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Honestly - Are Repressed Memories Better Left Repressed?

Discussion in 'General' started by Portabella, Mar 10, 2007.

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  1. Portabella

    Portabella Well-Known Member

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    Is it better sometimes for repressed memories to remain repressed? I remembered something today that I did not know I felt/knew. I honestly don't know if I want to remember everything. Please discuss and tell honest opinions.
     
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  3. sheree71

    sheree71 Member

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    Hi Portabella. I fully understand where you are coming from. I didn't have my "memories" until my mid twenties, and life has been a whole lot more complicated since then. Things that I didn't know were issues all of a sudden are. I would have been happier, I think, if I had left the box sealed up, bubbling away in the corner of my head. Dealing with the open box is hard. I do think that ignorance is bliss. I now have all my memories and am 'recovering', but there are also things that I can do nothing about. It's a tricky one, but I think let sleeping dogs lie.
     
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  4. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Honestly I don't know. The memory of my molestation is spotty at best (the memories I do have-it's like watching a very badly edited movie). I've asked my therapist if I'm ever going to remember all of it or if this is the memories I'll always have? He said it's too early to tell.

    Part of me wants to know because I hate the fact that I don't know exactly what happened to me. Part of me doesn't want to know because it scares the hell out of me to find out exactly what happened to me.

    Wish I could be of more help, but this is a double edged sword for me.
     
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  5. slhlilbit

    slhlilbit Active Member

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    hey T well i dont know about lettng sleeping dogs , what happens when they wake. me im learning that all those thing i left in the box are all comming out in force. i think if i had worked hard and got them out as soon as i got out of service mabie i wouldnt have put myself and my loved ones through so much. i wish i could have gotten help 27 years ago. i stuffed alot. wasted too much time distroying my self beating myself up becouse of some ah's that probibly dont even remember what they did to me. i went and let several others beat me up too. which in turn hurt my children now they have ptsd becouse i couldnt deal with mine.
     
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  6. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

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    Hi Portabella....I can well understand why you are asking this. I'm so sorry you are havin such a hard time at the moment.

    I have asked this myself at times. One of my trauma's was forgotton for a long time, and I suddenly remembered parts of it 2 years ago. I have remembered nothing more since. I don't know how it started, or ended still. Just that fragment in the middle. It's very frustrating because it torments me at times. Would I go back and not remember it? I don't know, on the one hand - things made more sense to me. Things clicked into place. On the other hand, it complicated things more. It was ANOTHER thing to deal with. In honesty, I think I would just prefer it never happened, and I guess not remembering it is attractive. But would I really not have known if I somehow re-forgot? No. I always knew, I had the sense, the bad feeling. My body was telling me things, I was panicking for reasons I couldn't understand. I was having headaches that couldn't be treated etc. I might not have explicitly remembered....but the memory was there in it's own shape, confusing me all the time.

    But if you don't remember... you can't do anything with it. I know it's beyond terrifying for you... and you feel bound to a lifetime of looking over your shoulder in fear of your life. Obviously there are some things you can't change. But now that you remember what you do remember, you can deal with it in certain ways. You can deal with it emotionally, and you can deal with it practically, like you have already begun to. At the moment, though, you are in shock and scared. So I know it is really hard just sitting with it.

    Would I set about trying to remember the rest? Well, I believe in all honesty, you can try not to remember, sure. But in simple terms of memory, once you remember it explicitly, you are unlikely to forget it again. How could you control a flashback? It has little to do with choice. Memories are funny things... sometimes aspects of incomplete memories just aren't accessed, or are blocked, and getting the access isn't easy, straight forward, or easily controlled. Sometimes, the memories are gone, because they weren't processed in the first place - though that usually has more to do with age or drugs etc. if that happens. You might choose to ignore those half-known memories or senses (if that makes any sense), rather than dealing with them. But in all honesty, I think this is something that your mind will deal with when and if it is ready, and avoidance isn't always a good thing. If ever. Sorry if all that sounds a bit technical or complicated, sometimes I go into too much detail because it is my interest on my psychology course.

    I guess for now, give yourself time to take it in. Sudden memories or flashbacks of new memories feel like the first time. So it is important to look after yourself, and give yourself time to adjust and work through processing this emotionally. Use any support systems you have. Now is the time to get some support.

    i'm sorry if this isn't reassuring, I wish that there was a quix fix to these things.

    Lisa.
     
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  7. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

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    hey bella, (do you mind if i shorten so?) my memories are also like snatches of puzzle pieces, some parts are missing , and it's hard to put together, but they keep coming little by little. i am hoping i don't remember any more, but you can't stop it once it starts--it's going to come. i don't want to remember any more than i have to, so i won't be trying to do so, but i will deal with what comes, because we don't really have a choice. hang in there, i am not there yet, but i can tell you it gets better.
    cathy
     
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  8. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    Hello Portebella!
    In my oppinion, from research I have read regarding trauma and the brain, it is best not to struggle to try and remember events that occured that were traumatic, rather allow the flash player in your brain also known as the "Hippocampus and the hippocampul commisure" (probably spelled wrong but ya get the jist) to reveal its hidden stores in its own time. It is very important not to deny, down play, or try to push those flashes deeper into your brain because when you do this it only causes more damage. The damage is in the form of neurological and physiological damage that only serves to increase PTSD symptoms. You can read more about this (when you feel ok to do so) in the information area of the forum. Hang in there my Portabella friend! I'm with ya all the way!
    Love and Care
    Marilyn
     
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  9. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if repressed memories are better left unremembered.
    One one hand, they may help explain or help you understand why you have the reactions you do...
    and on the other hand, it might just be easier to 'not know'

    I would recommend that you find a regular therapist/counsellor that can help you work through these memories, in person.

    Take care Portabella,
    Y&A
     
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  10. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    The longer memories remain repressed, the longer your subconscious will taunt you, make you ill, all the time not knowing what is wrong. This is exactly what mental imagery is about, to help the conscious mind and subconscious mind come together and process the hidden trauma. Releasing repressed memories is good, providing its done under control where the mind allows only what it can cope to come through, unlike what EMDR could do for you and release too much at once, thus creating brain damage.
     
  11. Portabella

    Portabella Well-Known Member

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    I am not looking for brain damage. But.....I need to remember, I don't know why I know this, but I know this. How Anthony, the therapists in this town are small town wonders, I cannot afford the bigtime expensive ones. I have little flashes that are driving me nuts. How, How do I make myself figure out the flashes?
     
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  12. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    You have started the process already, I just haven't helped it along yet, being your mental imagery diary. I will get to it and you will then have things to think about, whether you like it or not basically. It engages the subconscious to the conscious brain, whether you want it or not, it will help your mind reveal things, remember things, piece puzzles together... all the while only as your mind wants and can handle without you guideing it.
     
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  13. slhlilbit

    slhlilbit Active Member

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    portabella,
    dont push it let it come out naturaly , our brain's are amazing. God created us so well that even out brain protects us from thing we are not ready for. i belive this i have had memories come back of things that happened to me as a child. one when i was( 3 i think) i wet the bed at my aunts house all i remember is seeing my aunt and my mom crying .my aunt saying she is sorry. i was crying and looking in the mirror behind me with cuts on my back. you know i never cryed after that not even when i got a spanking. i still donot remember the beating. dont want to but if it comes out ill understand more about me. oh i started crying like a baby the day i was released from the service. i still dont like to let people see me cry much but when do it is not pretty.
     
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