False memory OCD : Hi all I have suffered with pure... - OCD-UK

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False memory OCD

RIVbuk
RIVbuk
7 Replies

Hi all

I have suffered with pure ocd for a long time and have bouts of wellness and relapse. I'm currently having a bit of a relapse - cannot stop ruminating on a false memory - many years ago I got drunk whilst I was looking after my niece and nephew- my ex boyfriend was there at the time too. I woke up the next morning and couldn't remember a thing!

I have this really distressing thought that I harmed the kids when I was drunk - even though the kids are now grown up and have no memory of this night whatsoever.

My ocd tells me I've sexually abused them, in particular my niece who now suffers with mental health problems. My ocd tells me that her mental health problems are all my fault. I want to keep asking her about it to relieve my thoughts but she has been asked before if she has any recollection of that night but she doesn't .

Please help I'm suffering xx

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MyOCD123

Hi there,

I am really sorry you are going through this right now. I also struggle with false memory OCD and I know just how debilitating and scary it can be. I have had OCD for most of my life but was not diagnosed until about a year ago when I begin to have harm/false memories that were extremely distressing. One of my first harm obsessions was actually that I had sexually abused the children I used to nanny for years prior. I was so sick over the thought I was barely eating or functioning. I was convinced that at any moment the police would be knocking on my door ready to arrest me and throw me in prison for the rest of my life. The worst part of this is, and always has been, that my OCD not only causes me to question the past but it also tricks me into believing that I do not deserve to live a good life. The guilt can be absolutely crushing but I like to remind myself that I know me better than OCD claims to know me.

With months of ERP and hard work I am finally in a better place but I still struggle with false memories today. The road to recovery is one with both smooth patches and bumps along the way. One of the turning points for me was when I realized that a thought is just a thought. Just because you think you may have harmed your niece and nephew in no way actually means that you did. OCD is also known for being ego dystonic and so the intrusive thoughts bother us so badly because they are the exact OPPOSITE of who we are and what we believe in. My advice to you would be to agree with the thought or just tell yourself that you do not know — maybe, maybe not. The more you try to fight and argue the more you feed the monster and you will never win an argument against OCD because OCD does not care about logic. I would encourage you to quit the compulsion of asking your niece because engaging with the thought will worsen it, and even if she was able to give you reassurance it would only be temporary. Your OCD would find some kind of loophole around her answer and you would be stuck going down the same rabbit hole of obsessing and trying to figure out if you harmed someone or not. I know how graphic these false memories can be and you are incredibly brave to continue on in this fight. Please know that you are not alone and there are many more of us who unfortunately struggle with the exact thing you are going through right now. Do not let OCD take more than it already has. I am here to tell you that you do deserve happiness and the opportunity to heal. Keep fighting. 💖

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RIVbuk
RIVbuk
in reply to MyOCD123

Hi - thank you so much for this response. I followed your advice and could completely relate to what you said. When I get unwell I believe I dont deserve love or to be cared for and think about running away from it all. I have a 4 yr old son who I adore and I get very distressed when I think of leaving him !Is there any support groups online that you are in - I know this is helpful but wondered if there was anything else. I'm doing miles better now but I think i need to keep a better grip on this xx

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MyOCD123
MyOCD123
in reply to RIVbuk

Hi, I’m so glad to hear your are doing better! Stopping compulsions is difficult but worth every second of discomfort. Unfortunately I’m not aware of any other online support groups but I’m sure they are out there! I know the IOCDF has in-person support groups listed on their website if you are interested — they may have one near you. Your son is lucky to have you and I wish you all the continued success and progress against OCD. If you ever need to chat, I’m always here!

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RIVbuk
RIVbuk
in reply to MyOCD123

Thanks so much will check it out. I live in UK though so I think this is a US website so groups are probably there. I've been re-reading the book Brain Lock which is massively helpful - have you read it? X

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MyOCD123
MyOCD123
in reply to RIVbuk

I have not but I have heard nothing but good things about it! I will have to order it and put it on my reading list! Hope you are doing better. :)

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Sallyskins

Is the NHS giving you treatment for this? It should be CBT treatment, with or without medication. It can help enormously. The Jeffrey Schwartz book is good, as are Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and The OCD Workbook. And there are others.

Please don't think of questioning your niece again. If she already has mental health problems herself, it could upset her more. And it would not help you, as reassurance would be temporary and you would feel the need to question her again and again.

The sort of people who, like you, are upset at the very thought of abusing children, do not abuse them.

MyOCD123 is right in that accepting the thoughts stops them having power over you. It's not easy to do, and if you have a good therapist it can help.

How about putting into writing how you feel about yourself. Pros and cons. Good points and bad ones. Then go over the bad points and try to turn them into good ones. For instance stubbornness can also be determination. Recognize that there is more to you than just feeling unworthy and not deserving of love. And that there are many people, like your son, who do love and need you.

There are a few other forums, including another OCD one on this site, but don't get bogged down in too many!

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RIVbuk
RIVbuk
in reply to Sallyskins

Thanks Sally. I have had CBT x twice in the past and have recently been working with a therapist so this relapse kindoff took me by surprise. My niece and my sister are triggers for me so I'm having a bit of space from them at the moment.

Thank you for your idea of writing things down i will try it x

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