“False” Memories

I have mentioned in passing that I doubt even the validity of my own “memories,” for various reasons that are too significant to overlook.  I’m not sure if I can concisely explain why, but here’s the best I can do.  I have no answers…only questions.

The biggest reason I doubt is this: other than the psychological pain and physiological symptoms, which began early and persisted over the span of a matter of decades, the only “evidence” is the stories told by my inside people.  There’s no other evidence.  Not medical, historical, or familial.  Granted, I have never asked my family, because my family is not a particularly safe or honest group of people.  I don’t mean that to say that they would intentionally lie (though I’m not even sure about that either), but that their idea of what should be considered truth – and told as such – is a bit narrow.  With that being said, the only suspected person associated with some of the deeper SRA memories has been dead for years.  I can’t ask them anything.  Not that I think they would have told me anything anyway. Other people who may have been involved are unknown.

Another reason I have doubted is the lack of specific evidence that I was in x location at x time, for such things to have happened to me.  We did live very close to one of the supposed perpetrators for years, so there is the probability that they had access to me.  We also went to visit regularly even when we didn’t live close by anymore.  But ultimately there’s no proof that these things correlate.  Neither I, nor you, nor any sane person would ever argue that just because something is possible, that it must logically mean it happened.  Um, no.  In this country, a person is assumed innocent until proven guilty.  Not that I’m formally accusing anyone of anything, but in my mind it’s a big, huge, COLOSSAL assumption to make, even if only mentally and within the confines of confidential circles wherein I am receiving help.  My timelines have never been verified, and there’s no one living who could confirm them, so there’s also that.

Another issue has to do with the memories themselves.  Incomplete, fuzzy, faded, tainted by emotions and sheer passage of time.  How can one possibly rely on them?  My interpretation of myself and my past has changed constantly, especially with growth and maturity.  How do I look back, with or without the filter, and discern what is really, factually true?  How do I try to understand – in cases where things are untrue – why I would have filled in the gaps with false information?  I think it’s possible that I did.  Then again, going back to the previous argument, just because it’s possible, that doesn’t mean it happened.  And ’round and ’round we go.

These things bothered me for a lot of years.  They still bother me.  Lack of proof is a hard thing for my logical reasoning to tolerate.  But then I came across this article, and my mind changed a bit.  If you don’t want to stop and read the whole article, it basically proposes the following 2 things (taken directly from the article) :

1)      An event that you cannot remember can be psychologically equivalent to an event that never happened, and

2)      An event that you falsely remember can be psychologically equivalent to an event that really did happen.

If you read the article, it will explain this more, and in more depth.  It’s not a long read, but you do have to bear with the therapeutic angle.  From this point of view, I was able to loosen up a bit more about not knowing the accuracy of the memories.  I feel like, as is pointed out in the article, no matter what the source is, the pain itself is real, and comes from somewhere.  Whether every story that floats to the surface is factually accurate or not, probably doesn’t matter.  If resolving those stories heals the pain and releases my body and mind from bondage, then the memories are tools, whether they are perfectly remembered or not.  Or even if they’re not true.

But why would my mind make things up?  Particularly such specific, detailed things that just so happen to be so similar (in some cases identical) to so many other cases whom I’ve never met, never heard of, and never talked to?  The answer is:  I have no idea.  I do know this:  I would never question the diagnosis of D.I.D.  There’s no doubt about it:  I have it.  So this makes the next question:  Why do I have D.I.D., if not for extreme and prolonged trauma?  The answer, again, is:  I don’t know.

Sometimes I wonder about the possibility of past lives, or future lives, or the ideas that souls live more than one lifetime in different forms.  The fact that SRA is such an atrocious, unspeakable act of evil against humanity makes me wonder if maybe I just have such a sensitive soul that I’m tapping into other souls’ memories.  Because I wonder if something that tears so viciously at the fabric of what makes us human, perhaps, could produce pain so intense that one soul cannot possibly bear it alone.  So maybe it is diffused over a larger group of people – maybe those with spirits that are especially sensitive to the suffering of other people?  I really don’t mean this to sound as conceited as it probably sounds.  I’ve just pondered all of these things so much and so deeply that my mind, coming up empty, has cast far and wide, sometimes, for possible answers.  If anyone else has any opinions or theories, feel free to discuss.  Cheers.  ~J8


6 thoughts on ““False” Memories”

  • 1
    JW Liberty on June 22, 2014 Reply

    I deal with this as well.

    First of all, most memories I have no emotional connection to at all. Which, from what I’ve read, is not uncommon to DID. But it still makes me question whether or not the memory is real.

    There are also memories that are what I call a “remembered memory.” Which is to say, I have known it before, but “somehow” forgot it (and by “somehow,” I mean, DID… lol). Sort of like when you watch a movie, but you can’t recall every scene, then you watch the same movie 20 years later, and you are like, “Wow! I forgot about that, but yes, now I remember!” So most of my memories are like that. But still, there is usually not a lot of emotional connection.

    Then I have memories that just seem to be completely new and there is little to no context for them, which makes them feel false. Although, granted, not very many are like that, it’s enough to keep me feeling just a bit on the “insane” side of the fence… lol But I have found, if I wait it out, eventually – at least, so far – at least some those memories will merge seamlessly with other memories that know for SURE are real. And so they are validated within myself.

    But whatever form the memory takes, I think of each memory like a puzzle piece. Sometimes the memories just fit well, and I know they are real. Other times, however, I’m not so sure! Sometimes there is a memory, and it is right smack dab in the middle of nowhere – it’s just a piece of colorful cardboard lying there in the middle of the table, with no context to give it life. There are no connecting pieces of the puzzle to make it part of the whole, and I wonder if it’s a stray piece of another puzzle that somehow found its way to my table! But eventually, given enough time, I will have another memory, and another, and another, and before I know it, the memories are all connected to the whole. That is when I know the memory is true.

    Personally speaking, the hard part of my journey with DID is learning to trust myself. Even harder is learning to trust God. But both are equally important. I don’t emotionally HAVE to have context to know that my memory is true; but logically speaking, I NEED it. Having context is important to me, and if I am patient for long enough, I will be able to validate my own memories through connecting memories.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t still look for outside validation with tangible evidence and proof. I DO, because it’s important to me. But like you, there’s not much family I have that can tell me, and the ones that probably would know are not exactly trustworthy anyway! 🙂 But I am learning to trust myself, and to trust God. And that is the most important of all.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I am so glad I came across your blog! Your posts are so helpful to me!

    • 2
      talktoj8 on June 22, 2014 Reply

      Thank you for reading! You are very very insightful. The movie example was perfect. I wish you well on your journey and hope to interact more in future.

  • 3
    theoldfellowgoesrunning on December 12, 2014 Reply

    Jade, you put so much time, thought and effort into your posts.

    I did read the article link, and found the 2 different twists on the “uncle fictitious story” very interesting.

    I can’t imagine how difficult it has been to sort the “incomplete, fuzzy, faded, tainted by emotions, and sheer passage of time” memories out, and as you mentioned, “the pain is real, and comes from somewhere”.

    As you write, and work through thoughts, memories and emotions, may it take you down the road of healing.

    Take care Jade,

    ~Carl

    • 4
      talktoj8 on December 12, 2014 Reply

      Thank you Carl. I appreciate your kind comments.

  • 5
    Sam Ruck on May 27, 2015 Reply

    Only 1 of the 8 girls in my wife’s network ever shared significant memories of the abuse with me. I took the opinion that the ‘veracity’ of the memory was insignificant. I always treated it as if it was real and helped absorb the emotional pain from it (attachment theory: safe haven, primary attachment figure) and then I helped her reframe the lies that were associated with the memories not only by talking with her about the lies, but also thru my actions to show that his lies were just that: lies. But the memories she shared were rarely long, narratives. Usually it was like a snap shot or more often it was a particularly damaging lie that he told her to mess with her mind: You are my girl. No one will ever want you now. Threatening to kill her if she told anyone, etc.

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