Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I was talking with T about memories last night. I have very few specific memories of my abuse. Not surprising - I was young when it started. I've read that visual memories might be few due to abuse taking place in the dark. I've also read enough about memory to know that what I do remember as specific incidences could likely be amalgamations of different times.

We've talked about these 4 or 5 incidents more than once, although perhaps we haven't talked through all of the feelings.

I think it would be helpful to remember more, but I really don't see that happening. And for me, it's become easy for me to talk about the memories without feeling anything. It's hard when the story is repeated back to me - I feel it then.

I thought EMDR might be a place to access more of my memories and/or feelings - but that has been postponed for now.

Although I know I've accomplished things in therapy the last two years, it's amazing how the same things circle around over and over again.


  1. I could have written this post except for the part about knowing I've accomplished things in therapy. I also have few memories but they still cause me a lot of pain. I also find I'm avoiding so many things because I've been triggered in those situations in the past year, unfortunately big things so I'm starting to feel completely constrained. I wish I could remember more and I'm afraid to.


  2. I also have very few memories of mine. Believe or not I've haven't really talked to my T about the sexual stuff mostly the physical and emotional abuse. Sometimes because of the lack of memories I question if it really happened.

    I find things in therapy often circle but sometimes each time around brings stronger reactions. Each circle bringing me closer to the core.

  3. Hello OLJ,

    Neuropsychology states that memories of an abusive event are processed differently than a non abusive event. In essence they tend to not go through the processing that other memories do such that they kind of don't get processed.

    This can result in people recalling like a single visual picture or a number of them rather than the memory of the non abusive event as it occured and the surroundings and so forth.

    All human memory is not all that reliable if one is looking for recall of the facts even if people are quite certain what they do remember is just as it happened. And although I don't like saying it, because it kind of is not fair, but recall of traumatic episodes are even more unreliable if one is looking for a factual recall of what happened.

    Of course from a therapuetic point of view this does not matter. What the person thinks are the facts is what is worked with in therapy and resolution can be obtained.


  4. I totally agree about it's always the same things. It sure makes you feel like you're not getting anywhere doesn't it? It does for me.

  5. Di - I hope you feel better about therapy as more time goes by. I know what you mean about not being sure you want to remember more.

    Inamaze - I like that comment - each time coming closer to the core. I agree - it can be frustrating, but revisiting helps with dealing with it I think.

    Tony - yes I have read quite a bit about how memories are laid down and how traumatic memories are different. Your comment "what a person thinks are the facts is what is worked with in therapy and resolution can be obtained" - Ah, if only it were that easy. I know you're not saying it is easy....

    Harriet - I do feel like I've progressed in therapy - I've come to trust my therapist - trust for me is a huge step.