No One Believes Me

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I think I have suffered long-term sexual abuse, but am not sure. I was laying down for a nap one day and all of a sudden a memory of miscarrying a baby popped in my head. I remembered everything so clearly, but the idea just came out of nowhere. It was so out of the blue. Later, I was doing homework for a psychology class and I got this image in my head of being tied up in a box at my old baby sitters. I remembered being naked and him forcing himself on me. I’m so afraid that I am crazy. I had heard of repressed memories but my psych teacher said they aren’t real and a lot of things on the internet back up my teachers claims. Where are these thoughts coming from? Am I crazy? The memories feel so real– especially the miscarriage. I wept for several hours over that. If this happened, it would make so much sense. Ever since I can remember I have hated myself and have felt like everything was my fault. I have an eating disorder and cut. At the same time I feel like I have always had the perfect life with supportive parents. I have no reason to feel the way I do except for these memories that came out of blue. I don’t want them to be true, but I think they are except that my teacher and other sources say repressed memories are not real. I want to get help for these intruding thoughts, but I’m also very frightened. How could I think of these things? And if it is real, what should I do? I don’t want to accuse an innocent person of rape but I also don’t want him to be hurting other people!

A: Thank you for your powerful letter. The struggle you are having is important to learn more about. Whereever these thoughts are coming from, one thing is certain – you want to find the best way of coping with them.

These memories point back to a feeling and memory of trauma – so that is the best place to begin. I would find a therapist near you specializing in trauma and make an appointment. One of the best treatments is known as EMDR and you can read more about it here. The find help tab at the top of the page can also help you find someone in your area. He or she can help you sort through where those images are coming from. More important, they can help you find some proven ways to cope.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 May 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). No One Believes Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/16/no-one-believes-me/