Memory loss as side effect of emotional abuse?
March 22, 2012 8:43 AM Subscribe
Is it common to forget specifics of emotional abuse? (potential triggers inside)
posted by sockermom to Human Relations (19 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I think I was emotionally abused by my husband during the first year of our marriage. Unfortunately, I remember no specifics, and he wants me to give him specific examples of the abuse. It's a really big charge to level against someone, so I can understand that he wants to understand what was going on.
We fought every day and he would say horrible things to me. I remember nothing specific. He remembers lots of horrible things that I said, but also remembers nothing that he did wrong. He has changed. I know people say abusers don't change, but he legitimately has. Now he thinks that I still see him as an abuser, and I'm not sure how to explain to him that I know in my brain that it won't happen again but when he says certain things or acts a certain way it triggers me. I don't want to go through that again.
However, I can't remember it at all. I remember a few choice phrases and events. Him telling me that I was unlovable. Him saying that I was too fat to be attracted to. Him telling me that I was holding him back. Him telling me that I was emotionally cheating on him by talking to a therapist. He was crazy, and I know that it's over. I do remember thinking that maybe he was abusing me at the time, but now I'm not even sure.
Is it normal for me to be unable to remember anything more?
And how can I get over this? How can I learn to let triggers just roll off my back? Everyone says mean stuff sometimes. He's no longer abusive - if he ever was - but occasionally (once every six months to eight months at most?) he does something that makes me feel like it's all going to happen again, and I flip. the. fuck. out. It makes me majorly depressed for weeks and also makes me really mad at him.
I can't go back to that time in our lives and he can't either. What can I do to handle this if I can't really remember it very well?