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Lost memories, lost years and letting sleeping dogs lie

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Quite frankly, I don't remember many years of my life. I imagine that there is a good deal of trauma there and I'm wondering if it is a good idea to go opening doors and looking for monsters. I'm having a hard enough time with life right now without dealing with what every REALLY happened in my conscious mind

Is it important to dredge them up in order to heal?

How do I know if any memory is real?

I seem capable of, at various times, to "remember" a past and later to forget all about it.

I don't want to be suffering from a false memory and laying blame, where no blame is due.

Part of me just wants to deal with the memories that I do have and not go waking dragons

Call me a coward, but I just wonder about the importance of it all

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I'm not sure if I should move this to PTSD or DID. There is a better place for it than NOS. I know that much.

I have some black spots too, to be honest. I'm not sure from what age forward it's normal to have a lot of memories. Plus my memory is horrid now so why should I not have that many memories of the first grade? Maybe I just wasn't paying attention for six months or so. I've also killed brain cells in just about every way possible. Am I just scared of what might be there and making excuses for not looking? I have no idea.


I understand do understand the questions you're asking here.

There is a big difference between our situations though. There isn't really a strong case for a connection between my present mental condition and these past memory holes. It doesn't fit the diagnosis and there is no reason to think that working on the past would improve my present.

You, on the other hand, are (a) fucking miserable and (B) fucking nuts and there does seem to be a pretty strong case that it's tied to the past and there is likely a lot of crap you're going to need to deal with in order to get better.

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i moved it to ptsd as this issue applies to those with complex ptsd and many people with DID have ptsd as well, and i think a lot of us ask this question about if we need to take those skeletons out of the closet.

i think that yes, eventually, these things do need to be dealt with.

but, dealing with these things is destabilizing. sometimes opening up a small crack releases a flood.

i think in order to be fully whole it is good to deal with at least some of these memories. not every one. not a laundry list. just enough to have an undestanding of how it has shaped you today. so that you can have power over these memories, instead of letting them have power over you.


i think it is very important that this be done when you are stable. when you have enough coping skills to get through a day.

and it must be done with a therapist that you really trust and feel comfortable with. a therapist that will help you sort out what is real, what is important to face.

you may not be ready to face these things. this does not, at all, make you a coward. now may not be the right time, next month might not, or even next year. you'll know when you're ready to do it. and it won't be easy then, it's never easy. but you don't have to force yourself to face things if you aren't ready yet.

focus on today, on getting stable.

then, when you're ready, talk to a therapist about this. take it slow. there isn't a race.

best to you,


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  • 1 month later...

Yeah, my Tdoc just told me this week - there aren't any deadlines in therapy. You'll get there when you're prepared & ready to deal with it.

Penny's right about the flood too; just went through this and even dreamed it; only I climbed up on the highest rock in the river where the water couldn't touch me. The flood is a series of realizations; seeing my life from a brand-new perspective with a whole new set of facts. Like:

THAT'S why I did that; that's why I was like that in that situation; that's why I married that a--hole; that's why I feel this way in this situation...

The memories themselves weren't nearly as important as the facts about what I experienced and how I felt about myself then (mistakenly, it turns out). Was it valuable? Oh HELL YEAH. Am I ready to tackle the next one? well....not exactly. I want to get it over with; see it, smell it, get it out in the light of day. Tdoc says not yet; too much stuff to process in this memory and it's important to digest it all completely; not miss anything. There IS a ton of stuff...and I might as well take my time and not skip over anything.

But JEEZ....I can't begin to tell you what an improvement this is. I don't mind the Firesign Theater feeling of "everything you know is wrong" about myself. I can get to know myself again. But having a lot of my other symptoms just evaporate away, has been remarkable.

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i'm with penny in that it is important to be stable before you go opening the flood gates. and when you do, as has been stated, it isn't a race. deal wtih what you can deal with, when you can, and don't feel any pressure to go faster than you can process it all.

time may heal, but only in time can we heal, if that makes sense or is restating itself.

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  • 3 months later...


My therapist agrees that time blocking is a self defense mechanism. You state that you have enough on your plat right now so let sleeping dogs lie until you are stable and ready to deal with more issues. I know I have blocked severe memories like how I got 4 degree burns from molten lead at age 9. I can remember what I was doing before and after but cant remember how it happened or the healing process, just too painful for me I guess. I am smart enough to realize that this is something I cant deal with right now either and it may still be years before I am willing and/or able to deal with all the pain that will come with opening up that door. You are not a coward, you are smart enough to know you are not ready yet!


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