For years, I had therapists who insisted that I would only have memories of my childhood when I was ready for them. I always figured that by “ready” they meant I would be able to cope with the memories; that I would have skills for dealing with them; that I would have a strong support network in place. I thought they meant that I could have the memories, but also live my daily life in between.
So I admit I’m feeling a little resentful. Through a combination of events, I don’t currently have a therapist. Most of my friends live in other states. I haven’t had the mental energy to keep up with my primary source of online support. My best friend has been getting increasingly volatile and difficult to talk to in the best of circumstances. So my tangible, daily support network consists of my wife. She is a wonderful, loving person. But I also realize that she’s not able to provide all of the support I need. And she really doesn’t know any more than I do about how I can cope with what’s going on.
On top of all of this, I’m getting very mad at the jerks on the Internet who feel the need to create websites about how people who forgot childhood abuse and then remember it as adults are making it all up. I was checking Google to see if there was an online version of The Courage to Heal. Most of the sites that came up were the ones debunking “false memory syndrome.” I suppose it’s my fault, for persisting in clicking on those Google links, even though I know the sites are going to be… um, wrong. And yet I click. On more than one site. On more than one day. This, from a person who generally doesn't even rubberneck at accidents when I'm driving!
The people writing these sites give me no credit whatsoever for being able to make up something that’s actually interesting. Really, now! When I was a kid, I created whole worlds! I can make up stories about things that are actually unique and original. So why would I bother to make up run of the mill physical, emotional, and sexual abuse? Why not come up with something like being kidnapped by fairies, or traveling through time?
In my more rational moments, I can laugh about it. I mean, where is the benefit to me in making up the memories? Oh, right, I really wanted to be unable to do anything I really enjoy because of the crippling panic attacks; I really couldn’t figure out how else to have nightmares every single night; I love shuddering and flinching during sex, and it’s a great way to build a healthy relationship. Yeah, that’s it.
So here I am, waiting (and waiting) for the people at the counseling center where I had my most recent intake to call me back. I would give up on them and go find a therapist on my own except for one thing. I am so emotionally drained, and having such a hard time getting myself to trust anyone right now, that I’m just not able to get the resources together to go find a different therapist. I need therapy in order to be able to advocate for myself to get good therapy. It was hard enough to manage to find the therapist who ended up dropping me after I was hospitalized. Going through the process all over again is more than I can bear.
Right now, it’s all I can do to hold myself together waiting for this stupid clinic to call me back, and talking myself into going and into talking once I get there. I suppose, in the meanwhile, it would be a good idea to stop reading the idiotic “false memory” sites, because I know if I keep reading them, I’ll manage to convince myself, once again, that I made everything up.