Re: No Memories - Help!
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
Healer:

Welcome! I too had repressed memories - in fact, I don't remember much of my childhood before age 12 or 13. I didn't have any glimpse into these events until I saw a psychiatrist who used EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). Everything came flooding back - it was a tremendous and painful experience. I remember being emotionally paralyzed for days. If you ever wanted to consider doing something like this, make SURE that you are seeing a therapist who is well-trained in this process as well as has had LOTS of experience.

However, I tend to agree with your therapist - it is not absolutely necessary to remember these events. My feeling is that the mind only remembers as much as it can handle. That is the very reason that we repress memories - they are too frightening or painful for us to handle, so our brain protects us by neatly wiping out the memories.

ON the positive side of this EMDR, I had originally sought the therapy because of post-traumatic syndrome and frequent night-terrors. My repeating terror was starting to dream that I was in my parent's house. I would always end up in the bedroom and the "tip-off" that signaled a night-terror was in the making was the fact that I was unable to turn on any lights in the house.

Invariably, I would be in a half-awake/half-asleep state during this nightmare, and I would open my eyes and was literally paralyzed from moving. I desperately wanted to get out of bed and actually turn on the lights, but couldn't do so. Then, I would feel a "presence" in the room - it was unbelievably intense evil and was going to kill me.

After the EMDR, I retrieved a memory (still very vague) of my uncle sexually assaulting me when I was 8 years old. After several sessions of EMDR, the night terrors started to become less frequent to the point that I rarely have them anymore. That is the positive side of EMDR.

That series of sessions also brought back additional memories of abuse - it was far from pleasant. I can understand why you want to validate your suspicions, and I must say that these retrieved memories did help to make things "fall into place". It made sense why I gained a tremendous amount of weight after 8 years old, why I developed migraine headaches, and a pre-ulcerous condition.

I hope this has helped you somewhat to answer your question. Again, I cannot caution you enough to make sure that you have a well-trained and certified therapist for EMDR if you choose to go that route. Is it necessary? That is something that only you and your therapist can decide. It can be very scary once you open the "floodgates" of memories.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any further questions or want details on some of the memories that I retrieved.

SD

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#70164 - 05/02/06 10:20 AM Re: No Memories - Help!
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 263
Loc: Europe
It's been a long while since I posted on or even checked this site. I've pretty much worked through what I know about my abuse and I am functioning well. I owe a debt to this site adn would like to participate more fully in the conversations, but life just doesn't allow that right now.

Just the same, sometimes certain issues revisit me, and the biggest one is memory. I wish my memories were clearer, more detailed, and just more.

I want to know how far a particular incident went, but what I remember blacks out at a certain point.

I, too, feel like more memory would give my claims more credibility--especially to me. I still have a sneaking suspicion that I am just crazy and none of the things happened the way I remember.

I'm o.k. I just sometimes wonder whether I'm coping with abuse or insanity.

More memory would answer that question. Folks tell me the important thing is what the memories mean to me and why I feel I need them so much. Whatever. To me if my memories were fuller then I would KNOW what happened and that it happened, even though everybody else in the family says it didn't.

So occasionally I make this plea that if anybody knows how to retrieve those memories, please let me know. But then the responses I get are that the memories may never come back, so it is more constructive to deal with issues as they are. Well, the issue is that I want to remember more because I don't know what I'm making up and what actually happened.
I'm repeating myself. Just want to say thanks for getting me back onto this site.

_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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#70165 - 05/02/06 10:23 AM Re: No Memories - Help!
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 263
Loc: Europe
I feel like I need to add that I am not a gay survivor, but these posts really spoke to me. Maybe they should go to another category. You're call.

_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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#70166 - 05/08/06 10:21 AM Re: No Memories - Help!
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
I want to add that, even though I went through EMDR, much of my life before age 12 is a complete blank. I have others around me who can give specific details of their lives - things they remember in first grade, friends they grew up with, etc.... It's almost as if I didn't exist before a certain age - I only remember small bits and pieces.

The very fact that a person has erased an entire part of their childhood speaks volumes that something horrible happened that is preventing them from remembering.

Those memories that DO appear (IMHO) can be trusted - let's face it - who in their right mind would be able to manufacture some of these scenarios?

From the few things that popped up during my EMDR sessions, I have been able to make sense of what happened in my life. I look at pictures of myself up until age 8 (which is when the abuse happened) and every picture shows a skinny, happy child. After that, the smiles disappear (or are forced) and I blimped out into a fat kid.

I think if we are able to look at the "bigger picture" of our childhoods and piece together what we are able to remember, it may serve to give credence to what happened to us. Does this make sense?

SD

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#70167 - 05/27/06 01:03 PM Re: No Memories - Help!
TexasCowboy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Houston, TX
OMG, what a revelation. For so long I have suspected that I was sexually abused as as child but I have no one to talk with about this experience. I have been in denial because I could not remember who sexually abused me, which I felt was because it was probably my father. There are signs that indicate it must have happened between the 2nd an third grade for several reasons. From the time I was 5 until I was 8 I slept with my father when he was home (he worked offshore in the oil industry and when he was home raised cattle on our ranch) I remember that he would hold me very close to him, but the moment my mother would enter the bedroom he would immediately break off the physical contact. I have no recollection of touching his genitals or vice-versa. I do remember seeking his affection, however. As I am composing this text for the first time since childhood many memories are starting to flush back and both fear and (sigh!) relief simultaneously are filling my head. I wish I could confirm that I was sexually abused as a child; in fact, I feel about 99.9% sure that I was. I just want if it was my father, and if not, by whom. I need to finally move on with my life and go forward, but I have not because of the pain, suffering, inadequacy and torture I have felt for so many, many years. I have never been able to sustain a committed relationship. I have fought my food addiction demons all of my life, using food and sex as my drugs of choice to the point that I can no longer stand either. I need help but do not know where to turn. Above all, I feel a glimmer of hope now that I have found this website and know that I am not alone and that others have also repressed memories of his father taking inappropriate liberties. Where do I go from here?

_________________________
The strongest hearts are sometimes broken,
As the deepest thoughts arent always soken,
and the greatest wounds we hide inside ourselves where they never show

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#70168 - 05/27/06 05:24 PM Re: No Memories - Help!
JAAY Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC
I blocked my abuse until I completed my master's degree at age 32. I remember thinking at the time "now I can take care of myself". My father raped me at about age 6. My father subjected my family to domestic violence and died about 4 years before I recalled the incident. Therapy revealed to me that I was not gay but it has taken me along time to look at emotional scars.

My father hid that he was abusive from the outside world. My mother said he was stict but has no clue that he sexually abusing his kids. She was mistreated and abused by him also. I think the fact that he raped me is secert while I was napping prevented me from recalling it earlier.

I think that finding a good therapist is important. It must be someone that you feel comfortable with because very sensitve issues will come up. This site has a listing of therapist and some guidelines to pick a therapist. I am lucky because I enjoy my job as A teacher. Helping others helps me feel good about myself. One of my own goals is to execise and socialize more!

All the best!
Jaay


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