Early on in my latest round of therapy, my therapist said to me, "my, you really doubt everything you do, don't you." Well, in a way, that's true. I am decisive in work, school, and otherwise managing my life, and do well. But with raising my daughter, and dealing with my past I am plagued with doubt. It's been a long time since I dealt with the trauma of my childhood, which for a while I thought I was "over" until I had some parenting problems, finally got into therapy again (after a 15+ year gap), and now sometimes feel a little more like a collection of symptoms than a person. The symptom that pains me the most, though, is my doubt. Sometimes I doubt my memories of abuse. They manifest as intrusive thoughts and somatic memories mostly, and I used to have nightmares more. They scare me near to death, and I've spent a fair amount of energy avoiding them, and avoiding the things that make me think of the unpleasant parts of my childhood, for quite a while. Of course, I also have PTSD, avoidance, outbursts, sleep issues, etc. etc. I wonder, how many of you ever doubt your stories? When I used to attend survivor groups, sometimes, I heard narratives of extreme abuse, satanic ritual abuse and such, and as much as I respected and liked some of the speakers, I had such a hard time believing what they said could have possibly happen. I fear to offend anyone by saying that, I'm just trying to come to terms with my own doubts about the whole issue of repressed memories. When I reported my abuse, as a teenager, several years after the fact, I basically lost my family and my mother told me I had False memory Syndrome. That and some other factors, I think, make it a lot easier for me to doubt myself and to worry that I'm confused, that I'm exaggerating, or seeing awful flashes that are just something I've got stuck in my head instead of memories. I have studied memory a little, and repression, and read a fair amount about PTSD and the way our brains process traumatic events. My memories fit those explanations very well but I have a terribly hard time taking what I know to heart. My therapist says it's a defense, my doubt, my denial, but... I'm at the point in my life where what I want more than anything is clarity. My flashes have started getting worse, a little more intrusive, I'm sure it's because I've been talking about the past and them in therapy, but it's really uncomfortable. I think part of my problem is that I expect too much from memory in the first place, that it all be as clear, complete and vivid as the present moment, and partly that the more overwhelmed I get thinking about it, the more my brain pushes back for me to be gentle, but I'm kind of relentless. Maybe I just need a vacation to 'normal.' Ha. Anyone else have perspective on this?