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Yours, Mine and ????…

January 2, 2011

What am I talking about? Assumptions! Regarding: Experiences! Healing journeys! Therapy! Plus any other number of things that many of us go through.

So many times I see people making assumptions based upon their own experiences. They take what has happened to them and then project it onto others.

For example, I have run into some bad therapists. Based upon that, I could make the assumption that all therapists are bad. However, I know that is not the case because I was blessed to have had some good ones first. But what if the bad ones had been my first ones? I might never have even given a good one a try.

The reverse is also true. Before I ran into a bad therapist myself, I could have made the incorrect assumption that all therapists are good. Thankfully, I  knew better than that for I had heard of bad ones before I ran into any.

Another example of assumptions has to do with what happened with my father. When I was in high school, I kept getting a gut feeling that something had happened between my father and I, but I had no memories at that time of anything specific. My life was a mess, but I refused to allow that to cause me to assume anything specific had happened (as a way of explaining why I was such a mess). I wanted proof.

For several years I battled that feeling and grew weary of it. So, I told the L-rd that, unless He gave me the memories, I was going to shove aside my gut feeling…which I did. I pushed it aside and refused to even consider it. I was actually rather successful at it.

Later, when I was trying to get help, I was confronted with that gut feeling again. So, I prayed for the truth. I wanted to either have the memories of the incidents causing the gut feeling to be revealed or, if there were no underlying incidents causing the gut feeling, to have the gut feeling go away. I refused to make assumptions about my father and I.

As it turns out, the person I went to for help…for prayer help…was a mess himself. However, there were some things in my life that stopped after being prayed for. G-d did use him in His own way to help me. I used to have “visions” of walking into my apartment and seeing my husband and sons slaughtered and blood all over the place. That stopped. I used to “see” myself driving off embankments or being “pushed” down stairs by invisible forces. That stopped.

I also had four memory flashes while working with him.  Two were of molestation. Although I did not really want to believe, I knew they were true. And even though I could not see who it was…I “knew”. In my heart of hearts I knew, but I did not want to deal with it. So, I shoved it aside. I did not want to assume it was my father…not unless I clearly saw his face.

The other two made no sense to me. They were ritual abuse in nature, but at that time I was not familiar with ritual abuse and I had no inkling that I had that background.  He interpreted the flashes as non-memory. He said they were some kind of generational thing passed down from prior generations. That did not sound right to me. So, I just set them aside for the time being. I did not assume they were non-memories. I did not assume they were memories.

Later, it kept bugging me. I suspect it was because odd things were happening between my father and I…as an adult married woman. I just kept feeling like I needed to stop shoving this under the rug. So, I went to a woman who specialized in a prayer ministry. We prayed a lot and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I was able to see more of the memory…enough to see my father’s shirt…and his face.

As it turns out, this woman was abused herself. I think that caused her to push me to confront my father…perhaps before I was ready. It was something I felt I needed to do…even though I was really nervous about it.

When I did confront my father, with my mother by his side, he never denied a thing. He only said that he did not remember doing anything like that. I thought that was an odd response. My mother readily agreed that something had happened to me. She was just wondering “who it could have been”.

I pointed out something my father had been doing in the more recent past that was boundary crossing. It was part of the oddness that had been going on between my father and me and had to do with kissing me on the mouth against my wishes. I had been ducking and making it clear with my body language that I was not comfortable with it.

My father acknowledged that he knew I was uncomfortable with it, but said that body language  was not enough. I had to verbally say it. My mother was furious with him at first, but then got quiet.

My father, when confronted with my memories, assumed that the counselor must have suggested them to me. As she pointed out to him, I had them before I came to her. He then assumed that I must have gained them via hypnosis or psychotropic drugs. I was never hypnotized and had not taken any psychotropic drugs. Then he assumed they were planted there by satan to try and break the family apart. Mind you, my family was never close anyway. The only thing it could break apart were the manipulations going on.

He gave me a whole stack of articles that he “just happened” to find in people’s houses that he was cleaning. He said that G-d had led him to them. They all dealt with the false idea of False Memory Syndrome…something never proven and not in any of the DSM’s.

I don’t think he really believed any of those things caused my memories. However, I did start taking a look at them. Nothing in those articles applied to me. Nothing. Nor I did fit the typical FMS profile of that time. I did not sue my parents. I did not file a police report. I did not go public. I did not act in any kind of vindictive way.  I did not even keep my sons from visiting with my parents. It simply became the subject not talked about…until about four years or so later.

When my youngest was three, my parents started to manipulate their way into living with us. Even my pastor, when he heard about the situation, thought it was very odd. I became very unstable and started to have suicidal ideations. I prayed and fought and it got better…until they actually moved in.

Then it got really bad. With my father up early and my mother up late, I had no time alone other than in my special room. They ended up spending more and more time with my son while I was being driven further into instability…an instability they were actually causing. They created a problem and then were there to “help”. I could take a whole book to share the kinds of manipulations that were going on.

It was not until they had been out of the house about a year that I got a more complete understanding. It was all about them having access to my son. They moved in the month he turned four. They assumed that they could eliminate me…either by suicide, hospitalization or simply my shutting down…and they would have complete access to my son. But G-d had a different plan!

More to come…

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9 comments

  1. Wow, thanks for sharing your story. I’m so glad you got them back out of the house- how horrible for you to go through. I know I can’t be around especially my mother for any length of time. Memories are weird and I guess my memories came in a few different ways- the first ones weren’t really remembered but they were always there, I just didn’t know it was abuse. The later ones though came while I was seeing a therapist but not in a therapist’s office but at home. And no drugs or hypnosis here either!


    • Thanks, Anna. It really was a miracle that they got out when they did. There really was no end in sight. Isn’t it interesting how people will make assumptions about how things are recalled and how memories are stored? They view it in an extremely narrow way and refuse to look at any evidence that contradicts their own opinions.

      Gosh, I relate to not recognizing some stuff as abuse. It is natural to assume that whatever we experience growing up is the “norm” and is OK…even if it is painful.


  2. No kidding- I still fight the, “but that was normal wasn’t it?” My step-daughter made a comment and it brought up a comment about my dad being saved in recent years and she couldn’t believe that first of all my dad wasn’t a Christian always and that I didn’t grow up in a Christian home!

    It is interesting to hear the different takes on memories and how our mind processes things. One way memories have come to my attention is right before falling asleep when my mind is “relaxing” and I would argue I had to be “dreaming” but too many things were validated outside of my dreams.


    • You know…I think it is kind of a compliment when someone says they cannot imagine me being any other way or being raised the way I was. I think it is a kind of testament to the hard work I put in and the healing I have experienced.

      On the other hand, it can also make it difficult for people to understand why I am the way I am…why I react to certain things the way I do. I guess it is kind of a double-edged type of thing.

      I so relate to that time when you are relaxed and no longer have the distractions of the day pushing every thing else away. It does make it difficult to know for sure what is going on. There are a lot of things I hold very loosely until I can get some other kind of corroboration.

      Oftentimes, though, in dreams and things, I get an underlying sense of what is going on or what has happened. In other words, even if the details are incomplete or sketchy, there seems to be a theme. For example, one is not typically afraid of one’s parents without good cause. To have certain recurring themes in dreams…whether night dreams or day dreams…is something to take a look at. It does not prove anything, but it is circumstantial evidence.

      So is my suddenly shaking when I hear or see certain things. While I may not remember exactly what it is connected to…it definitely is connected to something. I just don’t know what yet. And I may never know. I have to deal with what is here and now, regardless of whether I ever see the connection to the past. I don’t chase down memories.


  3. Thank you for posting this. People all the time make assumptions based on a limited experience. That’s unfortunate because it means there are a lot of uninformed people out there. I could use a less flattering word, but I won’t.

    I’m sorry about your history. I’m glad you got some validation though.

    I take a rather broad view of memory, though. I think people can have “false” memories. But if they honestly look at what’s going on they will come to their truth. That’s what you’ve done.


    • We all make assumptions. The danger is when we make it about things that are really important…things that effect ourselves and others.

      I, too, believe people can have false memories. That is why I hold some of mine rather loosely. A whole lot depends upon how I got the memory back. I had some memories that came up, but there was a guy asking leading questions. I never really fully accepted those particular memories until the rest came up in a different way. I still have a tendency, though, to look at certain particulars from that conversation with a skeptical eye.

      In fact, that is also one reason I was very careful in the beginning NOT to read others’ stories. I did not want to taint in any way anything I would recall. I will be getting into that aspect of memory recall, too.


      • I get it. For me, I’ve moved past the actual memories. For me those aren’t so important anymore. In the not so distant past I would so stress when a new piece came up. If it needed to be attended to, I did. But I don’t label them anymore. I just acknowledge and try to heal it all without so much classification. I find it gives me much less stress.


        • That makes a lot of sense, Paul. I am not as concerned about what I “see” as I am with how it effects me. Does it interfere with my ability to live life to the fullest now? To enjoy living as much as I can.

          I have never really been into labels. Labels have their usefulness, but we can also become prisoners of labels. I don’t want that for my life.


          • Excellent! Then you are ahead of the game!



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