Disassociation?

Iowaguy

New Registrant
TRIGGER WARNING I don’t know what or how much to share so will leave it to the admins to edit as appropriate.

Hello,

I am finally to the point at 57 years old where I am working on my own childhood trauma, attempting to gain some peace and clarity. When I have tried to tell 3 different therapists about the most painful trauma, I was shut down immediately by each of them because they considered the event child sex play without hearing the whole story, and I have never been able to fully tell my story, so am thankful for this forum. As I write this, I feel uncomfortable sharing as I read such horrible trauma that others have gone through and feel my incidents pale in comparison, and feel I am over-reacting. But insaying this, recognize that the small incidents I experienced have large impacts on mylife, how much more others have gone through. It's embarrassing to admit a girl forced me to do sexual things, boys are supposed to enjoy it, right?

I have multiple events in my past that range from mildly traumatic to very traumatic - and the common thread is that they all have missing chunks memory wise. For example, my most painful event- I know the event was traumatic, and I remember clearly before and after the event, but only recently have been able to remember the actual trauma. I am wondering if this is common? I also struggle with those who say I couldnt have been traumatized because it involved another child close to my age who was female.

When I was 4, a mean older woman alcoholic lived across the street from us. Her son and grand daughter who was a few years older than me, I think she was maybe 6 or 7, came to live with her. One day the little girl invited me to play at her house. She immediately took me to their basement to “play house.” They had a piano there, and I began pushing on the keys. The girl said “Don’t touch that! Grandma will be angry!” I was scared to death of her grandmother so immediately stopped. My friend then said it was “night time” and we had to pretend we were sleeping. There was a full sized bed there, but we had to get under it. I told her I didn’t want to, but she said the words that scared me to no end “If you don’t, I will tell my nana that you were touching her piano.” Once under the bed, she used that phrase to get me to comply with her demands. As I look on it from adult eyes, she had to have been abused- she knew way too much for a child. She forced me to pull down my pants and she fondled me. She then performed oral sex on me but became frustrated telling me to “make it hard” which I didn’t understand. She eventually let me leave and I ran home crying, telling my mother what had happened. I never understood why 3 different therapists interrupted me when I wanted to process the memory. The thing I remember the most is the feeling of powerlessness in being forced to do something shameful that I didn't want to do, and the fear of the wrath of her grandmother.

The second incident happened at my aunts house about the same time as the first - my parents won a cruise to the Bahamas so my siblings and I stayed with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. I don’t remember how I ended up in the bathroom, but my teenaged cousin was taking a shower. He said it was OK for me to be there as “we are both guys.” I don’t remember exactly what happened but remember being intrigued by my cousin. One of my girl cousins found out I was in the bathroom with her brother and had me come out. I don’t think anything bad happened, but it bothers me that, just like the first incident, I clearly remember before being in the bathroom, and after, but very little of the middle.

The third incident happened when I was 6 or 7. We were visiting friends of my folks who had moved several states away. Our motel had a swimming pool, so some of the kids of my folks friends were invited to go to the motel and swim. My older sister went to the pool with several of the older kids while a girl of about 11 or 12 rode with me and an older adult relative of mine. I went into the bathroom to change, but needed help with my suit, so came out to find my relative and the little girl on the bed together. I froze, they didn’t see me, so I stood there for a few seconds, then went back into the bathroom. To this day, I don’t remember what I saw, but I know it was something wrong. I remember standing in the bathroom for a long time, not knowing what to do, scared to come out. This was another “missing memory” where things are clear before and after with the middle part missing. My relative confirmed a few years ago that something happened, but I am not sure if I got the whole story.

I have several other incidents with missing chunks, but these were the biggest ones for me. I also blocked out a conversation I had where my Dads mom accused my mom of having an affair. I was 13, told my mom about it, which caused my mother to stop visiting my grandmother for years. My dad helped me remember what happened, but a year or two later I couldn’t remember it a second time.

My question ms are: Do others experience memory loss associated with trauma?

Does it help to recover the lost memory? I have remembered some situations eventually, but not all.

Has anything helped with the effects of trauma, such as reducing anxiety?

Does anyone feel that sexual abuse of males by females has affected their sexual orientation? I wasn’t passive as a boy and wasn’t scared of girls until the trauma happened - I can’t help but think my being gay is somewhat related to the trauma I experienced. Any other words of wisdom is appreciated and thanks for listening.
 
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Dissociated1

Registrant
My heart goes out to you, Iowaguy. Trauma is very treatable. It is appalling that any therapist, let alone THREE, would shut you down.

The mind begins to remember as the scars of trauma heal. In my case, I developed Dissociative Identity Disorder to survive the sexual and psychological abuse I experienced as a child. My sexual abuse did not affect my sexual identity, but it was responsible for my mind creating two female alters. I had a breakdown when I was 48 and was in therapy for several years until I began to recover memories of the abuse. You can read more in the link at the bottom of my post.
 
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GeorgeMartin

Registrant
First of all, the dissociated pieces of time and events are there for a reason. "Preaching to be choir" here, but it is mammalian mental survival tactic that we have no control over. The mind gets a mind of its own, sometimes triggered later with no real danger. It become habituated to 'switching' off and on. Psychologically a human can become, when a child, addicted, to dissociating quite regularly at any sense of perceived 'danger'. Even if there isn't such. Colors, smells, dress, etc can re-trigger the dissociative state of mind. Some people manifest MPD/D.I.D. and others do not. The main dynamic is not to minimize your own experiences, whether others tell you it wasn't traumatic, etc. ONLY you know what your experiences were and whether such were traumatic to your mind and body, in which to cause the dissociative state of being.
 

Iowaguy

New Registrant
First of all, the dissociated pieces of time and events are there for a reason. "Preaching to be choir" here, but it is mammalian mental survival tactic that we have no control over. The mind gets a mind of its own, sometimes triggered later with no real danger. It become habituated to 'switching' off and on. Psychologically a human can become, when a child, addicted, to dissociating quite regularly at any sense of perceived 'danger'. Even if there isn't such. Colors, smells, dress, etc can re-trigger the dissociative state of mind. Some people manifest MPD/D.I.D. and others do not. The main dynamic is not to minimize your own experiences, whether others tell you it wasn't traumatic, etc. ONLY you know what your experiences were and whether such were traumatic to your mind and body, in which to cause the dissociative state of being.
My heart goes out to you, Iowaguy. Trauma is very treatable. It is appalling that any therapist, let alone THREE, would shut you down.

The mind begins to remember as the scars of trauma heal. In my case, I developed Dissociative Identity Disorder to survive the sexual and psychological abuse I experienced as a child. My sexual abuse did not affect my sexual identity, but it was responsible for my mind creating two female alters. I had a breakdown when I was 48 and was in therapy for several years until I began to recover memories of the abuse. You can read more in the link at the bottom of my post.
Thank you DS1 very much appreciated.
 

Iowaguy

New Registrant
First of all, the dissociated pieces of time and events are there for a reason. "Preaching to be choir" here, but it is mammalian mental survival tactic that we have no control over. The mind gets a mind of its own, sometimes triggered later with no real danger. It become habituated to 'switching' off and on. Psychologically a human can become, when a child, addicted, to dissociating quite regularly at any sense of perceived 'danger'. Even if there isn't such. Colors, smells, dress, etc can re-trigger the dissociative state of mind. Some people manifest MPD/D.I.D. and others do not. The main dynamic is not to minimize your own experiences, whether others tell you it wasn't traumatic, etc. ONLY you know what your experiences were and whether such were traumatic to your mind and body, in which to cause the dissociative state of being.
Thank you George, this helps my understanding, much appreciated.
 
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