Feeling like I'm in denial (triggers)

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-16-2003
Feeling like I'm in denial (triggers)
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 5:18pm
Hi. I've visited this discussion board before and then decided that maybe the abuse never happened. I have not seen a therapist. Anyway, lastnight my brother and I were talking about all this physical abuse he and my other brother suffered from at the hands of my father and mother. Although I had some vague ideas that we were all "disciplined/punished" at times, I clearly had NO idea about the extent of their abuse. He also said CPS had come to our home on several occasions, threatening to take he and my other brother away from my parents. Again, no recollection. It worries me that allof these huge events happened and I cannot recall any of them. He was laughing like "where were you?".

He said my dad never did that kind of stuff to me because I was his favorite and he protected me. That got me to thinking that maybe there was a reason he was "protecting" me. I honestly don't kow if I'm making a mountain out of molehill or not. I obviously don't want to assume he did anything to me but then again I am totally afraid to have my children left alone with him.

The one time it happened he put my daughter down for a nap and then next thing I heard about was that she had thrown up (she had never before then and has never since even thrown up) so for some reason it scared me and made me wonder if he touched her or something. I'm frightened right now.

Please offer me some advice if you can. Is it possible that I split off at some point in my childhood? Does it mean I have lots of personalities or something? Wouldn't my husband notice if I had many personalities? Wouldn't I lose time or something? Anyway...



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 6:43pm
I don't have alot of experiance with giving advice here but for what it's worth I would NOT leave my daugther alone with him. If something were to happen how could you live with that?Keep coming here and reading,see a therapist if that is an option but don't put your baby in harms way.Better to hurt your fathers feelings than to do perminit damage to your child.

Hugs, Patti


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 6:48pm
I think I can help. First of all, having parts of your memories missing does not mean that you have multiple personalities. If you've ever talked to someone who has had a severe car accident, you know that they often say that they don't remember anything about what happened. Blocking out memories of the abuse is very similar. I blocked out memories until I was in my late 20's. Experts say that memories resurface when we get to certain milestones in our lives--when we feel safe enough to remember, or when our own children reach the age we were when the abuse happened.

Trust your instincts about leaving your children with this person. I used to have the same feelings about my parents, and I listened to them, and I am so glad I did. I also recommend that you find a therapist who specializes in childhood sexual abuse. You will need support as you work through this. Read through our archives and see if you can find anything helpful. I'm sure you can.

(((Hugs))) Remember--you are not alone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 10:14pm
Hi KD,

I am new here, and wanted to reply to your thoughts about your memory. I don't remember much about my childhood at all, except the "bad" stuff. My siblings talk about vacations, and I ask if I was there because you would think if the things they were talking about happened, I would remember. But I don't. There is not a Christmas I remember before I was in my 20's. I don't remember a birthday either. Sometimes I fear what I don't remember. From experience, I know that my mind is protecting me, and when I am ready to remember, I will. Until that time I need to accept the fact that it is okay that I don't remember, and stop belittling my self because I "should". Should is a word that overwhelms me alot. I should have done this or that. I should do this or that now. I struggle with the shoulds. It is okay that you don't remember. I also agree that you follow your gut on leaving your child alone with someone that you don't trust. I would not leave my children alone with my dad. He is passed on now, and I don't regret my decision at all. Our job as parents is to protect our children, and if someone had protected us, none of us would be where we are today.



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 11:55pm
It is possible that you split off, which is really just compartmentalizing, but I think it's more likely that you simply repressed. I don't think it means you have multiple personalities. My husband and I were talking to our therapist about that, because she was looking at whether my husband might have Multiple Personality Disorder (turns out he doesn't). He endured horrendous abuse as a child. She has a lot of experience with treating MPD, and she said that people who have developed those personalities are very intelligent. Instead of becoming violent or suicidal, they figured out how to have certain personalities to cope for certain occasions. I had equated it with schizophrenia, and they aren't anything alike.

My husband also has huge empty places in his memory, which has bothered him. He repressed to protect his conscious self and to be able to move forward with his life. He is remembering more through hypnotherapy (more the relaxation technique, he remains in control at all times). I think it's very likely that you have simply repressed, too. It is a powerful protective mechanism.

In the meantime, I agree that it's a good idea to go with your instincts about leaving your daughter alone with him. Those instincts are powerful, and I believe often correct. As a parent, protecting your children is number one priority, regardless of how other people may try and make you feel.

Hugs to you, Heidi


co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

Avatar for careyfeel
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 3:29pm
I did not have a lot od childhood memories until 3 years ago. I first realized I did not remember things my brother and sister remebered when my Mom died 8 years ago. I realied that ther was emotional and some physical abuse(discipline) in my family, but my parents were "perfect." Four years ago I suddenly remembered I was sexually molested. I do not know how many times or how much abuse there was. At first and probably for several years I refused to believe this happened. I am starting to have memories of verious kinds of abuse and I realize that at the time I dissassociated so I would not remember the pain. I have suffered depression and have been a self-injurer for years and never knew why. I am working with a therapist and just staring to work through my childhood events. I am not a multiple personality and am very much grounded in today's reality.Just because you do not remember does not mean you are a multiple. It just means it is too painful. A friend wonce told me that "Your mind can only hold so much pain at a time and when it is ready and needs to it will remember." I hope you see a counselor to help you through this pain. God Bless. Fran