What are Repressed Memories?
When we are very young children an event such as sexual abuse can be so traumatic to us that we will bury all memory of the abuse ever happening.
It never stays buried though. These memories will lay dormant until a time that our brains feel we are in a place where we are able to deal with them.
These repressed memories will come back to us in bodily sensations, emotional flashbacks, and nightmares.
A person can be going about their life in their 40’s thinking they had a normal loving family, when suddenly they realize this is not the truth.
The nature of repressed memories will make you doubt yourself at first.
You will fight these memories coming to the surface. After all, who wants to believe their normal loving family was anything but when they were young and developing.
You can fight these memories, but you can’t deny the reality. You will feel it to the very core of your being that these memories are true.
A part of you will know beyond a shred of doubt that the memories are true.
That same part of you will realize that this is the key to all of your life’s problems.
According to Renee Fredrickson’s book, Repressed Memories, repressed memories allow us the freedom to focus our conscious energy on the present. She also explains that there are two types of information that the memory will repress. These are traumatic and trivial events.
What is Trauma?
According to Renee Fredrickson,
“Trauma is any shock, wound, or bodily injury that may be either remembered or repressed, depending on your needs, your age, and the nature of the trauma.”
You may be able to remember some of your traumatic childhood memories. I remember the time my sister closest in age, the family scapegoat, deliberately jumped on the end of a plank I was walking on, knowing I would end up in the ocean when she did it, and I almost drowned. I remember the whole thing quite vividly, right down to the sound the water made when my dad plunged his hand in and grabbed my hair to pull me back out.
Other traumatic memories are so frightening or beyond our comprehension at the time they happened that our conscious mind buries the memory deep in our unconscious.
From my research I have found that if you have repressed memories of childhood trauma, they are without a doubt about some form of abuse that was inflicted upon you by another human being. That is actually what abuse is, trauma inflicted upon a person by another person.
Taking this a step further, if you have repressed memories they are more likely to be about sexual abuse rather than physical or emotional abuse.
Let that sink in.
Because of the nature of sexual abuse, it is especially susceptible to memory repression. This is especially true if the abuse occurred when we are “too young to remember” and too young to comprehend what was happening to us.
Renee Fredrickson says,
“Sexual abuse is so bizarre and horrible that the frightened child feels compelled to bury the event deep inside his or her mind.”
Sexual abuse makes a child feel so much shame. The secrecy that surrounds it only adds to the overwhelming shame that is felt.
I have also spoken about a partial memory I have concerning my mother in this youtube video. In this memory she is standing over me. I am on the bed in the small upstairs bedroom. I am not seeing this memory from where I am on the bed. I am seeing this memory from behind my mother, floating up by the ceiling so that what she is doing to me is just out of my view. I actually cannot see myself to get a good enough look to even see how old I am.
A part of me believes she was not only physically assaulting me, but that she was sexually assaulting me, and this is why I have buried it. I am able to recall other memories of physical abuse by my narcissistic mother, and quite frankly it was right out there in the open and done in front of each other, so it wasn’t a big secret that she hit us and physically assaulted us. We were trained to look the other way and to forgive and forget, no matter what. The family came first.
It is not surprising that narcissistic mother denies everything now, even yelling at us. I couldn’t fucking believe it when she tried that one on me! She can deny until the cows come home. She can’t deny what I remember, or what I have yet to remember. Her denial only tells me one thing. It tells me that she is afraid of what I will remember, which is why she is denying all forms of abuse now.
If you are experiencing partial or repressed memories, I recommend finding a good trauma therapist, because if a buried memory is coming back, there is a good bet that it is of a traumatic event that happened to you when you were a child and too young to comprehend at the time.
May you find comfort in the knowledge that you are in a good place to deal with these memories, otherwise they wouldn’t be coming forth.
They’re hoovering again….
If they really loved me they would leave me alone.
They think they can make things go back to the way they were before.
Things can never go back to the way they were before.
I know too much.
The veil has been lifted and it cannot be replaced.
It is my eldest sister again.
This time she sent me a follow request to my personal twitter account.
I had just tweeted on my poking holes account about how I am contemplating going no contact with the offspring of my siblings to avoid being triggered.
Then, a couple of minutes later, the follow request popped up.
Coincidence? I hope so.
If not, they have found poking holes.
I hope not.
This is my place to speak my truth free from their influence.
If they have found it, I guess there will no longer be any reason to hide.
The only way I will ever speak to any of them again is if they are no longer in contact with her.
I have been going through a lot of emotional turmoil this weekend.
I don’t know what triggered it.
Maybe passing by my sister after not seeing her for over a year.
Maybe it’s the time of year getting to me.
I’ve been feeling detached from life, but I think that is because I have been in an emotional flashback.
I have been wanting to sleep, so I allowed myself to do that.
I slept a lot.
A lot of the time I just lay there not asleep, but not fully awake either.
It was one of my prolonged emotional flashbacks when I just want to stay in bed.
I stay home a lot as it is, but at these times I literally stay in bed.
I’m not sure why, but I feel compelled to.
I suppose I feel safe there, but I also don’t have any energy at these times.
I feel depleted and a part of me thinks that I am trying to avoid something.
Not that I have any kind of control over dissociation, but I become so triggered by my own thoughts that I stay in my room, in my bed, under the covers.
Even now as I’m typing this, I was starting to go into a trance like stare into space.
I am feeling light headed.
I have this strong feeling that something is trying to surface.
Some of my repressed memories perhaps.
The partial memories in particular.
I need to realize that these times of being in this zoned out state are times when I am overwhelmed.
I don’t have any control over my response.
I don’t choose to freeze or dissociate.
I keep trying to remember though.
I think about the partial memories and try to focus on what happens next, but I end up in a trance like state, just staring into space again.
I’m going to try
I’m floundering without a therapist.
The longer I stay away from reaching out, the harder it is to do it.
I just can’t though.
I wish my husband would take over for me and take care of me.
He now has insurance from work which will cover a psychologist, but I am hesitant.
I’m so afraid.
I don’t feel like I can trust anybody.
I feel like nobody can be trusted.
On social media, in groups for CPTSD survivors, I will reach out and then I will delete my messages.
I need support, but I shy away from it when it is offered.
I can’t control my responses.
I run on fear a lot.
I can’t even stay focused while writing this.
‘Tis the season to be triggered.
I made a video for my youtube channel on this topic. Here is the link.
~Poking Holes <3
Here is the original video I created.
When I first started creating content I was using my old windows laptop, my brand new Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 and Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout Edition, and windows movie maker. I didn’t know that I could stop the camera from focussing in and out back then. Sorry about that.
I’m still using the same Logitech C920 Webcam and Blue Yeti Microphone, but I have since upgraded my laptop to a Apple 13″ MacBook Pro, and I usually use iMovie to create my videos now. Sometimes I dabble in using Adobe Premiere Pro CC, and in fact some of my videos have been edited using it, but that was only until I realized how much more user-friendly iMovie is for somebody like me. I also occasionally use my smart phone to vlog, which I think is obvious when I do it. Enough of the techie stuff, but I though some of you might be interested in knowing this info. 😉
This was only the 2nd video I created for my channel. I had just learned about CPTSD and was eager to help spread the word.
I was sure there had to be others out there just like me who were just waking up to this, and that needed to know this information so they could begin their healing journey as well.
One viewer said,
I don’t see any kids in the audience, so maybe next time you could write something intelligible instead of switching colors and drawing faces?
Another viewer exclaimed,
Agggghhhhhh. The marker sounds…. my ears!!!!! 😖
And, yet another,
i do not enjoy the fact that you draw small faces near the symptoms. it looks like you are making fun of me. really, like you aren’t taking this seriously. it’s offensive.
I tried not to take it too personally.
After all, I get it.
It is kind of horrible.
As another viewer said, and I have to agree.
Overall though, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with the following being just a drop in the bucket.
This is officially my best ever encountered explanation of CPTSD!
Thank you for explaining so clearly what I have had my entire life.
One of the best videos, thank you so much
Thank you. So much! I am trapped in my body. Nobody understands. This helps me, a lot.
I’d been thinking of remaking that video for a while now, and may even make another version.
It might even make this viewer happy. 😉
I put on a video to read, said no one ever
Additional Resources: Comp
lex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving