I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

Picking at repressed memories

on August 27, 2013

I’ve found myself in a crisis this last week, and it’s mainly because i picked the proverbial scab of repressed memories and didn’t take the care necessary when doing such a thing.

One of the problems of being bipolar is you sometimes feel like you can take on the world, invincible. This is when you are ‘up’ of course, when you’re down it’s a whole different story.

For a very long time I knew that ‘bad things’ had happened when my Mother was married to her first husband, but that’s as far as I would let myself think about it. I wouldn’t identify with sexual assault victims, I didn’t class myself as a victim of sexual assault, I didn’t recall the details of what had happened, I just knew that something went on and that I didn’t want to know about it.

Recently when I started writing, a poem pretty much fell out of me, it was a detailed account of one of the visits my ex Stepfather paid to my room as a child. At first I felt strangely numb then empowered, I was slightly manic at the time I wrote it and decided to confront the whole thing head on, believing it would define me as strong.

I would urge anyone considering such things to do so with great caution, it’s true that we have to eventually deal with any repressed issues if we’re going to gain happiness but do so carefully. I decided I was super human and not only recalled all of the abuse but I wrote a letter to my Mother talking about it, wrote poems about it, thought about the details at great length, analyzed it all and then SNAP, it overwhelmed me and I spiraled out of control and wound up in the hospital on suicide watch.

I’m still feeling pretty weak, leaving the house is hard at the moment and I feel kind of empty and sad, but I’m piecing myself back together. The flashbacks are pretty intense and at the moment it’s just a matter of distracting myself when they happen, but with each day I get a little stronger than what I was a week ago and I feel a little more able to deal with what happened to me and the memories that are drowning my brain.

So for anyone dealing with similar issues, do tread carefully. Know your limits and be careful not to dig too far too fast, it’s a very brave thing to confront your issues so don’t get carried away like I did, thinking the more you do the faster you do it the better a person you are, it just doesn’t work like that and you will end up out of your depth and in trouble. The way I felt when I went to the hospital last week is something I wouldn’t wish upon any person, even those who have harmed me in the past, I was desperately and devastated and barely tethered to my sanity, each moment of being hurt, and it was through my own actions that it happened.

I’m not beating myself up for what I did, I’ve learned my lesson and am sharing it in hope that anyone else currently going through this kind of thing can learn from it too. Dealing with it at all makes you strong, don’t try to rush ahead of where you are, go slowly and remember that you are the victim, these things were done to you and you did nothing to deserve it.

18 responses to “Picking at repressed memories

  1. Jessica Slavin says:

    Little by little, a “sea change” happens that way. Atom by atom. It is so nice to “hear” you sounding more grounded. More virtual hugs.

    • mckarlie says:

      Thank you gorgeous, I’m feeling much more human now, getting ready to fight again and find my happy. Few more days of outpatient treatment, they keep sending me hot male nurses lol ugh

      • Jessica Slavin says:

        Hee hee well we have to enjoy the littlw things

      • mckarlie says:

        No it’s terrible!! They keep coming when I have no bra on, i look feral lol how is one meant to share their crazy with such pretty men, one today was scottish, the accent melts me haha

  2. Take good care of yourself.

  3. crissybwell says:

    Hey friend this is a really inspiring and uplifting post. I am sorry for your pain and all that you have been through but it truly shows your strength to be able to say this is me, where I have been and where I am going and I want to be able to help others from that. You give great advice, it’s all a learning and healing process. Everyone goes at their own pace, just give yourself time and understanding and like you said, it’s never the victims fault. *hugs*

    • mckarlie says:

      Yeah from what I understand guilt and shame are really common for sexual abuse victims but it’s so reductive. I was misguided and I think it’s important to share our mistakes just as much as our victories.

      My man has been off work since it all happened and today is my first day alone so I just have to keep myself busy. Thanks for your support, you’re a good friend girlie xo

      • crissybwell says:

        I think that you are exactly right, that it’s important to share the whole experience of it. It’s important to show that we all stumble and fall but we can still get to a better place, because that just shows that we are in fact human.

        I hope that today goes ok for you. I know it will be hard, but busy is good. I am glad that he was able to stay with you for some time though, at least y’all had some time. You always have a friend and my support here *hugs*

      • mckarlie says:

        Thanks lovely, it ended up being a much harder day than I could have anticipated, ran into people from my past and it was quite rattling. But I only have today to get through alone and my man is back off for three days, whooo lol

        Thanks for your support, i genuinely hate being like this i miss feeling strong and competent. hope things are well for you, will email you soon x

      • crissybwell says:

        You are very welcome and yes I understand people from the past can be rattling like that. I am glad that you made it through and you just have today and he will be back with you. That is very exciting indeed. πŸ™‚

        I understand what you mean, but we all have our ups and downs, it makes us human. It would be nice if everything was perfect, but sadly that isn’t the case, and it’s really a good thing, just makes us who we are. I saw your email, I will definitely work on reply but got some moving and things to do over the next few days, should I be slow in responding. Always supporting lovely πŸ™‚ *hugs*

      • mckarlie says:

        I’m almost back to better now, thank goodness. Thanks for your support dear.

        Good luck with the move, don’t stress about getting back to me moving it stressful enough! Whenever you get time is fine, hope all goes well πŸ™‚

      • crissybwell says:

        I am so glad to hear that πŸ™‚ You will get through this and it will just keep making you into a stronger and stronger person. You are so much stronger than you know and you have your hubby again too, so yay!!!

        Thank you for the encouragement. I am pretty excited about it, but then again I haven’t actually started moving all my stuff yet, now it’s list and what do I need and what to take, and put where….yeah you know how it is hehehe Thanks girlie πŸ™‚

  4. Aimer Shama says:

    Sorry for what you’ve been through. So sorry. This has become alarmingly widespread that even when I was a boy I had a similar experience.

    So what do you suggest concerning coming out? What do you mean dig out too much too fast?

    • mckarlie says:

      Sorry to hear you also went through such a terrible thing.

      By digging too much too fast I mean that I took memories I had repressed for 25 years and instead of cautiously and slowly addressing the things that had happened to me I pulled out all the memories at once and thought I could deal with it all at once.

      If you’re considering facing these issues of the past ideally id advise you to have a counselor or psychologist to go through things with you. If you don’t have access to these things then you’ll need support from some good friends you can be open with and count on to be there for you. Deal with one thing at a time, the memories may come flooding back and it’s important to keep strong and distract yourself from flashbacks and tread carefully as you go over things that happened.

      • Aimer Shama says:

        So I guess I’m on the safe side because the whole incident I tell to really close friends who are well read and educated and actually provide me with good analysis. I guess like this, I’ve been coming out all along. I thought you meant TELL THE WORLD coming out XD
        Thank you and take care Mckarlie.

      • mckarlie says:

        I guess we’ll assume something was lost in translation πŸ™‚

        Don’t assume because a person is well read and educated that they are better equipped to deal with mental illness than those who are not, in fact there are higher instances of mental illness amongst those with higher IQ’s, i am trained as a counselor and am a few units short of a bachelor in psychology and it doesn’t mean i don’t have the odd crisis of mental health.

        All the best

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