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Are suppressed memories of sexual abuse possible ?

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My husband and I split up earlier this year because he was being abusive towards me. At first I only thought he had only been psychologically, mentally verbally and emtotionally abusive to me. When I first started counselling I was told to write down anything I started to remember about the times I was abused. I didn't think much of it at that very moment until later on that night. I was having a conversation with my mom and someting she said triggered memories of physical abuse that I had been suppressing. I wrote it down. Now I am having vivid memories of being sexually assaulted in my bedroom but I do not know if it was a dream or not. I can remember everyting but the persons face. Could this just be a dream or potentially the beginning of remembering another suppressed memory?


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replied June 26th, 2007
Troubled & Abusive Relationships Answer A2997
You didn’t describe how your husband was abusing you. Sexual abuse in marriage is often very difficult to prove. However, when you talk about these incomplete memories and abuse in the past it seems likely that your husband’s behavior awakened older, suppressed memories in you. Maybe your husband wasn’t as abusive as you perceived. Perhaps you were sexually abused during childhood but your mind forgot that by suppressing the memory in the subconsciousness (psychogenic amnesia).

Memory of psycho-emotional suffering can't be erased completely. Suppressed memories will find their way to be expressed by creating associations in the present or via nightmares. People that experience sexual suffering during childhood have difficulties in sustaining strong relationship with members of the opposite sex. It seems that this might be the cause of the problem. If so, you'll need expert help from a mental health professional.


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