Childhood Fluctuating memories from childhood abuse

Shyhi

New Here
Been uncovering possible memories I had a child, needless to say they're quite bad. However, I never had flashbacks or any idea I might have been a csa victim growing up. I started uncovering feelings and thoughts about 6 months ago and it's been the most turbulent time of my life. Derealization, psychotic, and dissociation episodes have been very abundant. So I believe these flashbacks hold some validity given how aggressively my brain has reacted. Plus it would explain things like my hypersexuality and that I used to dissociate a lot as a child.

However, a huge part of me is put off by the fact I never had any idea or clue about this growing up and now it's suddenly coming up at age 22. Not to mention the "memories" have kept changing. Some things have remained the same, like words and feelings, but the setting and time frame is fuzzy and always changing and it's so frustrating trying to figure what a figment of my imagination and what's real.

Has this happened to anyone else? Just not remembering a thing for years and then boom, something triggered possible memories? And/or things keep changing in the memories?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome @Shyhi , and sorry you are going through this.

Yep: this happened to me.
I was 24 when memories started to come back. Mainly through nightmares and then thoughts. I thought I was losing my mind and it was very challenging. I went to one therapy session and then ran away and stuffed it all in my mind again. Until I reached my 40:s, and couldn't hold it in any longer and life got a bit harder again. And more memories and more realisations.

So, whilst what you are going through is so challenging and unsettling and crazy making, it's also really positive it is coming out so that you can start to heal.
 
D

Deleted member 50877

Sounds familiar to me too. My whole childhood is somehow fuzzy, there are few basic memories I know are true, but very often I start doubting whether I made them up or not. There are also memories that came up suddenly and it‘s all just a mess.
The instability of the whole thing is the most unbearable part for me, it is strange not to know what you experienced and what it was and not to know whether you can trust your memories and thoughts. The fact that memories as such are not the most stable thing in general, doesn‘t help.

I‘m trying to believe everything that comes up, giving it attention and giving myself compassion. It doesn‘t matter whether the pieces of information is true or not - the feelings accompanying it and the here and now are real and true and that‘t the only thing that matters.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks for the replies everyone, it's really hard to tell sometimes if I'm being genuine with myself or if what I'm experiencing is real. Glad to know I'm not alone, your answers are reassuring!
Yeah, it's so hard and confusing.
I think I have worked out (sort of, not really) that the feelings that don't feel real tend to be real. But it's learning to trust that and unpick it, and then work out what I'm feeling and what the truth is and what it isn't. So confusing! Hope it gets less emotionally painful for you as these things get worked through.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Been uncovering possible memories I had a child, needless to say they're quite bad. However, I never had flashbacks or any idea I might have been a csa victim growing up. I started uncovering feelings and thoughts about 6 months ago and it's been the most turbulent time of my life
It doesn't feel real does it? Unfortunate but those secrets have to come out some where, sometime. When? When your brain says help, I can't deal with this.

Trauma does weird things like that to your memory. At first, you wonder if thy are true memories, if they are real. Basically you know they are true by how they feel.

Uncovering the memories for me was difficult. Dealing with them has taken months so far. The real trauma will be very difficult to deal with and you will want help from a professional to deal with them @Shyhi.
 

Shyhi

New Here
It doesn't feel real does it? Unfortunate but those secrets have to come out some where, sometime. When? When your brain says help, I can't deal with this.

Trauma does weird things like that to your memory. At first, you wonder if thy are true memories, if they are real. Basically you know they are true by how they feel.

Uncovering the memories for me was difficult. Dealing with them has taken months so far. The real trauma will be very difficult to deal with and you will want help from a professional to deal with them
Yeah, so much of this has been me going "This isn't real, this never happened, you're lying to yourself." But I'm slowly allowing myself to accept the possibility of what happened.
Luckily I'm meeting with a therapist tomorrow who specializes in this sort of thing. I'm actually really excited because I finally have someone to ground and help me through this. It's gonna suck. So much. But I want help and I'm happy I can get it.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
It's gonna suck. So much. But I want help and I'm happy I can get it.
Yeah, it does but at some point you gotta rip the band-aid off. Glad you have help from your T too.

You have this forum too, awesome people who will share their experience in dealing with PTSD.
 
Shyhi -- I had suffered from CSA by my father until I was about age 35 and was totally clueless until suddenly becoming consciously aware of it during one therapy session at age 24. Actually I felt greatly relieved after becoming aware, yet, also disgusted and angry with my parents, as I deserved more respect. I wasn’t born to become a ‘love substitute’ for my parent’s failed marriage.

I have only a few vague memories of CSA which I couldn’t recall until age 24 and have had no new memories of CSA since that time. I was very much aware of my father’s ongoing sexual abuse after age 24. I just couldn’t change his behavior and I was then also living in his house.

My sudden awareness of this CSA hadn’t giving me disturbing flashbacks. (I did once experience frightening intrusive flashbacks but that wasn’t about sexually abuse. It occurred very suddenly one day, in 1988, when my amnesia broke) However, in regards to my CSA, I've had no intrusive flashbacks but only a few vague memories. I only know that I was extremely terrified at age 4 when my father exposed his penis erection to me. But this memory doesn’t bother me anymore.

I’ve never tried to force myself to remember anything nor have I tried to fill in any memory gaps. My memories are always brief vague fragments. My imagination is something entirely deferent, as I can actively redesign whatever I have created within my imagination. Yet I can’t alter my memories and when it is vague I can’t sharpen the image. Neither can I recall what happened prior to the memory event nor what happened afterwards. My early CSA memories are perhaps, only several seconds in duration at most. Also, my CSA memories haven’t changes over the years. Yet my non contact CSA memories would likely be quite different from those having experienced physical CSA.

I do have a very vivid imagination and so, I’m careful not to confuse the two by attempting to fill in any memory gaps. My father was very secretive and continued his sexually abusive behavior until I was about age 35. As far an I know, my father never was sexually aggressive beyond his non contact voyeurism and exhibitionism.

Apparently children tend to dissociate easily yet, as an adult I’ve continued to dissociate, just as I once did during my CSA. My father’s sexual arousal and self-gratification had nothing to do with me. I wasn’t being sexually aroused nor fondled nor shown any affection. I was merely his sex object void of emotion and numb. I haven’t any body memories of CSA and perhaps, this might be why the psychiatrist who evaluated me in 2019 told me that, EMDR wouldn’t help me. I’d likely only dissociate during EMDR. I’m not even sure that, I have any triggers pertaining to sex.
 
Top