Childhood Wanting to Talk to Groomer

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
thank you for the explanation of groomer. i guess i better start thinking on another word for the work i do with my animals. another one bites the dust. . .

However, I just want to not be a liar.

gentle empathy on that humble wish. in my own case, i started psychotherapy with trauma induced amnesia. a good deal of my therapy has been memory work with the gnarly twist that the drama was a coast to coast show and no way to either confirm nor deny any of the gory details. of course the only players i can find will call me a liar more quickly than the will care about my recovery.

odds are at least a percentage of my recovered memories are wrong in at least a few of the details. there are bound to be several which are ? ? ? insert preferred name here. am i a liar? i still take comfort in one of my more effective shrink's way of putting it. "you are doing your honest best with the information available. what more can we do?"
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
gentle empathy on that humble wish. in my own case, i started psychotherapy with trauma induced amnesia. a good deal of my therapy has been memory work with the gnarly twist that the drama was a coast to coast show and no way to either confirm nor deny any of the gory details.
How did you get into memory work? Did you have to wait until the memory was there? And I’m also scared that the memories will be false if I force them
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
How did you get into memory work?

it was trial and error, at best. the amnesia was spotted by an army shrink in 1974. at that stage, i couldn't figure out why he kept saying "amnesia" like it was a bad thing. i didn't remember my childhood, but i knew my birth family well enough to know it was worth forgetting. 15 years later found me lost in flashback psychosis while my business and parenting lives were sliding into never land. okay, so that's why my shrinks kept saying "amnesia" like it was a bad thing. . .

in the late 80's and early 90's, emdr, cbt, etc., were not yet available as formal therapies. most of the related therapy was talk and jornaling. we did considerable work on constructing timelines, putting together daily memory checks which i still use to this day and in learning ways to approximate the age of the memory

I’m also scared that the memories will be false if I force them

i'll hold this as a reasonable fear. i am extremely vulnerable to power of suggestion --even my own suggestion-- while i am experiencing flashback psychosis. even without that factor, i assume that at least a percentage of my recovered memories are false and that's okay. i'm doing my honest best with the info available. i have no plans to take any of this into a court of law or any of the other places where facts need proof. not a one of the perps are currently in my life to be offended by the error.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
i assume that at least a percentage of my recovered memories are false and that's okay. i'm doing my honest best with the info available. i have no plans to take any of this into a court of law or any of the other places where facts need proof. not a one of the perps are currently in my life to be offended by the error.
Is there anyway to ensure that it is true. I want to sue, I want to do something. I don’t want her to get away with it.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Is there anyway to ensure that it is true.
Our memory is incredibly unreliable! Like @arfie said. If we ask our brain questions, like "what happened" and our brain doesn't know the answer, it will very often give us its best guess, which may or may not be accurate.

There's been a lot of studies into memory generally, and traumatic memories specifically. You can find studies that will say traumatic memories are incredibly accurate, and just as many that will conclude they're inherently unreliable.

The only way to verify memories is using contemporaneous evidence. Examples are doctor or hospital records, school reports, police files, etc.

Short answer? We can't know with absolute certainty if our memories are accurate or not. This isn't necessarily a barrier to reporting historic child abuse, but it can be a barrier to prosecution.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
I want to sue, I want to do something. I don’t want her to get away with it.

for what it's worth
i can't go there with you. . . in my own case, participating in the just-ice system approach was at least as traumatic as the trauma. i am now convinced there are solid reasons that hospitals and courthouses are in different parts of most cities. i found nothing but further injury in vengeance.

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

good luck in finding your own resolutions.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
For a moment the words of you, @Sideways , and Arfie was a little disheartening. I thought she would be able to get away with it while I’m stuck paying for the after effects. Though I was able to remember a few passages in the books I’ve been reading. Then it reminded me that the only reason I have this uncomfortable feeling and remembrance that she’s bad was because I was doing more in therapy but more importantly I stopped self harming for over three months. That’s when things started coming back. So my first step n returning my memories is stopping self harming. The main reason I relapsed was because my previous therapist said it wouldn’t be profitable to get those memories back at all. I felt silenced. However, realizing now it is the addiction to self harm that’s numbing my emotions and blocking recollection. This will also help me feel more during my EMDR sessions.
The only way to verify memories is using contemporaneous evidence. Examples are doctor or hospital records, school reports, police files, etc.

Short answer? We can't know with absolute certainty if our memories are accurate or not. This isn't necessarily a barrier to reporting historic child abuse, but it can be a barrier to prosecution.
I think another plan of action is using others to confirm my trauma. I have my mom, siblings, and extended family members I can ask about my relationship with the person. I’m too scared to ask this though. Which is why might have a therapy session with them, starting with one of my sisters. There’s also pictures of my childhood I can search for.
i found nothing but further injury in vengeance.
I’m not necessarily looking for vengeance though from how I word it with bringing her down I can see how it came across that way. I just want justice I guess. I want her to be held accountable and for her to never be allowed to do this to someone again. Though I’m sure she did. She had other little girls over.
 
Sometimes, there is a reason that your memories are not coming the way you want them. Maybe your mind is still protecting you. Sometimes when we think we are ready to know, we are not. Maybe it really is more than one can handle that that time. I have been very frustrated with myself for not being able to have all the memories I wanted. But whenever I went searching for them, it made things a lot harder. I would think that talking to someone who is likely to lie would not help you feel like any less of a liar. For me, I have let the memories come when they are ready. It is hard, but it also seems to occur at a time when I can handle them with the supports in place. Too much at once or an unexpected memory, can send me spiraling. A couple of therapists have told me that I can't go searching for answers outside of myself because it isn't likely to help, but to make things worse. Abusers are not likely to tell the truth and can make you feel worse than you already do. When I am feeling like a liar, I talk to my therapist and we work through the evidence as to why I am not lying. It is hard sometimes not to go searching for answers, but it is something I am working on accepting.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
I’m not necessarily looking for vengeance

nor do i mean to sound like i am judging your desires. i mean only that in my own case i was clearly after vengeance and getting what i was after was a clear case of being careful what you wish for. getting my wish brought me nothing more than further injury. i still can't walk past a courthouse without getting lost in vicious flashbacks.

but every case is unique. . . steadying support while you work your own case through.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
In my experience, forcing memories doesn't work. They'll come when it's time. Anything that I don't recall, I chalk it up as my brain's best attempt to protect me. It's really hard. I have glimpses of some truly harrowing events but I don't have enough details to substantiate them. Most of my memories aren't linear. That's the nature of trauma, unfortunately. Experiencing itself leads to structural changes in the hippocampus and amygdala that affect how we remember what occurred.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
In my experience, forcing memories doesn't work. They'll come when it's time. Anything that I don't recall, I chalk it up as my brain's best attempt to protect me. It's really hard. I have glimpses of some truly harrowing events but I don't have enough details to substantiate them. Most of my memories aren't linear. That's the nature of trauma, unfortunately. Experiencing itself leads to structural changes in the hippocampus and amygdala that affect how we remember what occurred.
Would asking my family, quitting self, etc. with the purpose of retrieving memories be forcing it? I want to stop self harming regardless but the motivation of receiving my memories is stronger than anything I’ve ever tried to stop. May you explain more about forcing? I thought what I was trying to do was normal at least that’s what the psych books I’ve been reading have been telling me.

I just don’t want the memories to come when I have no one to help me or in situations where I can lose my job or have to quit school.
 

prynne

Confident
I don't think asking your family what they remember or quitting self-harm are bad ideas on their own but in my own experience, desperately wanting your memories back turns self-destructive quickly. When I was involved in court stuff I needed to remember more to be able to prove that my abuser was guilty. I wanted her in prison at all costs, so I was willing to do anything to get those memories back. I would regularly trigger myself into flashbacks to try and get more details. I was obsessed with searching my memory for more details. Doing these things to myself made me really unstable and miserable.

Also, it didn't really work. Your brain has hidden these memories from you to protect you and will probably only give them back to you as you heal and become more stable and functional. Trying to get them back on your own doesn't work, your subconscious decides when you get them back, at least in my experience. The best things I could do to get my memories back were to become more stable and be open to receiving the memories.
 
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