Mental Health Support
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Memories

So I think i started to remember a little over a year ago, I can’t remember the exact moment but suddenly it was like the dam had burst and this memory I had so obviously been repressing just came back to me. So here’s what I remember, I must have been 3 or 4 and my brother who was 6 or 7 at the time had taken me into the kitchen at our babysitters. He told me to kneel behind the counter and I did because he’s my big brother. And he made me touch him. I take stop thinking about it and I really need some help. How do I know I’m not repressing similar memories?, how do I talk to someone about this?, does he even remember?

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I'm so sorry this happened to you. From what you've said, it sounds like you were sexually abused. I would report it if you can and see a counsellor who is devoted to sexual assault survivors. I had similar experiences so I can relate.

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Thank you for your help. I have to be honest with you I'm terrified. Not of my brother, I am just scared of everyone's response.

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Hello Daisy2001,

Welcome to our supportive community. Hmm what you are asking is tricky, and what you seem to be remembering is obviously very disturbing for you, but it is important too not to jump to conclusions at this stage.

I recently graduated with a psychology degree, and we covered a lot of work on cognitive psychology and how our memory works. It is a very complex process, and the way memories are formed by information drawn from outside of us through our senses, coupled with previously stored knowledge are merged together, and stored initially in our short-term memory, then into our long-term memory. The way memories are retrieved is a whole other process.

There has been a lot of research into different types of memory and how we remember things. Our memories form part of our identity. Memories can be accurate, but they can also be inaccurate. They can be distorted and are not necessarily a photographic imprint of events. I am not suggesting that what you are remembering, isn't so, or didn't happen. But events that happened a long time ago, will be clouded by time, by the context in which it may have happened, and the context in which you are thinking about it now, and if other people are involved they may view or report it differently. I don't think it will serve any useful purpose in asking your brother about it now.

I would also counsel against going 'digging' to try find other 'repressed' memories. There is on-going debate among psychologists and psychotherapists regarding the evidence for recovering repressed memories, and even the danger by some therapists of unintentionally implanting false memories particularly in the area of sexual abuse, this has led to traumatic court cases in the past. I will give you some links to more information on the topic, which will hopefully help you to make an informed choice as to whether you seek professional psychological therapy or not.

thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/...

thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/...

psychologytoday.com/blog/op...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repre...

Do take care and look after yourself.

Best wishes

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Thank you so much, the links were super useful and your response helped. But if i'm being honest now i'm just doubting everything, i'm freaking out. Am I incorrectly remembering this?, did i just remember? I don't want to hurt anyone.

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