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Repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse?

(7 Posts)
UnderstandItAllNow Fri 18-Jan-13 09:45:45

I have now realised in my 40's that I was sexually abused as a very young child by my father. I have very few memories of childhood and the ones I have are significant but they are not complete memories, they are half memories iykwim. Some (not sexual abuse ones) were drawn out during hynotherapy and later substantiated but I then stopped going and I now know why, I was not ready to deal with them.

My gut instinct is that I am correct about this and have felt much more peaceful after this realisation than I have been in years. I have suffered panic attacks and extreme anxiety for most of my adult life and I tick almost all of the 'childhood sexual abuse checklist' symptoms. Everything makes sense to me now.

I still can't quite believe it though. My father left when I was 6 and idolised him. I am ready for these repressed memories to come back in full so I can deal with them and put them to bed for good but they won't come. I know I can't force them but has anyone experienced similar and can suggest anything to speed this process up? I really need to conclude this and move on!

Thanks

FarelyKnuts Fri 18-Jan-13 10:28:59

Tbh there isn't any real way to force the memories to come. They tend to come as and when you are ready for them. I would be hesitant to use hypnotherapy for memory retrieval, too much suggestability.
Have you a counsellor/therapist you can see? Working on the memories you do have would probably bring forth more IME.
I an sorry that you are having to deal with this, it is awful to come to terms with.

UnderstandItAllNow Fri 18-Jan-13 11:38:20

FarelyKnuts Thank you. I see a counsellor which is why this has come up. Yes I think they will start coming up gradually but I guess I want to force them so I can get it over with iyknim. I know that's not going to happen though. Your right, I need to come to terms with it and accept my mind will cope with it as it always has.

FarelyKnuts Fri 18-Jan-13 19:00:12

I totally understand the wish to "get it over with". I really do. Unfortunately I just don't think it works that way. I would think getting them all together would be more than you can bear, they would possibly totally overwhelm you in one go.

Iceaddict Fri 18-Jan-13 23:37:34

If you are ready, as you say, maybe try hypnotherapy again, you could have your therapist try some inner child techniques. If they can get you to the point where you are regressed to a point in your childhood when you think these things happened, then take your child self into a safe place and then have your adult self meet your child self, you can then comfort your child self and encourage that child to talk to you about it, the therapist can then ask you questions along the lines of what the child wants to tell you etc.

I hope whatever you decide to do, you get to where you want to be with this. Good luck

choklit Sat 19-Jan-13 09:48:44

I am not sure the brain works like that. Mine shut out abusive memories for 35 + years and then following the birth of my 3rd child came back to me in parts. Sudden flashbacks, some incomplete, they often came out of the blue, Things I had not remembered for years but which I knew were true and left me a wreck. I think our natural defences block them out as they are too painful. I did rack my brains to try and remember but it never came, albeit I was traumatised. I have however had plenty of counselling and other help and I guess I now concentrate on trying to stay mentally well and coping with now rather than going back over the past. It does resurface and haunt me when I am low though. I don't really know what to advise, but I do empathise with the trauma and confusion you must be feeling.

chipsahoy Sat 19-Jan-13 11:04:27

It's hard, when you know something is there but you can't quite reach it. You know it happened but can't remember it. I've had a few new memories lately, I didn't know those things had happened. There are now gaps that these new memories have made, so I remember something I didn't before, but not all of it. I've tried hard to try and force them to come, but my counsellor said they will come when they are ready, or may never come at all.

It's very difficult, I really feel for you, I just don't think there's an answer, a way to make these memories come.

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