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Mar 27, 2008
Part 1: Fragmented, repressed and so-called "false" memories...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

A counsellor is in a far better position than I am, or my visitors are, to help you determine whether or not what you remember really happened.

The whole issue of "false memories" is complex and way beyond the scope of this website. What I will say is that typically, when there is emotion attached to a memory, there is truth in the perception of it. When I use the term "perception," I mean it in the sense that all memories are perceived, because everyone remembers the same situation differently. Put three people in a room to recount what they've seen and you'll most likely get three different accounts of what happened. We remember things on a purely individual level for a variety of reasons, reasons that are far too vast to go into here.

The fact that more than one of you seem to remember similar abusive situations makes it more likely. The human brain is an amazing organ. Our brains have the ability to repress portions or entire segments of our lives when they are too painful to tolerate, releasing the memory stream in bits and pieces as the person becomes more able to endure. This might explain why you are feeling so confused.

I strongly recommend you seek out some form of counselling in order to help you with these fragmented memories and feelings of confusion.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Mar 27, 2008
Part 2: Female and male sex offenders...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Please read Part 1 of my comments below this posting.

Yes, mothers CAN be sex offenders, just like fathers can be sex offenders. Females, just like males, can get sexual gratification by ogling the naked bodies of children of the same or opposite gender. If you haven't already, I suggest you read through the following pages on this site:As for your mother still bathing your 9-year-old brother, on the surface it does appear to be inappropriate, given his age. And what you described about your mother's excessive touching of your baby brother's scrotum, this could be a red flag for sex offending; but there is no way for me to be certain that what your mother did, and is still doing, is proof positive that she is a sex offender.

You didn't say how old you are. If you are still a minor, I also suggest you contact Child Help at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) in order to talk to someone about your confusion. They are staffed 24/7 with professionally trained counsellors who will listen to you. They are not a reporting agency, although they can help you through the process of reporting if you decide to disclose any further abuse.

As for your uncle, what you have disclosed in your story sounds like bad news. I would report any further suspicions; even though "his name was cleared" on a previous report, additional complaints could eventually lead to more of an investigation. If you suspect that your mother is also molesting, report her as well.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Mar 28, 2008
Repressed memories and flashbacks
by: Michelle

Dear Confused,
I would like to first say that I am sorry for what you experienced as a child and for what you are going through now because of it.
I was sexually abused by my father and later raped by my friends father and had repressed both memories.
They started coming back to me as what you are describing, in bits and pieces. It was very confusing and I felt like I was going crazy and questioning if it was real until the pieces started forming a whole picture. Once the whole picture was there, I knew it was real. I remember knowing it happened at one point. Flashbacks are just that, bits and pieces of the puzzle. Counseling and journaling helped immensely in regaining all the pieces. They will come back if you work on it, though it does take time. Once they return completely, it helps to answer all the questions you have now and allows you to process what has happened. Processing is something that doesn't happen to repressed memories. With flashbacks you usually will feel the emotion you experienced at the time tied to it as well as other sensory input such as smell, touch, sound, etc. I hope this helps. I wish you luck in your healing. You deserve to heal.

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stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.



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