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GaryP - RA Survivor

 Truth

I want the truth about my life. Doesn't everyone? What would be the point of anything else?

I'm faced with the realisation that accepting my recovered memories as potentially true has allowed me to heal so many problems in every aspect of my life. I wasnt able to heal my mental 'illness' until this came along, and I sure tried hard to fix problems I had.
This is pretty awful stuff I am recalling about my childhood. And I dont have an alternative set of memories that are nice. But still, I would much rather be able to think of my 'family', that I was once completely dependent on for my existence, as good people that did me no significant harm. So why do I feel that they did? What is my justification for further investigation into what I seem to be recalling from my childhood?


How certain am I that they are true?

Not certain. I don't know if I will ever be. I dont have validating evidence. Much of the characteristics of my mental illness that I have healed is consistent with my recovered memories. Also, people I have communicated with that have similar recovered memories seem to have similar mental illness characteristics.
Regardless of this, I can't be really sure even if they are actual experiences or perceptions that I have come away with after having certain experiences. It's easy to trick a child into believing something that is not true. I certainly feel that this plays a significant part in what happened to me.

How did I forget in the first place?

At the time I left high school, I had almost no recollection of most of my life before that time. It was as if I had hardly existed. I couldn't explain this. Others could remember what their childhoods were like, why not me?

I'm not completely sure how I forgot my childhood, but I believe it could be associated with the normal human ability of forgetting things that are too unpleasant. And this seems to happen by 'compartmentalising' areas of the mind. Everyone does it. Just imagine if you could remember everything you ever experienced. Most people just have a 'doesnt really matter' compartment, I suppose.

The kind of memories I am recalling

The memories I am recalling are mostly bad. These memories fill in a gap in my memory of my life that is almost a void of non-existence. Why are they all bad? Why don't I have any good memories of my childhood, except for a couple, and I am always alone. Where have my good memories gone, if they exist?

The issue of recovered memory

Some say that it is not possible to forget your childhood and recover them later in life. In fact there is an organization in the US, that publicizes that recovered memories are false, and have named a disorder after this belief. It is called False Memory Syndrome - FMS. This organization, the FMS Foundation - FMSF - was established by a father that has been accused of child sexual abuse by his daughter, who will have nothing to do with her parents, as I with mine. Recently a man within the organization publicly declared that sex with children was not necessarily harmful to the child.

Increasingly, research into this issue leads to the validity of repressed memories and their being recovered in adulthood. Most people that uncover repressed memories are able to verify them in some way with factual information.

I am not sure that what I base my belief on, is enough to verify my uncovered memories in the eyes of a person unrelated to my situation. I know that they are enough to make me believe in them enough to keep digging them up, cutting all ties with my 'family' and not feeling guilty about hating them.


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