Thank You
August 20, 2006

I want to take just a minute to thank each of you who commented on the "Suspicions Confirmed" post, whether through comments, email, IM or otherwise. I've been sitting here staring at the screen and attempting to re-read the comments left publicly, the emails sent privately. And I find I'm at a loss for words. (Doesn't happen all that often, obviously.)

To be honest, I expected to find not only support offered, but I had also prepared myself for what I thought would be the inevitible trolls screeching to tell me this was only False Memory Syndrome. (Another, competing link here.) And for me, the damage done by the therapists and people who did falsely accuse others of abuse, led to even more self-doubt about my own suspicions. I refused to say anything definitive about my abuse until I was sure, positive and without any reasonable doubt.

There's so little hard evidence about how the mind works, really. It's a complicated bio-chemical place that we just can't see how it works. Which naturally, leads to discussions of whether depression meds are necessary or if ADHD really exists or not. You know, the Tom Cruise insanity. (My favourite is well, then why didn't people in "olden tymes" have it? Umm, they did ... but they were considered eccentric or even mildly crazy for not being able to calm down.)

At any rate, as a thank you to those who also deal with this crap ... and for those who don't but want to understand, I give you a quote from a criminal justice textbook.

When a child is abused, her mind cannot handle what happens to her. It's too much. Even if the mind remembers some of the abuse, it will bury most of it. It may remember the events, for instance, but bury the emotions. Basically, what the mind does is take the memories, put them deep in the unconscious and build a wall around them. The mind also pulls the memory apart. It stores the different parts of a memory -- the event (the visual picture of what happened), the mention (like the terror or the sexual feelings), and the identity of the perpetrator(s) and puts them in different parts of the mind. Some parts are easier to access than others are. There is a "layering effect," with the worst memories at the bottom.

(quoted in Sex Crimes: Patterns and Behavior by Stephen T. Holmes and Ronald M. Holmes, Sage Publications Inc., 2002.)

Also, a reminder that psychologists have done plenty of more "hard scientific research" on trauma and memory in the last few decades, particularly with victims of car wrecks and the traumatic events of war. These are cases in which the victim often experiences at least some form of amnesia and in which external evidence confirms the bits of memory or the actual recovered memories.

As to my "strength" or "courage" in posting about this ... it doesn't feel that way to me. Maybe it's the fact that I'm an oldest child and brings out the protector in me ... but I simply feel it's my responsibility to speak about it. I feel a duty to others who struggle with these issues. A duty to let them know they're not alone. That the mind is an odd place. That there is hope.

Of course, I also think that all of the emotions surrounding this issue are dormant at the moment, which makes writing about it easier.

So ... to those of you who felt moved to comment or had the strength to comment - and especially to those of you who simply couldn't speak - thank you. Just ... thank you.

Posted by Red Monkey at August 20, 2006 6:53 AM | Struggles | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Jodi said:

Just to know that one is not know one has recalled and is still here, is powerful Ender. Having been a person without memory of a past...I relate. Pieces here and there...I got it and I get it.
Your words inspire and although it is a scary place, just knowing gives strengths to others and for that the thank you is to you.(I speak for all who are touched by your words in some fashion)..
I have that book I have worked in the field-briefly.


August 20, 2006 10:06 AM
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