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Pete & "Recovered Memories"
I'm worried about Pete. I hope he's not getting fucked up in some
kind of therapy, where some psychologist is trying to convince him
that he was molested as a child - and telling him to "get in touch"
with those "recovered memories." What if *that* was the reason
Pete was engaging in the "research" which led to so much trouble?
I just finished a neat book entitled SLEEPING WITH EXTRA-
TERRESTRIALS by Wendy Kaminer. There's a chapter on ther-
apy, 12-step programs, & "recovered memories" & I couldn't help
but think of Pete. I became angry as I read.
Commonly cited by self-proclaimed survivors as a catalyst for their
"discoveries" of abuse, (the book) COURAGE TO HEAL taught
millions of readers that "forgetting is one of the most effective &
common ways children deal with sexual abuse... Many children are
able to forget about the abuse, even as it is happening to them."
Remembering became an essential rite of passage.
Ellen Bass, coauthor of COURAGE TO HEAL, has acknowledged
in interviews that there was no scientific basis for believing that in-
cest victims completely repress all conscious knowledge of their
victimization (even while it is occurring). She based her own unshak-
able faith in repressed memories on "common sense" or intuition.
"Maybe I don't even think a lot about why people repress," she ad-
mitted... I can't give you the research proof, but I don't really oper-
ate like that in the world... My ideas are not based on any scientific
theory. As you can hear, I don't have too many theories."
That children routinely bury their worst memories of abuse, which
are recovered years later in therapy, was not an established fact.
Indeed, research on memory has thoroughly refuted popular notions
of repression. Even common sense (touted by Bass) & a layper-
son's knowledge of the world might question the belief that traumatic
experiences routinely cause amnesia: Holocaust survivors struggle
to keep society from forgetting the events they remember too well.
Yet, belief in repressed memories became a fundamental article of
faith. It implied that the truth was always in hiding.
The thought of Pete being told by some therapist that he must've
been sexually abused by his grandmother years ago (even Pete
says he isn't sure) makes me ill.
Jo, since you bravely came out of the closet with your admission
of being abused, can you shed any light on this?
- SCHRADE in Akron
Mars is now our sand box and we are ready to play & learn.
- Charles Elachi, NASA