I have written earlier on this blog about how being told I had a false memory and was suffering from false memory syndrome rendered me unable to speak my truth. It was not that I beleived the false memory rhetoric to be true, but that the use of this rhetoric and its widespread distribution in the media lead to me feeling that I couldn’t form words, or as as if any words I wanted to speak were taken out of my mouth.
How does a person communicate their memories?
They can use different forms of communication, with their bodies, through music, images etc.
But in the end it is difficult if you can’t use words. If the words have been taken away, or if you have been prevented from using them because to speak them identifies you as a brainwashed irational idiot.
In the last few years I have struggled to make words my own again. I have read a lot about so-called false memory and started to write this blog.
I have also been doing psychotherapy.
99% of my psychotherapy does not involve talking about memories of abuse. It is about dealing with the day to day problems I have because I was silenced – both by the original abuse and by the false memory movement. It is about how I can survive in my work-life without being a doormat. Or how to repair a friendship after an argument which I don’t remember – because was I dissociated at the time.
It took me a long time to understand that my therapist didn’t secretly beleive that my memory was false – whatever they said to the contrary. It took me even longer to understand what dissociation is, and how to recognise when I am doing it.
In order to understand that one is dissociating , one needs tools. And these tools can be words that are communicated internally. It means that parts that have been silenced find words to communcate their experiences.
No-one can communicate with words if they haven’t been taught a language. And psychotherapy enables the parts that can’t speak to find a language.
One result of this psychotherapy is that I am able to work full-time which wasn’t possible before. I also even able to be assertive at my job – at least some of the time. And when I am not able to be assertive I am better able to understand what is happening.
So the idea that providing psychotherapy for abuse survivors might cost too much makes no sense to me.