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#47433 - 06/29/03 06:58 AM memory or crazy
bowman Offline

Registered: 04/19/03
Posts: 72
hello everybody,
does anyone have any input on abuse that isn't consciously remembered?
I feel like I know things that happened, and my "knowlege" stays pretty consistant over the years, but I don't have any visual image type memories. I do have emotions about the person involved. for instance, my leg was broken when I was five. I don't know how this happened, except that my parents say that I fell out of my bed. This bed was about eighteen inches off the ground, so this explaination doesn't seem very likely to me. Basically all I know is that I went to bed, and couldn't walk when I woke up in the morning. My father had to carry me in to breakfast, and when I remember that I feel afraid and sad. It took them a couple of days to take me to the doctor to get a cast.

The thing is, I feel really bad about the way I've mismanaged my life and wasted so much time, so sometimes I think I'm just looking for excuses, "Its the abuse...its the depression" etc. etc.I don't understand why I remember the SA with a couple of boys when I was nine, but not other things, except for maybe my being older let my brain form th memories better.

--Ken B.

#47434 - 06/29/03 09:17 AM Re: memory or crazy
lauraanimal Offline

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 58
Loc: montana
i too have a "selective" memory about my sa. i can remeber some, but not much. i have had a few new memories in the past 6 months or so, but i still dont remeber it all nd i have a lot of the same feelings of theres a lot more to it. i have a scare on my neck that looks like i have had a tracke tub in it. you can even feel the indintation of in in the muscle. my parents say i never had one and dont know wher it came from.for the longest time i had no clue. then one night i had a memory of how it happened. one of my abusers did it with a dagger.

from what i have learned there is a lot of ways the childs mind protects themselves and one of them is suppressing those memories of what happened. it is not uncommon to know you was sa but not remeber how or who. sometimes you will get tid bits of memories from your mind, others you wont.

I don't understand why I remember the SA with a couple of boys when I was nine, but not other things, except for maybe my being older let my brain form th memories better.
more than likely you do remeber that because you was older. at least that is what i have found out in my case. i know that other things happened to me when i was younger but still dont have a clue to what they are.

no your not going crazy...although it may feel like it at times. ;\)

dont fret over it, that can drive you crazy. when you mind thinks you are ready to handle it, it will let you know. till then it is a waste of time to frit and fret over what you dont rember and trying to. dont force it. let it come naturaly. just listen to your body and the fellings , trust in them. and eventually when you brain feels you are able it will let you know.


always be true to your self and your heart.
dont forget to love yourself 1st, then the restwill fall into place.

#47435 - 06/29/03 09:18 AM Re: memory or crazy
lauraanimal Offline

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 58
Loc: montana
sorry i ment that as a private message. didnt mean to post on the board.



always be true to your self and your heart.
dont forget to love yourself 1st, then the restwill fall into place.

#47436 - 06/29/03 03:34 PM Re: memory or crazy
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Hi, Ken,

I think I know the sensation you've described.

For me, it took on the form of depression, anxiety and finally manifested itself in a
overall sense of dis-ease.

I began to have an inexplicable feeling of impending doom. It really became very disruptive to my life. I found myself unable to force myself to go certain places, to follow through on certain tasks.

At that time, I had certain memories of my life, but the way I was taught to look at them didn't jibe with reality.

I think it was my higher self sensing the disconnect between the mythology of denial and the truth about what really happened signalling me that all was not as it seemed. To be careful, to watch out.

This resulted in an overall heightening of my fear reactions, startle reflex and many other things that I know now are associated with PTSD.

My point, (finally!), is that trying to force the memories, either down or out, only resulted in more discomfort for me. It made me feel like I was going insane.

I was at war with my mind and in any outcome I was going to be a loser. Maybe that's the feeling of impending doom??

Starting slowly, I began to find ways to take care of myself. At first, this meant that I stopped abusing myself. Later it became doing lots of things to help comfort and reassure myself.

I reached out. I talk about what's bothering me, even when I don't know. I try to do things that give me a sense of order and stability.

I try to maintain contact with the force of the universe that is greater than me. Often times this is through nature, a friend or a childs laughter.

As I grow stronger and more secure, the memories, too painful to confront, have started to become more clear. And now I have grown enough to be able to respond more effectively. Instead of them destroying me.

You're doing the right things, buddy. You're in the right place and you're asking the right questions.

Do something kind for yourself. Something that makes you feel warm and secure.

Tell yourself that you are not denying these memories; that you are making yourself ready to receive them and then do all the things you already know to do to nurture your inner self.
I have learned not to say "Never!" but instead "Not yet.".

My inner self likes ice cream, so that's easy for me! \:\)

There are parts of my childhood "mythology" as told by my family that like your broken leg, make no sense when brought to the light of day.

I have always had huge burn scars covering both of my palms. The story is that i was in the bathroom and my dad was shaving. I was about 2 or 2 and half years old. Supposedly I reached up and grabbed onto the hot grill of the wall heater which was on and red hot. The burns were so severe that they feared they might have to remove my hands.

I believed this story, lacking any evidence to the contrary, until my first therapist gently guided me to question how anyone could possibly overcome the 'touching a hot stove' reflex and actually grab and hold onto a burning hot object.

As I reflected, I saw that as virtually impossible. Then I was able to face some other very unpleasant alternatives--that my father had abused me by burning my hands; or that I as a small child had tried to harm myself for some unkown reason.

Not very good alternatives--and the truth will probably never be known. My dad is dead, and I was too young to remember. I did probe the memories of my older sibliings, without saying why. They followed the "party line" about me grabbing the heater and holding onto it! (!!), but when my sister recounted her memory of my coming home from the hospital and the yellow salve that had to be put on my little hands. All of a sudden the memory of the medicinal odor of that salve hit me with the force of an earthquake. With just the memory of the smell, I cried and was able finally to feel pity for that poor little boy; hurt so deeply and so worried and so afraid.

He and I don't deserve that and we don't deserve to have the truth of our lives stolen away.

Keep doing the things you can for loving and nurturing yourself. Keep coming here and let us love and nurture you. These are powerful experiences. You will be well served to have a support network and perhaps some professional help available.

God bless you, my brother. We'll find that kid with the broken leg and help him heal and help him know the truth. You are not alone any more.

You have lots of friends and brothers with you.

Your story has really triggered a lot in me.

Gotta go take care of myself; maybe shed a tear.

Thanks for sharing. It's helped me a lot.

Your brother survivor,

"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#47437 - 06/29/03 07:53 PM Re: memory or crazy
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Laura, I am so saddened to hear of the severe harm done to you. It will always be an unsolvable mysetery to me how any adult can harm any child. By nature we are protective of a child and by nature we would give our life to save a child, even one we did not know at all.

How an adult could stab you is beyond me. But now you are loved and no one here will be shoving any daggers your way. In fact, they would have to go through a whole bunch of us to get to you and no one is crazy enough to attempt that!

Danny, I see a tiny little boy with those burned hands--for me it was both legs, and almost the same story--but I remember it some, and if was no accident, I can assure you that.

Ken, again, that little tyke with a broken leg. That tears at my heart.

Ken, when I was in training for a kind of counseling I thought I wanted to do, a professor told a story that has explained so much to me.

He said that we should imagine ourselves in four or five feet of water and we are standing there very firmly. We have a huge air filled plastic ball, about two or three feet in circumference. Someone tells us to push the ball completely under the water.

Well, you don't have to be a Harvard grad to know that even Arnold Swartzenegger could not do that. Then he said the ball represents our emotions. We can try really hard to submerge them, but we will never be completely successful. BUT, here is a big point, the farther we are able to get the ball down into the water, the higher it will bounce up when we let go of it.

Did I ever find that to be true! I was never able to completely get the memories of my abuse down where they did not bother me. But I kept them down for about 30 or 35 years. When they came back, they came back with way more power than I could handle. By then I was an alcoholic and a compulsive over eater and I had a rage in me that made me think I could whip the heck out ot the entire USMC by myself and make them beg for mercy.

I regret a lot of what I did at this time, but that is in the past now. So, like others say, do not fret that your memories are not in your conscious mind just now. You are aware of some abuse. If your mind and spirit get ready, the real memories will come back to you and you will then be able to handle them.

I know that there seem to be some memories in my mind trying to get out yet. I am not anxious for that to happen and I feel I do not need them to be whole again. I think some men and women never have a complete recall of the abuse.

Peace to all of you.


If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

#47438 - 06/30/03 02:19 AM Re: memory or crazy
bowman Offline

Registered: 04/19/03
Posts: 72
Thanks, all, for the reassurance and the replies.

Laura, that's terrible that you had this injury, and also that your parents either were clueless or pretended to be. I'm sorry that you had to live through this experience. Keep takin gcare of yourself, it sounds like you are doing a good job.

Two years old...that's so small to have to endure so much pain and terror. You are strong to wlecome that little guy into your heart and comfort him. Thanks for all the input.

thank you for the analogy. I guess its true, as everyone is saying that what needs to come up will come up. I'm sorry to hear you were also burned. Take care of yourself.

Thank you all for sharing your pain with me.


Danny wrote:
For me, it took on the form of depression, anxiety and finally manifested itself in a
overall sense of dis-ease.

I began to have an inexplicable feeling of impending doom.
That's the feeling. I keep having these waves of anxiety and fear that I am totally doomed, that there is something so wrong with me that it will never get better. If I can't stop these feelings, then I'll almost lose control, even at work. Fortunately my workbench is somewhat private, so I don't think anyone has noticed anything. I was able to mention this to my therapist, since it is finally getting to the point where I can have some sort of meaningful conversation with him, and he gave me some suggestions too. But Its still coming almost every day. I'm not as depressed as I was, since the drugs seem to be working somewhat, but this fear is kicking my ass.



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