In my blog entry yesterday, I kicked off the topic of whether it is possible for a child abuser to “forget” or repress memories of abusing a child. My mother is a person who does not appear to have any conscious memories of having been an abuser or of delivering her own children to a group of ritual abusers. However, I have no question that she carries memories of the abuse at least at a subconscious level.
I wrote about one incident here. I (through an alter part) confronted my mother when I was in graduate school about the sexual abuse. I yelled at her, “You already f@#$ed me as a child. You are not going to f@#$ me as an adult!!!!” Her response was to hang up on me, get out a gun, and strongly contemplate killing herself. That does not sound like a woman with no memory of what she did. If she truly had no memory on any level of what she did, her reaction would have been very different.
Here is another example: During the summer after I graduated high school (after my mother’s sanity snapped from my father’s sudden death), my mother broke down crying at the breakfast table and told me that my 15-year-old sister had been raped a few months ago. Here was the story she told me: My sister and her best friend were at a male friend’s house. He tickled both of them and chased them into the bedroom. He tied them both up to the bed. He raped one while the other was forced to watch. Then, he did the same to the other one. She begged me not to tell my sister and told me that she was getting my sister help.
Several years later, I asked my sister about this incident, and she swore up and down that it never happened. My sister pointed out that both she and her friend were the size of adults and that the friend was a black belt in Judo. A man would have a difficult time restraining both of them without a weapon.
My world was turned on its ear. My mother had provided me with a very detailed accounting and was crying when she told me (something she rarely did). Then, when I recovered a flashback, it all made sense. I wrote about the incident in detail here. Here is a summary of what I recovered in the flashback:
I was three years old the first time my mother performed oral sex on my baby sister in front of me. She took us to the basement and tied us to chairs with my father’s ties. First, she performed oral sex on me while my sister watched. Then, she forced me to watch her do the same to my sister.
My therapist strongly suspects that my mother has schizophrenia based on the symptoms I have shared with him. I am also pretty certain that she suffers at the very least from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from child abuse that she has shared with me that she recovered through flashbacks. I don’t know what information she retains in her daily memory about the horrors she inflicted, but I know the truth is in her head based on these incidents as well as others I won’t go into here.
Photo credit: Hekatekris