Repressed Memories

Amazingly in college I took a class with a professor of psychology who said aloud to the class that repressed memories were not helpful to survival since you can’t remember the abuse to avoid it in the future, therefore repressed memories could not be real.

As though memory keeps us safe or children can avoid abuse no matter how much abuse they remember. I always remembered lots of abuse, none of it kept me safe.

As though the concept of survival in the short-term, like not dying from the pain or the assult or the attack against the psyche, would not be more important and overriding to the survival of the child in the long-term. Hint: short-term survival essential, or there won’t be any need for long-term survival.

As though everything a human being does is for the avoidance of possible future abuse and nothing else. Which is outrageous considering how many little girls and boys have been repeatedly sexually abused. Very few of them manage to avoid abuse when it is coming right at them, even if they remember. Dude, we were little children, not fairies with magical powers.

Apparently he believed we don’t teach enough of our pre-schoolers self-defense. I read about a woman with a black belt in karate who was raped, not so protective. None of us get to step across the room to be safe, nothing can. Memory and training combined can’t even keep us safe from sexual assault. No one could really believe that memory and training could keep us safe from further abuse. Well okay, only a megalomaniac judgmental douchebag could.

If I cannot survive the next minute, what difference does surviving the next rape attempt by my mother matter? Because we all know that stopping rape is all about the victim, whether he or she is eight months old or eighty, it’s all on you.

And how effective would my memory of sexual assault at age six months be protective of another assault? I was too small to defend myself. I had not learned how to speak. I could not even go into the next room by myself.

 And when your rapist is your mother, or your father, or someone else who lives with you or is in your extended family, what kind of protection does memory bestow?

A lot of assumptions from someone who professed to be a “scientist.” Even though the sciences do not see psychology professors as scientists, in my school that is what they believed of themselves. It was pervasive in the department. The full-time professors there were hard-line biopsychologists.

I am philosophically more on the side of psychology is more of an art, than a science. A real scientist is expected to put aside his biases and not engage in personal beliefs. They asked more of me, as a student without a degree, than they delivered of themselves with their Ph.D.s. I didn’t see a lot of sciene going on there.

I transferred to a different professor conducting the same class, thank God that was a possibility. I needed that class to graduate with a major in psychology. Previously he was the only professor to teach that class. I was lucky that semester. I felt blessed to kick him out of my life. So many others got his denial indoctrination shtick all semester.

It’s one thing to be in denial and hateful and over-emotional and then call yourself a scientist. It’s another thing entirely to inflict your opinions and biases on others and call that science. He taught people to believe I don’t exist. I hate him to this day.

4 thoughts on “Repressed Memories

  1. Hi Kate – that kind of crap is very pervasive in many psychology departments. He’s an idiot, not very abreast of the research, and I think it’s awesome that you understood that intrinsically. It takes people whole lifetimes just to get to where you are already at. Yay Kate!


    • Hi Butterfly,

      I really should have been in another school, I guess, but since I was doing a double major, and considered my other major the main focus, I didn’t really research what was going on in the department in advance. It wasn’t until I got towards the end of my time there that I took a few classes from the few full-time professors, one of which was the head of the department. The other professors worked full-time out in the real world and so many of them knew what they were teaching, especially those professors who taught on subjects of abuse, childhood issues, and violence.

      Thanks for your kind words. Good and healing thoughts to you.



  2. “Dude, we were little children, not fairies with magical powers.”

    Any time somebody comes at me with a shoulda-done-this-and-that-and-the-other bullshit “reason,” I’m handing them this.


    • 🙂

      Good, I’m glad. I like to know that I am having a positive impact.

      Even Harry Potter was neglected and emotionally and verbally abused in his aunt and uncle’s home and he has magical powers. Nothing protects us from abuse, even though we may wish it.

      I think deniers need to stop spewing their lies and calling it science.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.



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