Our expert says:
It's obvious you are feeling really miserable, but the cause is far from clear. It is EXTREMELY rare for anyone who has actually been raped to EVER forget about it, and even rarer for such a person to suddenly "recover" the memory for such an unforgettably horible event. It does not happen like that, and memory does not work like that.
However there are many trashy but misleading books and quack "therapists" who teach the very opposite of these truths, and who strongly encourage people to "recover" what seem to be convincing "memories of such events even when they definitively did not happen. And they falsely inform people that creating "memories" of such events are very helpful and therapsutic, while there is absolutely no good evidence that this is so.
So I wonder what was happening to you before you "came to the realisation" that this happened. Had you been reading such books, or otherwise exposed to these cultic beliefs ?
Ones brain does NOT "cut out" memory for such events. When we move on to find a satisfying life we may indeed no longer think about it or have it high on one's menu of memories, but that is not the same as the cultists describe as being unable to remember it and then being stunned to suddenly recall it in gory detail.
YOu say you remember "only snippets from the event" - this isn't at all unusual with false memories. These are constructed from whatever one has been led to expect of the "memory".
Now to your closing questions/ It is NOT absolutely NOT necessary for you to remember any more details, and it would probably be bad for you to see any therapist with a special interest in such "recovered memories" or late effects of assumed child abuse - they usual;ly have their own axes to grind, and I know no good evidence that therapy of the sort they use is ever truly helpful. It is impossible to ever recover memories of all that happened on that day ( supposing that anything happened ) - memory is never like a video-tape merely recording the details of events, and is not recovered in that way - and it is neither necessary nor helpful to do so.
Yes, it indeed very possible that your mind is constructing these "memories" - it happens more often than most folks realize. It doesn't mean in any way that you are lying or faking or anything like that - but under various circumstances we can create such apparent memories when in various ways it has been suggested to us that we should do so. After real trauma of the sort you are thinking about, one does NOT forget that it occurred, and one does not then suddenly "recover" the memory of it and with all those emotional reactions.
However, you are acutely distressed and feeling bad and that must be respected and deserves some help. It would be useful to see a good general psychologist, preferably one who works with methods like CBT ( Cognitive-behaviour Therapy ) and NOT someone working with obsolete methods like psychoanalysis. With realistic attention to your current distress and help with any current problems, you should soon be able to feel much better and stronger and confident, and let this concern about a possible past nasty experience fade back into the gloom it came from.
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