"I just wanted to forget," Mal said. "But it didn't work. Even when I tried to push everything away, my memories insisted on remembering."
We don't forget. Not really. We don't remember everything—and blot out the most horrendous events. But something remains to remind us.
Sometimes trying to forget causes us emotional pain by re-experiencing abuse, or we have difficulty in sleeping. Some speak of frequent nightmares. We become hyper-vigilant. We're anxious or we become sexually dysfunctional. The list is probably endless and certainly varies among us.
We're not meant to forget by pushing away from the memories. The only way I know to truly get beyond the pain of our past is to face what happened. Accept it, and find ways to move on.
I'm a serious Christian and, for me, prayer has been my best therapy. I prayed daily to face whatever I needed to know and to have the courage not to deny my pain.
I've largely forgotten my pain—not the memories themselves—but the deep, searing hurt of those experiences. It's like the time I had serious dental surgery. I know the needle shooting me with Novocain hurt, but I endured that because I wanted the results.
I remember sitting in the dental chair and can tell you many details, but I don't feel pain. That's what we strive for in our healing from sexual abuse.
We don't ever want to forget that it happened to us;
we do want to forget the pain of the abuse.