repressed memories

How Do You Know If Your Memories of Sexual Abuse Are Real?

How Do You Know If Your Memories of Sexual Abuse Are Real?

When I was sued by my parents for exposing the sexual abuse that was perpetrated on me by my father, my lawyer asked me a question: “How do you if know your memories of sexual abuse are real?”

He was defending me against charges of defamation of character and intentional infliction of emotional distress so that was a fair question.

Though I was solid in my history by then, that’s a question I asked myself frequently as I faced my past.

I didn’t always remember my abuse—at least not consciously. I repressed most of it until I was an adult. When the memories returned, they felt like dreams. It was like seeing them through a wall of water or heavy mist.