repressed memories

Questions and discussion about sexual or other abuse or assault, and support and help for survivors.
Forum rules
This area of the boards is expressly for support and help for those who are currently in or have survived abuse or assault. It is also for those seeking information or discussion about abuse or assault. Please make every effort in this space to be supportive and sensitive. Posts in this area may or do describe abuse or assault explicitly.

This area of the boards is also not an area where those who are themselves abusing anyone or who have abused or assaulted someone may post about doing that or seek support. We are not qualified to provide that kind of help, and that also would make a space like this feel profoundly unsafe for those who are being or who have been abused. If you have both been abused and are abusing, we can only discuss harm done to you: we cannot discuss you yourself doing harm to others. If you are someone engaging in abuse who would like help, you can start by seeking out a mental healthcare provider.
lb07
not a newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2023 10:31 pm
Age: 16
Awesomeness Quotient: uuh...
Pronouns: He/They
Sexual identity: bi???
Location: wisconsin

repressed memories

Unread post by lb07 »

hi
so, i don’t know if y’all can help me with this, totally fine if not, but discussing this with my therapist hasn’t helped and i’m out of ideas

in one of my previous posts, i mentioned i was abused at age 3, in recent months i’ve come to doubt this and it’s been ruining my mental health because i have no idea about it anymore. i’ve had signs of repressed memories for a while now, multiple of them make sense with CSA, however i really don’t know if it’s normal for these things to happen

i was afraid of men at a young age, and starting at around age 10 or 11 i started thinking that any man im around would SA me

i would have random dreams about SA, this wasn’t just a one time thing, it was multiple times and the people in my dreams were never people i knew, they were always random people who didn’t even exist

when listening to a song about CSA, i had a panic attack, the song doesn’t bother me much anymore but it did a lot when i was 11-14. obviously even without being SA’d it’s hard to listen to songs about that, but i had a whole panic attack

i used to have intrusive thoughts about abusing others, which is very upsetting for me to admit (obviously i never committed any of those acts i thought about, they were intrusive and scary for me to deal with)

i used to have flashes of a distant memory? of being SA’d in my grandmas room, my sister was also SA’d and confirmed that it happened to her in that same exact room, i didn’t know this when the memories started flashing

my dads side of the family is filled with pedophiles (including my father himself)

i sometimes have a tingling sensation in my legs, it’s not the same as when your foot is falling asleep or something, it’s different and it’s very uncomfortable. not sure if that’s relevant, though.

i was talking to my mom, and she suggested maybe it wasn’t my dad who harmed me like i originally thought, she brought up the fact that there used to be multiple random people coming up to his apartment when i was young. she asked if i was ever alone with any of those people and i just had a panic attack and i was trembling in my moms arms like a little kid

recently i’ve started having random feelings of feeling disgusting, and when i go to take showers i sometimes start panicking and repeating the word “no” over and over again

this is also one that upsets me to admit, but ever since i was 12 i’ve had feelings of craving this kind of abuse

there are probably more im forgetting but those are the signs i’ve noticed. i think i was SA’d but whenever i think i know the truth something always causes me to doubt myself

again, if y’all can’t help me with this, totally fine. just thought i’d try i guess
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 9833
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 32
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity: queer
Location: Desert

Re: repressed memories

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi lb07,

It sounds like these thoughts, and your own doubts and feelings about them, are causing you a lot of distress. It can be really stressful to not only feel like there's trauma that's still effecting you, but to also feel like you don't have a grasp on where some really scary feelings, like those panic attacks, are coming from.

I do want to say that something we can't do is tell you for certain whether or not you were assaulted at age three. A big part of that is three years old is right on the border between where researchers think we can't remember any further back, and where we might be able to access memories of (and even then, as we age it gets harder and harder to accurately recall things from early childhood). So continuing to search back for concrete proof of an event from that time in your life is unlikely to get you anywhere.

Now, there are things like the fact it sounds like your dad's home was unsafe in a big way, and that your sister experienced abuse while there, that could indicate that you may have experienced similar harm. But at a certain point, I think it might be more helpful to focus on how to take care of yourself in the here and now, and how to address some of the distressing things that are happening, rather than continue to search for evidence one way or the other.

The reason I say that is because, regardless of their origin, things like those panic attacks are clearly causing you distress, and deserve help and care in learning how to manage them. Have you spoken to your therapist about them at all? If so, have you two been able to work on ways of either heading them off or dealing with them when they come along?

You also mention that for the last few years you feel like you've been "craving this kind of abuse." Do you mean you find yourself having sexual fantasies that involve abuse or assault of some kind? Or something else?
lb07
not a newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2023 10:31 pm
Age: 16
Awesomeness Quotient: uuh...
Pronouns: He/They
Sexual identity: bi???
Location: wisconsin

Re: repressed memories

Unread post by lb07 »

yes i do have fantasies about assault
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 9833
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 32
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity: queer
Location: Desert

Re: repressed memories

Unread post by Sam W »

Got it, thank you for clarifying that!

One big thing to know is that having sexual fantasies about assault is that it doesn't mean that someone has repressed memories of assault, nor does it mean someone is bad for having them or that having them means that person actually wants something bad to happen to them. We can find fantasies enjoyable even when they're not things we'd want to actually happen to us.

Are these fantasies things you actively enjoy when engaging with them and you're more distressed about what they "mean" about you or your experiences? Or are you also actively distressed when you engage with them?
lb07
not a newbie
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2023 10:31 pm
Age: 16
Awesomeness Quotient: uuh...
Pronouns: He/They
Sexual identity: bi???
Location: wisconsin

Re: repressed memories

Unread post by lb07 »

i’m not really sure, it does kinda distress me when i engage
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 9833
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 32
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity: queer
Location: Desert

Re: repressed memories

Unread post by Sam W »

It's okay if you're not quite sure! Feelings around this stuff can be tricky to parse out.

Do you think it would be helpful to focus on finding ways to explore and connect with other fantasies that don't lead to mixed or negative feelings for you?
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic