(an encore post by Cecil Murphey)
In my book When a Man You Love Was Abused, I wrote about my amnesia (which is denial). One man wrote, "Denial was a powerful survival tool for me when I was a boy. Now I'm an adult and I struggle to be free. I wish I could forget but I know I need to face it."
I understand his situation. Denial worked for us when we needed it to survive. We had few resources and were innocent and naïve about life.
Here's how I think about amnesia for us survivors: In first grade I learned to count by using my fingers. I haven't had to count that way since I was a child. The method worked until I was mature enough to leave it behind.
As adults, we're more sophisticated and can reason out the issues. Most of all, we can feel. The pain was intense when I began recovery, but I reminded myself that I actually felt the pain. My amnesia taught me to deny my deepest feelings; my healing liberates my feelings.