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#414751 - 10/30/12 05:27 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1339

Edited by Suwanee (02/19/16 03:58 PM)
I've got this life
And the will to show
I will always be
Better than before

#414866 - 10/31/12 05:31 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: ShortedDiode]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: ShortedDiode
Music is a big one for me. Hearing various songs that I used to listen to around the time of the abuses really does me in. About a month ago I was on vacation, eating dinner with a friend in a restaurant and a song came on and it was a real struggle to keep my composure and not break down right at the table. Does anybody else react to music like this?

I used to have paradoxical responses to music. Some very happy tunes made me want to cry. Still does. Most notably is the Swedish Rhapsody. It should normally be very happy.

Does anybody understand this?


#414920 - 11/01/12 02:03 AM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4284
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
smells of:

musty laundry
right guard deodorant
TOTAL = locker room

waterproofed canvas
damp sleeping bags
pine trees
mouldy dead leaves
wood smoke
TOTAL = scout camp
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#414950 - 11/01/12 12:39 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: durham, north england
@rachel, I'll agree with the chaps here. Triggers are a wonderfully variable thing. For me, there was no literal amnesia. I knew what had happened to me as a teenager, i knew where it was, but it was over and done wwith alright? right? wrong!

I found that the memories I was wandering around with, though exact in detail were utterly lacking feeling or depth or reality. I could give a verbal, honest description of everything that had happened to me at secondary school, in full scientific clarrity, but it meant! nothing.; This probably comes from the fact that the over riding feeling during my abuse was one of utter disconnectedness. I just plane froze, became utterly devorced from my body and what my body was doing, indeed I often felt as if my body was a car I was driving around that I'd stepped out of while bad things happened to it.

It took a major emotional crash thanks to falling in love and being rejected one time too many when i was 25 in 2007 to make me realize that no, everything wasn't over and done with. in retrospect however, there were a lot of signs leading up to this, fear of crowds, bad reactions to certain words, depression, low self esteme etc, so even though I generally hold the eleventh of november 2007 as the beginning of my recovery(yes, rememberance day! there is an irony), I don't think in truth it was, it was just the point when I was forced to recognize the full impact of my experiences and start dealing with them.

I can't speak for your H, but perhaps this could be the same for him, not a literal recovery of memory, just a change in the significance of those memories. Indeed, though I do know some people do! suffer very literal and obvious amnesia, for me, realizing that it was my own recognition and connection with my memories of what happened at secondary school that changed was helpfull, sinse it put control of my experience back into my own hands.

@Shorted diode, music my god yes! for me especially girl bands of the nineties, the spice girls, the beautifull south, the cause, which were both played in the mornings on the radio before I went to school, and also often sung by the girls involved (on one occasion the line from a beuatifull south song about underwear was the impetus for another act of s/xual humiliation).

Recently I specifically tried to listen to the beaitufll south song on utube "this could be rotterdam" just for the sake of exercising a demon, but actually couldn't get through it and stay present.

I think my genophobia is entirely due to triggers, most obviously the word s/x, and in fact my own physical reactions, not to mention various forms of touch (especially around the lower body or legs). I have a literal fear of being seen in any state of undress at all! especially in a public place, in fact even when I go swimming i have to wear a shirt and swimming shorts. I suppose being gang raped by teenaged girls as a teenager didn't really do my instincts much good, indeed I've often wished I was gay just for this reason.

Other stuff, the smell of cigarettes is a huge trigger to me, especially from a woman and when combined with the smell of perfume (perfume on it's own is fine, but not! when combined with cigarette smoke).

Teenaged girls generally don't trigger me, but girls speaking in the same accent as my old school do, as do girls in states of undress, though that last point is improving.

Gangs of teenagers of both genders together I find fairly disturbing, considdering my abuse was all very public.

Generally though it is the genophobia that causes most problems, sinse it can affect me even when watching a program let alone in general conversation or if someone is overt about it (especially a woman). I have also had friends who speculate that my genophobia (especially in it's relation to touch), is partly to blaime for the hole lack of me having any sort of relationship ever! which is rather bad because part of me does wonder if i had another association for love making whether it would help with the genophobia, but once again this is a catch 22.

However in coping with triggers the best method I've found is not to confront them but simply say "well that's how I am!" and not be ashamed of them. So what if I can't write the word s/x or take an inuendo, or be close to a woman smoking. I equally can't bare to hear someone singing off key, but that has nothing to do with abuse and everything to do with having a sense of pitch.

Some people suffer alogies, some people have sking conditions, I have genophobia and triggers, so what! it's just something else about me, something else I have to live with and no worse or better than what other people do.

There are lots more important things to be doing with my time than worrying about a few involuntary reactions.

#415285 - 11/04/12 03:21 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
RachelMac Offline

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
I wish my H understood that. I try telling him that this is our normal. This is our life and I'm in for the ride. But he keeps finding destructive ways to cope and hurting me in the process. I'm trying to learn his triggers so that I can see when the destruction will happen and I can remove myself. Failure is big for him. If he lets someone down in even the smallest way, it is the end of the world. And Boom! Off he goes into another world and I can't pull him out.

#415308 - 11/04/12 10:36 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: durham, north england
Well I'm afraid I can't really help on the destructive coping thing, my own most destructive behaviour was becoming addicted to isolation, a natural intraversion gone too far to the point where I wasn't seeing another person for a solid four or five days.

As to letting people down, that sounds familiar. when you walk around with a sense of worhtlessness spo profoundly part of you that it becomes as central to your being as hight or weight, being asked to do soemthing by another person can be a real and distinct buz sinse it gives you a sense that you are! in some sense important that you can't feel yourself.

Weerdly enough, I've always found myself that it is far easier to care about and do things for others than it is for myself.

For me, the answer to worthelssness was not to confront it. I learnt to recognize firstly that it was entirely not! my fault, be a consequence of what I! happened to think, rather than a literal truth, and secondly that my own over crytical idea of myself was due to an entirely flawed way of thinking.

I learnt to regard myself as my own worst crytic, and therefore treat anything i thought of myself as the unreasonable expectations of a heavily biased person. In the same way that I wouldn't listen to the opinions of someone who had some sort of irrational prejudice against me, ---- say because I was a man or was caucasian, I would not take into account my own opinion.

For instance, I recently finished my doctoral thesis and handed it in. I myself think when reading it that it is entirely and completely bad! and is bound to be marked as a failure simply becuaase I! wrote it. However I realized that my tutor, who I deeply respect and know to be a very accomplished and wise man wouldn't have let me submit it if he didn't think it was worth submitting.

Therefore I take his! opinion over my own, because I know his opinion to be none biased. ]]these sorts of changes in judgement however only happened after I'd been in recovery for a bit, gone through the despression and the isolation and the nightmares and everything else.

One other major problem I found with recovery, is that unfortunately the bennifits aren't really things I could've known about when i started.

I originally thought recovery would help remove my genophobia, help with the relationship thing, stop my sense of worthlessness. I became quite frustrated that none! of these things had worked, especially as regards lack of any sort of relationship at all (something I still find difficult sometimes).

However it's only more recently I've started realizing that recovery is a process of acceptance, of being able to say as you said "this is my normal! nuts to everything else" but that wasn't easy.

Of course, all these things are just my personal experience, and those of your husband might be very different, still I do hope you find some tof this usefull, and I really hope things get better for both you and your husband.


#415334 - 11/05/12 02:18 AM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
RachelMac Offline

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
Thanks Luke. I do find your words useful. I've learned so much being on this site and doing research. The problem I face, and that I imagine many spouses face, is how to get their husband to want to take the step to start to recover. How to get him to accept help is still a mystery to me. It's so weird because I feel like everything he does and says is a cry for help, but when the help is offered he says there is nothing anyone can do. He is just broken and that's the way it is.

#416097 - 11/13/12 07:40 AM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
confusion4life Offline

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 109
Loc: Italy
my husbands memories were totally shut down. he didnt know a thing and plus he idealized his family. one of his perps was his fake mother. he never knew about it.
the memories came when the abuse topic in the family never went away anymore, because he abused our daughter. she came and told me. then i pestered him with abuse and everything behind. the memories are now slowly appearing,but sometimes they are vague and sometimes they are very clear. he gets physical problems when he has the memories.
for abusing my daughter, he got sentenced just yesterday. noone abuses my kid without consequences. my daughter is fine and has a lot of help.
usually memories also come up whhen the surivor feels safe, in a trusting relationship and wihtout many problems in life. but when the mind vomits one memory, and the survivor deals with it, the mind understands that it can throw two more memories to the surface. make sure he gets the right support and you are most important in that.
memories also come up when a child is born or when a child gets as old as the survivor was when the abuse happened. your husband also wants to protect your child from his thinking/ fantasy, possible abuse. help him protecting - use the chance, both of you.
upcoming memories are better, much better, than hidden ones. it hurts but its realiy and reality is the best fighter for the circle of abuse.

everything is always okay in the end, if it's not, then it's not the end

#416256 - 11/14/12 02:51 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: confusion4life]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
In my case it was major major MAJOR stress - a year-long combination of extreme changes in both my personal life, my career, my finances, my home, and also my son (who isbasically a lookalike clone of me and clings to me like a shadow) starting school - which is where I was abused even though I had good and involved parents who warned me and would have helped if I'd told them.

The united "Frankenstress" monster looked around for my weakest spot and found it and started beating me up with it - turning what had been an occasional background memory, that I'd accepted but never dealt with because I'd never associated it with pain, into a nonstop cluster of day and night flashbacks and panic.

If the CSA hadn't happened it would have been something else: a car crash or a time I got mugged. Thank God when my insurance company said "mental health emergency services" they meant it.
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#416271 - 11/14/12 08:42 PM Re: What causes the memories? [Re: RachelMac]
Lookin4Support Offline

Registered: 11/14/12
Posts: 2
Thank you for your post. I now know that I am not alone. I have had the same experience that you describe. My husband is here physically but when he can't cope he becomes absent and self destructive. I feel so alone right now. I am searching for help. I have know for at least a year that I need to see a therapist so that I can cope because at times it becomes too much for me (we have three children). The problem is that, the mere thought of looking for one (with the possibility of finding one who cannot help and all the insurance crap) all by itself makes me feel overwhelmed so I have not done it but am getting to a point that I need someone to talk to or my family is going to fall apart. There is no one in my life that I trust enough to talk to and I am at the point that I need professional help to cope and be strong for my children.

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