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Archive for January 6th, 2009

Periodically, I receive emails or comments from people who do not believe in Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or recovering memories. Some of the comments are from well-meaning people who have some sort of need not to believe in them. Perhaps they are fighting their own demons, or perhaps they have seen their own families torn apart when a relative recovered memories of abuse, and they chose not to believe the relative.

Others might have a more disturbing agenda for contacting me about their skepticism of DID and recovering memories. Those who harm young children do not want anyone to believe that a young child can recover memories of trauma. The widespread misconception that it is impossible for a young child to remember trauma and recover that memory as an adult is insulation for those who harm young children. As long society believes that it is not possible for a young child to remember, then the abuser need not fear ever having to face justice for harming young children.

I choose not to publish those comments on my blog for a couple of reasons:

1. This is not a debate blog.

The purpose of this blog is to offer healing and hope to those who have suffered from child abuse. While skeptics might consider me to be “delusional,” this “delusional” blog has provided hope and healing to numerous readers.

I regularly receive emails and comments from readers thanking me for talking about the tough topics and telling me that they have the courage to continue fighting their own internal demons because of the strength they see in my writing. I have even been told several times that a person who was contemplating suicide changed his or her mind because of something that I wrote.

That is the reason that I write this blog. It isn’t that I cannot debate the issue. I have a law degree from a highly respected law school, so I can be a formidable debate opponent. I choose not to do it here.

2. I don’t want to erect stumbling blocks for my readers.

I have been healing for over five years. I have already worked through the “Am I crazy?” feelings. I have already validated my experiences with my sister, who was there for most of the abuse. We recovered the same memories separately, and neither of us have ever been hypnotized or had a therapist tell us what to remember. We also live in two different states, 10 hours apart by car, and worked with therapists who do not know each other.

However, many of my readers are not this far along their healing journeys. A normal part of healing from child abuse is denial. First, you deny that you were ever abused. Then, you acknowledge the abuse, but you deny that the abuse was “that bad.” I will not permit a debate on my blog to undermine the healing process of my readers.

I am not saying that no unscrupulous therapist has ever attempted to implant memories into a patient. I am just saying that it did not happen to me or to my sister.

One way to tell if recovered memories are real is whether they “fit.” Nothing in my life made sense until I started recovering memories. From the outside, I was a successful person who had a life that many people envied. From the inside, I battled numerous, seemingly unrelated issues. My life only made sense after I faced my truths.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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