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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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Question Unsure of my past - April 13th 2010, 08:07 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

So this might be a kind of weird post but Ive been thinking a lot recently about how i cant remember anything before i was 12-13 years old and its been bothering me a lot. I mean, pretty much no memories before 8th grade which seems abnormal compared to everyone else I know. Its kind of created a problem with my family and I since I moved back because whenever we hang out they always wants to reminisce about growing up but i never remember whatever they are talking about and they make me feel bad about it. They're always saying, whats wrong with you that's not normal you don't remember shit, etc. and it makes me feel worse about it because i am usually able to not think about it. I mean how often do i really need to remember something that happened when i was young on a daily basis, plus i have been living away from my family while in college so my past wasn't brought up a lot. Anyways, I have the bad feeling that something happened to me when i was young and not remembering is just my way of dealing with it or something. There are other possible indicators like I absolutely hate people touching me, I was pretty much raped when i was 16-I told the guy i didn't want to have sex with him when we were making out but then he just did it anyways, not even really forcefully, I just let it happen and I knew that if i just laid there it would be over with,I guess that's the most disturbing part that if felt so familiar like I just knew what to do and immediately detached myself from the situation-and I also get this really intense fear whenever I know a guy is hitting on me, I just freeze up. Anyways, I know this was a long rambling but I guess my question that I need help with is is it possible to have totally repressed something like that and if so, how do I find out what really happened when i was young, if anything? I feel like maybe seeing a counselor but I don't want them to think I'm like crazy or attention seeking or something. I mean how am I supposed to go to a professional and tell them I think I was sexually abused but I don't actually know?

Last edited by Emily.; April 13th 2010 at 06:19 PM.
   
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Re: Unsure of my past - April 13th 2010, 06:33 PM

Hey there Rebecca.

There are lots of reasons why you might not remember your childhood. Some people just don't hold onto those memories as well as others. If it's something you want to look into though, don't be afraid to. Some of the things you mentioned are signs of past abuse and a counselor could help you work through them. Even if the memories don't come back and you don't find out anything, a therapist can still help you work through what happened when you were 16 and the feelings you're having.

You might also try talking to your family. Ask them if they knew if you had experienced any abuse as a child. I know that might be a hard conversation to have, but they were with you through that time.

I hope you're doing okay right now. You can PM me if you ever want to talk.
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Re: Unsure of my past - April 13th 2010, 10:23 PM

Hey Rebecca,
You are not alone in this. Many people find it difficult to remember their past because of something traumatic that happened when they were younger. I know some people who have the same problem as you. I do think seeing a counsellor could help. Sometimes talking about things triggers memories and slowly some things come back to you. I have only really heard about repressed memories when you want to block something out and put is as far to the back of your mind as possible, it's like the brain protecting yourself from remembering something bad.

I think you should definitely get counselling about being raped. Rape isn't something that is easy to forget or heal from, but it is possible with all the right help. Counsellors see people who all have different problems and I guarentee they have probably dealt with many people who have similar problems as you in regards to having repressed memories. I think try counselling and see how you feel about it, it's always best to give it a chance because counselling does not have an immediate effect and there are going to be points where you really want to give up on it because it's painful at times but in the long-run it can do you the world of good if you have the right counsellor.
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Re: Unsure of my past - April 14th 2010, 06:15 AM

Hey Rebecca,

I totally get the not remembering thing, I can't remember parts of my past either, although I do remember most of it. Repressing memories usually only happens with something traumatic or something that you don't want to remember, it's a defense mechanism of the brain to protect itself. So, it's not weird at all that you can't remember, it's actually common in abuse survivors and other survivors of traumatic events.

Talk to your school counselor, your college should have one, or they can refer you to one if they don't. They can help you, even if they can't help you remember, because sometimes you just can't remember those things if you've blocked it for so long, although some people remember flashes. They can help you deal with what happened when you are sixteen though, which was rape. Just give talking to them a try. And if you need anything, feel free to pm me.


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Re: Unsure of my past - April 14th 2010, 07:39 AM

Hey there,

I had the same problem for the longest time. Not the remembering per se. I used to think I had a great memory but I always had this feeling that something bad had happened. Then I would look back on my childhood and see some gaps. It always bothered me that I always had this feeling that I was molested but I couldn't remember and then one day I started remembering. It started slowly too with just a flash of a memory and then with time the 'floodgates' opened and I have remembered a lot.

The best advice I can give you is to let your mind heal and let your mind deal with it and with time you will remember. And if you don't remember that is okay. However I think the fact that you are letting out the fact that you think something happened is a great first step to acknowledging it. I know when I first really started acknowledging that something might have happened I got a memory a few months later. I think the minute our minds realize we are strong enough to deal with it it will let us remember bits and pieces.

I know how difficult it would be to go to a therapist and say 'I think something might have happened' but I am sure they hear that all the time. And, openly talking about your fears, worries, thoughts concerns on the issues might help.

Remember that something might have happened or something might not have happened but with time I am sure you will figure it out.

I know this is probably not what you want to hear but it is the best advice I can give.

If you ever want to chat feel free to pm me.

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Re: Unsure of my past - April 18th 2010, 06:11 AM

I know this reply is a little late but i just wanted to thank everyone for their advice. I really appreciate it. I see my doctor on the 28th since I just started taking anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds and I think I'm going to ask her for a referral to a counselor so hopefully that will help me out.
   
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