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#188991 - 10/28/07 12:39 PM Help needed: Possible to be abused and not recall?
blue100 Offline
New Here

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 5
I hope this is the right forum, but Im basically seeking advice/input/experience of anyone who wishes to share information or experiences related to not remembering that anything had happened to you as a child, and later remembering and dealing with it as an adult.

Quite a bit earlier in the year I posted the below thread (no need to read to follow this thread, I think Ive put enough detail in this one too - trigger warning I think too) Link

It was extremely tough to even write, and brought me to tears. I basically posted as a start to try and answer some questions with how I have been feeling inside off and on since I was a young child.

To sum it up, I bascially starting thinking aloud about very sexual behaviour I was displaying as a child, as well as feelings of depression, anger and deep rooted trust issues felt growing up and for unknown reasons that I hid. I am a 25 year old male now, and as I have grown older I have begun to wonder if I was abused somehow as a child and dont recall. While I tried to justify tangible reasons why I felt like something happend in the original post, the biggest reason is that it just feels like something very bad happend to me as a child inside. I only began to think about my history as a child trying to figure out why I have felt like something happend to me for so long, and yet I have no idea. Its like I KNOW it happened and just forgot it?? I go about my life, living and sometimes fighting periods of not feeling so happy. And every so often this feeling emerges. I cant explain it, it doesnt make sense, and yet it feels so real.

Well last night was another one of those, in which I usually stay up all night and feel like crap. I find it extremely hard to elaborate on my original post further, but I also cant help but wonder what this feeling like something happened to me means. I certainly didnt seek this, though I am seeking answers to it. I find it hard to put into words what I mean here, but last night I was feeling so down and it seems to be the same feeling inside that Ive carried along from a young age. I was raised in a great home, with great parents, and a great life. I have no need to feel like things like shame, depression and all for reasons I cant even explain!? And yet I have felt like this on and off for as long as I can remember. Like something happend to me that I knew about at one time, that no one else knows about, that I dont remember. Like I forgot about it when i left childhood, but the effects have stayed with me since... if that makes any sense??

I guess what brings me searching here again today is that what ever this is was on the TIP of my tongue or the edge of my mind last night. Like I said before, Im having a real hard time explaining what Im trying to get at here, but hopefully someone reading this will be able to offer some personal experience, or input. And hopefully this just wasnt confused rambling... thank you.

#189001 - 10/28/07 06:52 PM Re: Help needed: Possible to be abused and not recall? [Re: blue100]
sophiesdad Offline

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
IMHO, I don't think that you're any different than most of us. I can only speak for myself - I don't remember much of my childhood before age 12 or 13. I lived 40 years of my life having no clue about the CSA. I was being treated for PTSD after hurricane Andrew using EMDR and the flood of memories hit me like a ton of bricks.

I think that our minds protect us from remembering things that are too painful, frightening, or overwhelming by blocking the memories. Then, either thru therapy, or some other event, when we are emotionally strong enough, memories come filtering thru.

Of course, this is far from pleasant. However, when we repress memories for such a long time, they can take their toll in other ways - our health, behavior, relationships, etc.

There are some of us who even start to doubt that the abuse happened... let's face it that incomprehensible that an adult would perpetrate on an innocent child.

So please don't feel "different" because you don't remember much. You're in good company and I would venture to say that many others would have the same thing to say.


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

#189003 - 10/28/07 07:14 PM Re: Help needed: Possible to be abused and not recall? [Re: sophiesdad]

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 983
It is quite common to repress memorys of abuse. I represed the memory for about 25 years. When it did began to come back, I wished that I could, Close Pandoras box. If you do not have a memory of being abused, concider your self lucky



"All I can do is be me, whoever that is"

#189004 - 10/28/07 07:23 PM Re: Help needed: Possible to be abused and not recall? [Re: blue100]
dgoods Offline

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
it doesn't sound like rambling at all, just an honest effort to get help w/ a problem that refuses to go away. In my case, the memories were accessible, but the feelings they evoked were too much to deal with, until very recently. I had been having the same issues as you in that my upbringing or environment as a child didn't seem to match my horribly strong feelings of self-hatred, shame, depression, etc. I had done such a good job in ignoring or suppressing what happened to me that my feelings and actions were as much of a mystery to myself as to others, and like you, i was aware that i had these feelings for a long time. It's a possibility that something happened to you at an age that makes conscious recall difficult or impossible, or it may be your situation is similar to mine, in that you've done such a good job forgetting what happened, that only now has your mind been allowed to even hint at the possibility. I'm no therapist or professional, and cannot definitively tell you "yes, you were abused", but your situation sounds all too familiar to me, and the fact that you're here and posting is a great start to finding answers. My 1st post on here also had my tears flowing, so i think you're in the right place. It may seem like the last thing in world you want to do is to be patient, but defenses in place for most of a lifetime don't vanish overnight- you may find yourself only being able to fleetingly glimpse a sense-based memory connected w/ these feelings. In cases of abuse that occurred early enough to be pre-verbal, one may never have a definitive memory of a person or place available to point to, only a strong emotional reaction to certain associations. Whatever the case may be, you've certainly got SOMEthing going on, and there are therapeutic tools for exploring and dealing w/ whatever truth lies underneath your trouble; I'm glad you were able to come back to the site and ask for help, that's a big positive step, no matter what. You're NOT alone, and you're NOT "nuts". Hope this helps... Welcome! \:\)

Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

#189073 - 10/29/07 06:26 PM Re: Help needed: Possible to be abused and not recall? [Re: dgoods]
alexey Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 08/16/05
Posts: 1677
Loc: Moscow, Russia

Hello. I wanted to tell you I understand what you say.

It is common for surviviors to pretend they re ok, and the life they have is the way it has to be for every human being.

It is also a common thing to not have access to some of your memories of the abusive childhood.

I wasn't able to work on my memories of beinf abused and feeings associated to them until I was 22.

I understand how difficult the first words about your feelings and your genuine life can be.

It will become easier with time to write and talk about what you have gone through and what a person you really are.

Keep going with uncovering your memories. That will be a huge benefit to yoursef.


When you feel all alone and unhappy, turn to you Inner Child and talk to Him.
You will see He can comfort you like nothing else!

#189092 - 10/29/07 09:42 PM Re: Help needed: Possible to be abused and not recall? [Re: alexey]
ForeverFighting Offline

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 1253
Loc: New Mexico, USA
It is common for surviviors to pretend they re ok, and the life they have is the way it has to be for every human being.
That's the truth. I think it goes beyond "pretend", though. Kind of like a kid raised by monkeys. Is he pretending that life is normal? Or is it the only life he knows, so he believes it's normal?

I remembered nothing until I got married. The subject of abuse came up, and I remember sitting on my poor wife's lap, rocking back and forth saying, "Nothing happened to me, nothing happened to me..." Like that's normal for an adult man. The other issue, I think, is when and how it happens.

We interrupt this post to say: None of this means you were abused. Only you can figure that out. I, too, had only a trail of clues. It's quite possible for me to be completely messed up simply by having a messed up family that showed no emotion, that put excessive emphasis on food or body image or whatever, that felt one thing while showing another. There are all kinds of things that our crazy families do to us. What things were done to you? Only you know that.

What I was saying, though, is that we think with words. Take away the words, and what have you got left? Emotions, gut feelings. The emotions are true, and maybe I'll never have words or mental photos to accompany those emotions, because maybe I was too young or couldn't allow those ideas into my consciousness, but the emotions are true.
I was raised in a great home, with great parents, and a great life.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. Notice my signature regarding truth.

Take care of yourself. We're here for you.

"This search for the truth--it's not for the faint of heart."--Goren on 'Law & Order: CI'
"The former things will not be called to mind, nor will they come up into the heart."--Isaiah 65:17


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