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#426739 - 02/28/13 11:04 AM .
Life's A Dream Offline

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island

Edited by Life's A Dream (04/20/13 11:49 PM)

#426744 - 02/28/13 12:33 PM Re: What is it like to recover memories? [Re: Life's A Dream]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. It ruined my life - or felt as much for a long time, took a third of a year just to decelerate the plunge.

Amidst many extreme personal crises I found myself seeing the pictures in my head more often and intrusively - for the first time I couldn't make myself think of something else. What had been 3-5 seconds got longer - in pieces and not always in proper chronological order. As this happened I was in shit shape already, hating what was left of my life, crying a lot, drinking much too much, unable to sleep or eat, consumed by hallucinations of my (alive and well) son dying and being buried. As all that happened, as I was tearing apart, I'd get, well, flashes of emotions associated with the ever-longer more intrusive memories. Horrible emotions I'd never consciously felt before centered around horrible imagery I'd never 100% internalized as really meaning anything to me before. I remember the first time I remembered -


- the pain of him jabbing his cock practically through the back of my neck as he came and I gagged and mentally begged for air. I don't remember at what stage of my breakdown it was, if it led up to the no-sleep-or-food or was caused by it, or (more likely) went hand in hand. But I remember a... surreal, over-the-horizon, impossible amount of pain and mindless fear being... "broadcasted" into me... with no escape from it, nothing else having entry to my mind. Later on, talking it out in therapy and "validating" some of what I'd already gotten, gave me access to more; the wall of the cesspool was breached and the filth could surge freely all over me.

It felt like my mind and personality were erased and overwritten by the mind and personality I'd been broken down to during being raped - as in, not much of either and all of it devastatingly terrible, the opposite of everything I'd ever believed and known and liked about myself. The more I got back the less of my real self and life there was.

I'd give my last dollar, and an amputated limb, to have them all gone and my previous life / mentality back. I've made major strides in treatment but there are times when I realize that no matter how good I might ever do, I will never be the same - and when I allow myself to think of that it's terribly sad, despair and wishing to live my whole life all over again to change something, ANYTHING, either the abuse or blocking it out at first or not telling or not getting treated as a kid... anything. Anything to spare me from what happened to my self-image and persona, my married life, my masculinity, and my job, as a full-grown man.

I know you're not happy with your own situation, with feeling blocked and confused. But... don't be so eager to wish for change in your life that might be this drastic. Better the devil you know (your problems WITHOUT recall) than the devil you don't (WITH IT).

My story

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

#426766 - 02/28/13 06:28 PM Re: What is it like to recover memories? [Re: SoccerStar]
txb Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 412
Argh. Crazy triggers. I got diagnosed with an eating disorder. Which is complete BS. It's an overactive gag reflex from having that happen to me. But I can't say that to anyone in real life.

Anyway, recovering memories = hell. With a tiny side of "oh that makes sense now." Some have been sudden and complete. Most of the others were slow, just bits of memory that didn't really make sense for a long time. But I have never gone through life thinking that nothing ever happened to me though. I always knew that something happened. I remembered the first incident with my dad's friend but i just chose not to think about it. Or if I did I just told myself it wasn't that bad. But somehow I managed to block out the two years that happened after that.

After some other thing happened to me I started to have a lot of dreams. At first about the thing that happened, but then all this other stuff started coming in and it was all confusing because I knew that stuff hadn't happened in that incident, so why was I even thinking it? I woke up one night and I could hardly breathe, I actually thought I was dying. I was like "what the hell happened to me?" Then I just had all these rapid snapshots run through my mind, which was.... there isn't really a word I can think of to describe it. Hell really. I really wasn't prepared for it either.

Other things are pretty vague and just at the edge of my mind. It's kind of frustrating. But i guess a slow build up kind of thing is better than just having the whole thing come back all at once. But then all these random things that appear in my mind make me think to myself "why would you even think that? What's wrong with you?" The other kid who was abused at the same time as me asked me recently if I remembered when we went away for a week in the summer. I don't. Or I didn't till he mentioned it. Now there's some shady memories appearing. I'm also struggling with some kind of memory from when I was maybe 4 or 5. I'm not sure how far back it's normal to remember. But if this turns out to be true then it changes everything I've ever thought I knew about my life.

It's not just like a memory. Every time I remember something new its like its re-happening to me. It's never just a picture of something happening that I can watch from far away. I'm right in there. I can never shut it off and get away from it. I have to experience the whole thing. I'm not the best writer, and my 4 year old cousin is demanding we watch cat v alligator on youtube, which is kinda distracting, so I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense.

#426769 - 02/28/13 06:56 PM Re: What is it like to recover memories? [Re: Life's A Dream]
Zug Offline

Registered: 02/18/13
Posts: 56
Loc: Progress
I am going through exactly what is described above, with many of the same feelings. I cannot function much of the time, sleeping is near impossible and the feelings, flashes of memory etc are terrifying.
The knowledge that something happened to me was always there, I fought it in a variety of ways some mentioned above. I told myself it was just physical abuse for a long time. Like others said, that proved to be an untenable due to symptoms and inability to function and avoid it further-it felt like it would kill me.
Getting sober helped me to see some patterns in my life and make recognizing them a clear choice; either deal with them or continue to live in hell. It has taken me some time to just get here, and it is difficult. It is like a veil has been ripped from my mind's eye on all events that had bothered me for so long. My mind literally shrank from those things-as the literal memories and the implications of events and people's actions were truly too horrible to face. The consequences for all this have been terrible for me personally.
I am remembering not just the physical feelings, but a lot of the other stuff-being demeaned, things said, remembering events and perp's people's motivations, intent, etc. The patterns in my life that are undeniable. What it points to is a horribly abused boy that never had a chance, who repeatedly looked for help and didn't find it and was intentionally kept afraid and terrified to force compliance and silence, sometimes with rewards like clothes, drugs/alcohol, etc. to sweeten the deal. I am dealing with the shame, guilt and the absolute disgust at my inability to make my life any different, get away from all of this, as a child or an adult. I am trying to find my own place with this, I'm working at accepting it. Once that is done I can move forward.
In the meantime, the random physical symptoms-pain, throwing up, constant physical signs of stress and the re-emergence of powerful pieces of memory and their 're-assembly' are likely to continue. This has brought some relief in a sense-I see the truth and there is some solace in that. But like others said, there are things-long and skillfully buried as the result of much work, energy and effort by myself and others-coming to the surface that are confusing, not always logical, terrifying and have had the general tendency to shake whatever confidence I had in 'everything'; myself, the world, people-most certainly family, but there is also progress, hope and better quality of life here when I do the work, in my own time.
I have learned to pace myself. If I need to write, I do. If I need to sit quietly, then I do so. I work at this every day, my recovery and treatment. Some days I have to fake it, I'm shaky, terrified and introverted, I have to beg whatever is out there for help. It is this, or the hell I know. I chose this. I've needed to post about this for some time and finally got around to it.
"what matters most is how well you walk through the fire"
-Charles Bukowski

#426785 - 02/28/13 08:36 PM Re: What is it like to recover memories? [Re: Life's A Dream]
cosmos Offline

Registered: 11/12/12
Posts: 191
Loc: Puget Sound
Itís like running as fast as you can and suddenly your close-lined, lying on the ground writhing in pain, nothing is the same anymore, even those you love are different, nothing can stop the pain, nothing; it does get easier, just the ache never goes away.


worth every minute
"it has never yet been discovered how to make man unknow his knowledge, or unthink his thoughts"

T. Paine

#426790 - 02/28/13 11:11 PM Re: What is it like to recover memories? [Re: Life's A Dream]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3825
never sudden-always memories of being taken down to the cellar by the priest,touching and ultimately rape through out my life. But never willing to accept or admit--even though I remembered. The details and feelings were buried. Only decades later did the triggers release the details and frequency. The thoughts and memories flooded my mind. Since the triggers I was overwhelmed and lost by what was done. I tried to survive and live with what was done. I lost myself--mentally and physically--I truly was lost. Returning to the place of abuse to bury my Mom took my life, I saw much and had to face the parts of me--the part that was repulsed by the abuse and those that triggered the memories and the part of me that felt special to the priest--the child part of me that was created from the abuse. I cannot accept that part of me--feeling special towards the abuser. I have learned from each memory, that was done was devastating--I could not tell what happened to me. I have been told my mind releases the memories and once it is too much for me to accept I leave and wander not knowing who I am. It is survival. What I know is what I would not anyone else to live--some laugh and dismiss but if they truly listened and knew what was done, maybe they would feel some sense of compassion. I live each day with what was done, the body so violated and the mind so manipulated I can only hope I can begin to live. Yes the memories come and try not to shut them out, facing and accepting is the only way to heal.

I struggle with healing not only from facing the memories but also from the destructive words from those around me make me believe I deserved what happened. Facing and accepting the memories and the part of us that was created from the abuse may be the only way to heal. I am trying but like you I struggle.

Edited by KMCINVA (02/28/13 11:29 PM)

#426791 - 02/28/13 11:35 PM Re: What is it like to recover memories? [Re: Life's A Dream]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4255
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
this thread is really hard to read. my eyes kept skipping ahead like they didn't want my mind to know what they were seeing. i think that is what my memory did for so many years - tried to skip over the bad parts. now i am forcing myself to look at it all - just like i had to force myself to go back and re-read parts of these posts to know what was written - and then i can understand and accept it - so i can ultimately reject it and go on. my T says, "you have to own it before you can dis-own it."

for me it was like watching a movie - thinking it was the first time i'd seen it because everything seemed "new" but also knowing deep down that i'd seen it before. there was some emotions at the times that the memories emerged - but more numbness than anything - horror and disbelief mixed with conviction that it was true and real. most of the emotional reactions came later. they were like a confirmation - sort of - i wouldn't be feeling this way if it hadn't really happened. they connected with the memories and made sense for the first time of why i felt the way i did.

there were other memories that came as flashes - images or smells or phrases/sounds - that had to be reassembled and put in order - like loose photos being flipped past my eyes - that i have to try to freeze and rearrange. there are still some gaps, i think. but i no longer go looking for more. if they come, i'll deal with them then. for a while it seemed like almost every day there was something. now it is very infrequent - but still surprising, shocking, disorienting and painful.

BTW - seems like we had this conversation before, LAD - quite some time ago. i wonder what i said then - when i was more in the thick of it.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, ‚ÄúViolence!‚ÄĚ 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


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