Shadow Flying In Daylight (sistahraven) wrote in _survivors_,
Shadow Flying In Daylight

The myth of false memory syndrome

This is something I'm passionate about. "False memory syndrome" - which, by the way does *not* exist in the diagnostics manual is a tool that many use to keep abuse survivors silent or discredited.

When our memories first resurface, there is so much to take in, so much pain to relive. Our brains do their best to do damage control. Many times, this happens by creating a metaphor-memory: a memory that is historically and visually inaccurate to elicit the same *emotion* we went through in that moment.

The process is similar to movies, in a way. Just like you can see a movie, that in no way physically resembles your own life, you can find a connection, empathize - feel that same feeling. That's how those memories function. They are not *false* memories - they are memories that are 100% honest, and wrapped in a metaphorical wrapper.

People are so ignorant sometimes. They think these memories are a sign that somehow we survivors "made it up" - when the truth is that as the years pass - we get the original, accurate, gruesome memories that went with that feeling. Given time, and therapy, all those "false" memories are proven 100% true and accurate emotionally - and we finally have that key.

People use "false memory syndrome" as a shield. It helps them live in a world that is lacking in sexual predators and create a world of brains gone haywire, which for them is easier to handle.

Most people will never know how many people are sexually abused. Most people don't realize that 1 in 3 people are. Most people don't know that 1 in 10 children are sexually abused by a relative, or that 1 in 4 are sexually abused by anyone.

It's our job to raise that awareness. We don't have to shout and scream (although that is very empowering and feels great when we can!), but if all we do is teach one more person how many people are sexually abused - or hell, abused at all - we've improved the world.

Keep talking, people need to know.
Tags: abuse: sexual, false memory syndrome
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