Childhood Repressed memories?

Lolab123

New Here
I’m 19 and since I was around 11, I have always had the worst anxiety around men. When I say anxiety I mean if I am alone with a male/males I will instantly be convinced they are thinking ab assaulting me, or That I’m in danger of being assaulted and straight away think of ways I could escape the situation. I constantly feel vulnerable and that all men are looking at me in a sexual way, and that they all think of what they could do to me if given the chance.

It’s happens with all men older than me , teachers, therapists , strangers, uncles , grandads , family friends. It’s all I can focus on even if I’ve known this person my whole life, it’s a deep set panic to act normal but also have a plan in place incase they attempt something. I can still leave the house/ be AROUND my family and just live my daily life, it’s only when I’m alone with a man in a situation, or walking down a road and there’s a man behind me/across the road that I’ll panic.

I’ve also been hyper sexual from the age of around 6, I remember falling asleep to thinking of sex scenes from movies I watched and making up scenarios , or even thinking of the cartoon characters having sex , I would replay those scenes, not out of curiosity but just from the sheer thought of someone wanting you in that way. I started having sex at the age of 14 with my 14 year old boyfriend (only partner I’ve ever had) and it would be daily, I even had to be sent to the hospital when I was 15 and they asked if I had been sexually assaulted because my cervix had been so bruised and my body was covered in bruises but it was simply because I was so (consentually) sexually active with my boyfriend that it got to that point, my boyfriend even asked for a break from sex because I simply always wanted to do it!

I have my fair share of trauma, mentally and physically abusive household from the age of 6-10, homeless from 11-12 , suicide attempt at 13, lost my FP at 18 after a 4 year relationship ( I have BPD) which caused my 2nd attempt and extreme dissociation which I have only come out of 6 months later, and just general depression, anxiety.

It’s like all rational thinking flies out the window , why would my uncle who has never done anything to make me uncomfortable and who I have a great relationship try that? Why would my grandad who held me when I was born and offer me nothing but support want to touch me?. I’ve recently come out of a deep dissociation of 6 months, I literally cannot remember anything from May - Augest, which is what made me think of repressed memories, and how maybe these fears stem from something that may of happened as a child.

I use to go to Therapy when I was 13 but I was too afraid to bring up my abuse past so never dealt with that area of my life, I just want to feel comfortable around people again but I don’t know where to start, how would I start dealing with this?
 
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GuyBloke

New Here
Its definitely not the place of some random guy on the internet to say what you should and shouldn't remember, but just over a year ago I had a night full staying awake mentally hating myself,(dwelling on bad memories, telling myself how shit I was) and something in my mind just threw the image of sexual abuse on top like it was trying to help shit-talk me. A year later and I'm not any 'closer' to knowing what happened exactly, so I wouldn't recommend thinking over and over about what must have happened, but that's just me.

As for where I went since, I realised I had spent years practicing how to avoid situations like that and had more or less abandoned college and work that involved being places with people. So I started working down London, surrounded by strangers for most of the day with no easy way to get home, and am still surprised with how quickly my brain learned to adapt. No more anxiety about going to work, no more trying to figure out how to get home in the next few minutes if something happens, I sort of taught myself that working away from home wasn't a threat to worry about!

I've also tried taking up hobbies or sports and the like, but lockdown makes it difficult atm. All this has helped quite a bit more than talking to any professional, at least for me. This must be the grown up version of a child thinking there's a monster in the wardrobe across the room, and clearing the room up to prove there's no monster? I'm not keeping a watch on the movements of everybody at work anymore or carefully checking what's behind a door before I go through it, so it feels like progress?

This isn't to say I know exactly what you have to do, this is just what I've done this past few months and I feel I'm in a better place since. If you feel you could benefit from any form of therapy I guess its better to try now than wonder for the next few months
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Hi there, and welcome! I’m sorry for all that happened to you, it is very though. I hope you’re okay being around your family.

For repressed memories I struggle with that too and have a hard time remembering certain parts of things that apparently I should remember very well and discovered recently that the timeline of my childhood is really different of what I thought, even if I spent a long time placing things to the point I could replay my entire life like a film… visibly with incredible gaps. That was around 19, then I went to college and did stuff and I started to forget or to lose chronology. The period that precedes my sexual assault is super foggy, I was on complete autopilot and I lost many details of things during that moment.

I also had long periods of hypersexuality, Now libido just disappeared. It varies massively in ways I can’t really predict.

For BPD and all cluster B personality disorder stuff… I’d say the therapeutic paths are okay (the DBT is excellent!) but if I can give unsolicited advice, don’t identify too much with all the "iconography" associated with BPD. It isn’t certain that favorite persons are really a thing. I’m speaking here as someone who’s almost been diagnosed with BPD and was said to have "strong BPD traits" but not the full disorder, have two friends diagnosed with BPD and my dreaded ex diagnosed with BPD too. All of them are very different people but if they have something in common, it’s a spectrum of real hardships in their childhood. Just sayin’ cause this disorder is such a label sometimes I think it can be quite burdensome… when my diagnose was GAD my family was super compassionate, when it started to go on the BPD/CPTSD side then I had that look on me as if they saw the first scratch on their new bike. Independently of any diagnose, what is certain is that emotional dysregulation is a bitch and the subsequent self-guilting/raging-blaming paranoias are exhausting.

If you like to read, the book The Body Keeps The Score has a very interesting section about accessing repressed memories.

why would my uncle who has never done anything to make me uncomfortable and who I have a great relationship try that? Why would my grandad who held me when I was born and offer me nothing but support want to touch me?

Why would people who are supposed to care for you hurt you? I can’t speak for your specific case, but it does happen. Often.

It’s up to you to find yourself in a spot where you feel safe enough to try to access the moments you think have given birth to your fears. But it’s known that memories like this can remain dormant for decades if not reassessed. I think it should be done carefully nonetheless.

Good courage on your journey and glad you have found this forum. You have here a place to share and to develop your thoughts with people with a lot of experience in healing and struggling. This will be understood. Welcome :-)
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
A lot of this is like I am. It’s validation in a way, because never get to hear it because, I don’t go around men. I am with a trauma CSA therapist. I haven’t been in group or anything and I’m very isolated with my family but it’s better for me that way. It hasn’t helped me much with that particular aspect. I finally got to the point that I just know I don’t belong around the men and I don’t try and explain it or feel bad about It. It’s because of what happened. I appreciate your posting it and being so honest. The hypersexuality is very difficult. It’s way beyond “all men are like that”. It’s when trauma and pleasure overlap. I wish I had been able to start working on it at your age.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
I have my fair share of trauma, mentally and physically abusive household from the age of 6-10, homeless from 11-12 , suicide attempt at 13,
This says a lot. This is a virtual breeding ground for traumatic incidents to happen to children.
it’s only when I’m alone with a man in a situation, or walking down a road and there’s a man behind me/across the road that I’ll panic.
One thing I learned while I was trying to get to my own past traumas. I may not have understood the weirdnesses of me (crazy intense and reactive fear of pillows) but when I dug into my memories every single one of those fears made 100 percent logical sense. I learned along the way that it didn't matter so much why the fear as it did for me to acknowledge that the fear wasn't me be crazy. That fears like that are born because something actually did happen. I didn't need to know exactly what it was but I did need to work on it so I could free myself to have a fearless life in the future.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I had all the symptoms of CSA, but I could only remember a couple of incidents. I continued in therapy, and eventually the repressed memory came up and it was horrific. I almost didn't survive. For 6 months I had multiple serious suicide attempts, lost my job, went nuts. I did come out the other side, but I continue to wonder if it was worth it. I caused trauma to my son with the suicide attempts that I will have a hard time forgiving myself for. Was it worth it to uncover the memory? No. I think concentrating on alleviating symptoms would have been better. That's just my experience though.
 

Friday

Moderator
I’ve recently come out of a deep dissociation of 6 months, I literally cannot remember anything from May - Augest, which is what made me think of repressed memories, and how maybe these fears stem from something that may of happened as a child.
If it helps at all? What you already know about is absolutely enough to have caused everything you’ve been going through, with no sexual abuse needed.

It’s not bizarre at all for an abused child to cling to romance scenes from movies (or sex scenes if they’re exposed to them), craving the very clear love & affection & intense connectedness/specialness/emotions being portrayed by the characters. Nor to come to the childlike conclusion that “this” is how one would GET that love & affection they’re craving, and create a make believe world for themselves. It’s actually far LESS common amongst sexually abused children to romanticize sex, because that’s how they’re being abused, & there’s no rainbows & unicorns & fairies or any other kind of make believe about it. It’s very real to them. To the point that their play incorporates it to the same degree as pretend cooking in the kitchen or lego car races. It’s one of the giant tells for sexual abuse, that sex in normalized in their world to the degree it leaks out in all their play. As opposed to being the kind of special imaginary world of wonder to sing themselves to sleep with.

Nor is it bizarre for healthy children, abused children, & sexually abused children to use sex as a coping mechanism when they grow up (for a lot of different reasons), or to masturbate as children just because it feels good. You caught the “healthy kids masturbate/healthy adults use sex as a coping mechanism” piece? Yep. No history of abuse at all, much less sexual abuse, is needed to use sex as a coping mechanism nor to be hyper sexual.

It also makes perfect sense that if you romanticized sex as a child? It was your ‘castle on a cloud’? That when hormones hit at puberty having that special thing taken away from you by some f*cktard rapist asshole the same way abusers in your life had no compunction about taking everything else away from you, would skyrocket to the top of your fears list. So let’s add some abused-kid-pathological-anxiety and ask ourselves...What would be WORSE than having your happy place taken away? Being betrayed by someone you love, and having them take it away, to join the ranks of the f*cktard asshole abusers in your life? Yep. That would be way worse.

Abused kids? Are rarely “afraid” of their abusers as much as they’re afraid of people who haven’t abused them... yet. It’s the unknown quantity. Plus the pain of betrayal. Looking for double & triple meanings, any sign, or hint of a sign, or “confirmation” that someone who hasn’t abused them is about to. IME it tends to split between fear & anger in how abused kids react to people who haven’t abused them... but the terror tends to ride around on their shoulders... hypervigilant to the nth degree. Always willing to believe the worst, ready and waiting for that shoe to drop, alert alert alert, whether they’re trying to remain invisible, or grinning and swarming up onto people attempting to charm them into being nice / fawning, freezing, picking a fight to get things over with, etc. So it follows perfectly logically -in trauma land- that you’d be afraid not only of your abusers sexually assaulting you, but of the people you love best who’ve never abused you, and... every other bloke on the planet.

So what you’re describing could “just” be the joys of child abuse 😡 , and the many many ways it f*cks with peoples lives as they try their damndest to make their way through... or, sure. There could be sexual abuse you’ve repressed, too. But the abuse you already know about & remember just fine is more than enough.

There doesn’t have to have been sexual abuse to have your sex life affected by abuse.
 
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Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
I had all the symptoms of CSA, but I could only remember a couple of incidents. I continued in therapy, and eventually the repressed memory came up and it was horrific. I almost didn't survive. For 6 months I had multiple serious suicide attempts, lost my job, went nuts. I did come out the other side, but I continue to wonder if it was worth it. I caused trauma to my son with the suicide attempts that I will have a hard time forgiving myself for. Was it worth it to uncover the memory? No. I think concentrating on alleviating symptoms would have been better. That's just my experience though.
Hi I just wanted to say I empathize. My experience was a lot like this. I never functioned all that well but I was able to keep pretending. The it all came out and I went over the falls and almost died on drugs.

I wanted to say though I don’t think we have a choice? I know what you mean, and I did a lot of damage during that time, and what I am now, or what I’m like maybe isn’t the best thing for all the people who love me, but it’s me. It had to come out. I remember thinking about it like it was having a child. Like after about 9 months you can’t stop that. I would never have let it out if I had a real choice, I would have died first.

That’s just my experience of it and my opinion. Sounds similar, do I wanted to say something.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I wanted to say though I don’t think we have a choice? I know what you mean, and I did a lot of damage during that time, and what I am now, or what I’m like maybe isn’t the best thing for all the people who love me, but it’s me. It had to come out. I remember thinking about it like it was having a child. Like after about 9 months you can’t stop that. I would never have let it out if I had a real choice, I would have died first.

You're right, it had to come out. I'm hoping in the long run it was worth it.
 
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