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Child abuse, gaslighting, and false memory syndrome

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Child abuse, gaslighting, and false memory syndrome

Postby ArbreMonde » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:48 pm

Writing for another member of our system (Zami) who is currently unable to write.

They are the one carrying all the trauma-related memories, and the consequences of the gaslight surrounding said traumatic events. They fight the gaslight effects every single day, to the point of sometimes regretting they had EMDR to remove some of the PTSD effects - because without the daily intrusive memories, they don't have any "proof" it really happened therefore, the "you are lying" gaslighting might be true...

Abuse runs in the family. That is something we witnessed first-hand but also second-hand (heard other family members talking about it, right before being gaslighted themselves).

All in all, we are 100% sure that the abuses from Mother, Brother, and all three Exes, are real. They lead to PTSD we had to deal with (and some we still deal with right now).

The problem is, Grandpa.

Hear me out.

Ex#3 was a manipulator and gaslighter (yes, yet another one... *sigh*) who pretended to be a medium and have premonitions and things (even though he talked about said premonitions only after the events happened, OR to order Zami around threatening them with awful "prophetised" consequences if they ever behaved in this or that way). After Grandpa died, Ex#3 started pretending that Grandpa's ghost was talking to him and apologizing for CSA towards Zami, and pushed Zami into calling Grandma to confront her about it.

Here is the trick. Grandma is a gaslighter who kept telling abuse from Mother and Brother never happened - same goes for the abuse Mother recieved from Uncles and possibly, Grandpa. So, here was Ex#3, pretending to be in a trance and repeating to Zami on the phone with Grandma, things like "stop lying, tell the truth, it's time to tell the truth". Grandma of course, kept saying that nothing happened to Zami from Grandpa (or anyone, for that matter). Starting that day, Zami started having nightmares of Grandpa abusing them. Ex#3 pretended that it was Grandpa's ghost visiting to "clear things out".

Given the gaslighting from everybody in the family, and the heavy suggestions made during WEEKS by Ex#3 about Grandpa abusing Zami, there is absolutely no way of getting to the bottom of it thanks to the help of outsiders. The only thing we can be sure about is, Zami never carried a memory of abuse from Grandpa before the heavy suggestions by Ex#3. Yet we cannot be sure there is not, somewhere inside, hidden, a very little child doing their best to be forgotten, and carrying a real memory of abuse by Grandpa. It is very unlikely, since Zami is our trauma-carrier - yet it is a possibility, given that we are all dissociated, and unable to tell for sure that everybody is accounted for. In a system, you can never be 100% sure that everybody is accounted for.

In the midst of it all, Zami (and the rest of us...) is unable to trust the memories of abuse by Grandpa, since they were heavily suggested - but unable to completely distrust it either, due to the dissociation, and heavy constant gaslight and manipulations from too many outsiders. The only thing we are sure regarding this "memory" is that: we do not know if there is a truth under it, or not.

I hope that recieving suggestions or support or other, similar, shared stories, might help Zami feeling less guilty for doubting themself on the Grandpa matter (which sounds like the more reasonable thing to do, given the context). It's not like, trusting said "memory" is going to do anything good anyway: the family is in total denial that any sort of abuse ever happened to Zami, and Grandpa is dead and six feet under, so, no justice can be given anyway even if the "Grandpa memory" turned out to be true. Yet, there is that constant need to know what really happened, just for the sake of the truth.

I hope Zami will be able to let go of the neverending interrogation and doubt. But in the same time, letting go feels like giving up to the gaslight and submitting to whatever "truth" is decided by outsiders the moment they verbalize it.

Thank you for reading through this wall of text.

-X-
Multiple system Dx autistic, depression, c-PTSD...

They/them: --Zami--
He/him: -X- or -David- | oOo van H. oOo | //Ulysses// | °Isaïa° | ((Wolf)) | {Envy} | #Uriel# | .....
She/her: ~Theia~ | oOo Mrs. H. oOo | *Reyna* | .....
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ArbreMonde
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Re: Child abuse, gaslighting, and false memory syndrome

Postby avatar123 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:06 pm

Sounds like your confusion is justified, there is not enough evidence to know for sure, and neither the accusation nor the denial may be reliable. In that situation, it might be best to withhold judgement until you have more to go on.

Sometimes the stress of not knowing and wondering can be as bad as the abuse would be, if it was true. So no real purpose served in subjecting yourself to that stress, if it's an alternative equivalent to abuse. You could chalk it up as just not presently knowable at this time, and leave it at that. If further information surfaces, you can always consider it again. But in the meantime you'll be more at peace with yourself, than if you were constantly worrying.

Note that's not the same thing as being gaslighted or not believed, in this case you are making your own decision based on what you know, so you are in control of it.

Also if the other abuses are known to be real, that would already be a lot for you to deal with, and the impact of adding another instance would not change that, or be all that different from what you already know, since other family members are already involved. So while it would be helpful to know conclusively, doing so wouldn't alter your circumstances all that much. That would be another reason to maybe limit worrying about this, until and unless you learn more.
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Re: Child abuse, gaslighting, and false memory syndrome

Postby ArbreMonde » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:38 am

Thank you for your wise words! They mean a lot.

--Zami--
Multiple system Dx autistic, depression, c-PTSD...

They/them: --Zami--
He/him: -X- or -David- | oOo van H. oOo | //Ulysses// | °Isaïa° | ((Wolf)) | {Envy} | #Uriel# | .....
She/her: ~Theia~ | oOo Mrs. H. oOo | *Reyna* | .....
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ArbreMonde
Consumer 5
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Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:28 pm
Local time: Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:23 am
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