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Repressed Memory

Discussion in 'General' started by sibemom, Oct 31, 2006.

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  1. sibemom

    sibemom Active Member

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    OK I am up way to early this morning but I had such a bad night of nightmares and things that were really strange. I have been having some reoccuring nightmares that are not related to the accident. There dreams of first I feel TERROR then I feel sick then I wake up in a shaking sweat. At first I did not recall what they were about just felt the feelings, NOW I remember or at least this morning I woke up and remembered. I am seeing visions of being abused not beaten the OTHER KIND which I can not even write down right now, not sure by who and I am a child in this dream. I do not remember any such thing happening to me, but obviously in my nightmares it is happening. Has anyone had any repressed memory that came to the surface AFTER they were diagnosed with PTSD???? Have any of you had memories brought out by THERAPY??? This is frightening to me because of the fact I do not remember any such thing ever happening to me at least when I am awake?????? I still do have nightmares about the accident and about the abuse I suffered when married to my EX, but nothing like this. I think I am going to call my doc today and have a little chat with him. Any insight on this would be helpful.
     
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  3. Farmer

    Farmer Active Member

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    Hi sibemom

    Sounds like the night terrors I get(luckaly not every night),just a sense of terror with nothing to identify it with, tho now I have a good idea what they are about.

    I have had one memorey come up but it has been so long that it is like digging in cement to get anything out.

    It came out not in therapy but watching a documentery on tv, maybe my mind was just ready at the time.
     
  4. sibemom

    sibemom Active Member

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    I guess when I talk to my doc today I am going to ask a very pointed question and that is ARE THESE REAL MEMORIES????????? Because if they are then I want to know WHY?????????? NOW???????????? and WHO?????????? See I think it has something to do with an older man that I kept seeing even when awake. I could describe him to a tee and my doc said it would have to be someone I saw at some point even if I do not recognize who it is, that was before the nightmare about it. I am really scared right now, so I hope he has some insight as to WHY and WHAT would trigger this NOW!
     
  5. Farmer

    Farmer Active Member

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    That's the weird thing about the mind there is'nt a nice easy file directory. Sometimes it takes something that seems totaly unrelated to get the pathways open. It seems if one can get by those initial fears(I hate hearing that to) it makes it easier for the memorys to peek out. A good Doc knows how to poak the right way to get at them.
     
  6. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Sibemom, I've never had a repressed memory that I know of, but I have had the really bad (and really vague) nightmares and night terrors, similar to what you describe. I wake up in a sweat, screaming or feel like I'm choking. This may not be what you have, but in my case, my psychiatrist attributes it to a breathing problem. I have severe asthma and I often sleep on my back. The doctor thinks that I am not getting enough oxygen to my brain, and thus the awful night terrors. He says lack of oxygen causes nightmares in some people. When my asthma is better controlled I tend to have fewer bad dreams.

    In any case I hope you find out what's wrong soon. I know how awful it can be!!
     
  7. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    There are a few of us with repressed memories of sexual abuse. The only reason I know what bits I remember are true as they were confirmed and my twin has full recall, and bro admitted it when confronted by my mom. I am assumming that is what you mean.

    Now that it comes to you in a nightmare after diagnosis. That may be a bit tricky. Dreams so often symbolize what we are going through emotionally as well as recall of events. My nightmares do not always hold true to what actually happened though, most often not. I will dream of one of the times I was attacked and raped. It happens all over but in the dream I am trying to load a gun and the clip falls out. Never a gun involved in that one attack.

    So it could be just as possible after being diagnosed you feel helpless as a child... Vunerable, out of control, and assulted could come to us in the dream in many different forms in the nightmare. Does not mean we won't wake up disturbed and jacked up feeling.

    Not to say it isn't possible but look into that too. Because it seems like so many phases of PTSD opens up or releases so much more of pandora's box and just feels like it keeps on coming and every skeleton hidden in the closet is not happy until unveiled. Explore this to see if the new nightmares are maybe a reflection of how you currently are feeling.

    I hope like hell you do not have the same shit a few of us are trying to deal with because it is a major pain in the ass and just more shit to work through when you cannot put all the pieces together. Hard to cope when you do not have the info to process readily avalible to the consious mind.

    I really do not know much about repressed memories except that I have them and when they come to light I am awake and it just seems to come to me. I should read up more! I am just still trying to absorb all info on PTSD itself and have not made it that for as to how repressed memories work.

    Just keep an open mind and don't be too fast to panic. I hope it is just a reflection of how you feel as it will be much easier to cope.
     
  8. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    I agree very much with Veiled - nightmares can be symbolic of feelings - it may be related to feelings and emotions from your trauma/s, but just illustrated in your mind in a different way to what actually happened.

    I rarely get action-replay nightmares (thankfully), but I get a whole load of really unpleasant nightmares where I feel the same as I did during my trauma/s.

    I guess I can just echo Veiled - don't panic and keep an open mind. Speak to your doc etc.

    Take care
     
  9. sibemom

    sibemom Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I talked with my doc today and he has many ideas on this issue. I do have an appointment coming up early next week and he blocked off more than the usual hour session so I hope we can dig further into this. I hope it is just feelings that is causing this rather than an actual event that would just add more to my already full plate.
     
  10. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    This is a very tricky subject. Are repressed memories real? Yes and no. There has been a lot of controversy over therapy induced repressed memories. Many claim they are all falsely induced and never happened, many claim that of course they have to be real, they remembered it right? So what is the truth of the matter. Here are some agreed on points by both sides:

    1. Injustice happens. Innocent people do get accused and convicted. Guilty parties do go free by casting doubt on the accusations.

    2. Incest happens. It happens more than orginally thought. There are NO characteristic signs or symptoms of incest.

    3. Forgetting happens. Forgetting past events, both negative and positive, is part of ordinary life.

    4. Recovered memories are commonplace. Our memories can be and are cued by remarks, experiences etc. Everyone experiences this everyday. It is how our memory works.

    5. Memories "Recovered" under hypnosis or influence of drugs are highly unrealiable. Caution needs to be used here. Any memory that is found under any type of therapy induced methods needs to be verified. (more on how to do this further in this post.)

    6. Any memory of something from the age of 3 and before are unreliable. There is something called "infantile amnesia." This is caused because we can not recall any memory in the same capacity (we use a different method after the age of 3) as an adult. There is NO method to recall events before this age that is reliable. Period.

    7. Memories, real or false, can be emotionally upsetting. No matter what type of memory, verified or not, they have emotions attached to them. These emotions need to be dealt with and validiated.


    Now, some of you may want to argue these points. I do not want to get into how our memory works, why it works that way and everything to back it up. In fact, I'm not going to.

    Okay so what is my point here? My point is that many doctors and therapists are completely irresponsible in giving this information to us. They never explain this. They can just jump the gun or ignore it completely. We need to be armed with knowledge when it comes to our memories. I have dealt with amnesia, repressed memories and memory recall for over 18 years, in my personal life. It's a hard road. Many, if not all of us, will have to deal with this at some point. So, how do we tell if our memories are real or not?

    1. When did the memory surface? If your memory was recovered in therapy (not after but during), through any therapy methods or drug use do not believe that it is real until you follow through with OUTSIDE verification that it really happened.

    2. Verifiy all memories recovered. Verify this by outside sources. Family members, freinds, newspaper clippings, pictures, police reports, CAS reports, etc.

    Sounds pretty simple eh? It can be a very trying process. What if you have family members trying to protect themselves or others? What if they are unreliable themselves and prone to lying? What if they refuse to tell you anything or you can not bring it up? You may have to get creative. I've had this problem myself. It could be a little clue. You remember witnessing something. Your family says it never happened. Perhaps you have previously heard them talk about being on a boat and your memory was on this boat. Well, you knew you were on the boat. First indication there is something to it right? Secondly, what is the intent of the person asked to verify or not, of the memory? Are they angry, are they guilty, protecting someone or themselves etc..

    Remember, this is a PROCESS. It can be a long one. Whether you can verify your memories or not, what ever you are FEELING is real. You need to acknowledge, accept and work through your feelings.

    As for a nightmare recovering a memory, this is very unreliable. Our dreams are a process to working through our memories, experiences, thoughts feelings etc. This is not a cut and dried process. Our dreams could be triggered by anything from anywhere. The smallest thing can make us dream bizzare and scary events. Do not trust a dream or nightmare as a reliable memory. Use the verification process to determine if it is real if you feel this may be an actual event.

    I wish you all luck with this!

    Bec
     
  11. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

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    I am one who has repressed memories. Mine were not brought about with therapy. In fact, I sought out therapy from having these "visions". I did have nightmares but my repressed memories did NOT come about in dreams. They came when awake and is always triggered by something. Usually by sound or smell or feeling, (like fear).

    I can tell you that they SUCK and make me sick and I'm usually laid up for weeks after. Only recently have I been able to process them and deal with daily life functioning simultaneously.

    The only way I can describe a repressed memory coming to the surface is like how you remember something you've forgotten but then all of sudden remember. It's there all of a sudden. Also for me, the memories are very physical. I can tell you more precisely how my body was positioned than what I was feeling. My therapist calls this "somatic memories" or body memories. Apparently these are stored with amazing clarity because it does feel like reliving it when the repressed memory surfaces.

    My first memory was actual pain. No vision, no smell, just pain. It actually doubled me over during work and I thought I'd better get an appointment with the doctor the next day. The rest of the memory appeared the next morning after fully awakening. Of course, then, all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed and die there. I don't wish this on anyone. It's a terribly painful process and it makes me shake just thinking about it. For me, I HAD to have them. I had no control over when or where they would happen. There were actually times I wish it would just come all at once so I could get it over with instead of the not knowing when the next one would hit.

    This forum has helped me tremendously in this respect. I was able to come online and process it here and get feedback. There are people here that told me under the circumstances, I was doing well even though I felt like dying. It helps me get through it all. Eventually, (like the greiving process), I got through it. Little by little it gets better. I'm still awaiting for more to surface. I think I'm up to fourteen memories now. Not all of them are bad, but most are.

    What Bec said here:
    Is an awesome one. When I was abused, I had one sister that was abused with me and my mother. My mother will not tell me anything partly because of her culture and partly because of the language barrier. My sister however does not remember a thing. NONE of my memories have been validated by an outside source. Some of my memories have credibility in that I can describe the details and how my body was. The view that I have is at the proper height for a four year old, etc. I remember what I was looking at during some of the traumas. I can describe the smell. It's very weird and surreal. Now, Bec pointed out that feelings is feelings no matter if the memories are true. I had to come to terms with this and it's easier said than done, let me tell you. What she says is true though. If you have a therapist, talk and spill it. Even your dreams. Write it down. Have a journal and write all your terrors in it. You may see a pattern or a general theme. I wish you tonight, a solid sleep with no terrors.

    If you have any more questions PM me. I'm willing to share.
     
  12. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    Thank you Nam. This is another great way of Vailidating when there are no possible outside sources! (I could not for the life if me think of how to term this earlier! Thank you! Well put) This is such a tough aspect. I still work through new memories often (I erased 14 years of my life and now get little flahses of it.) Mine start with an emotional flash, them move to snap shot visuals. No movie like stuff and it's all third person. Please talk about it with someone. You can also privately pm me. As can you Nam. I really feel the most important aspect of this is working through our feelings and having our feelings validated. Otherwise we end up in more pain from it.

    Bec
     
  13. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

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    Hey, for those of you that want more information about repressed memories, validation and the controversy surrounding false memory syndrome, visit this site:
    [DLMURL]http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Recovmem/index.html[/DLMURL]

    And here is a website that helped me tremendously:
    http://www.jimhopper.com/memory/
     
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