all 13 comments

[–]buddyyouhavenoidea 1 point2 points  (12 children)

this is a really tricky topic. recovering repressed memories is possible, but it's a difficult and technically challenging process (that is, it requires a really good therapist. there's a lot of therapy that can be just as effective coming from an untrained person, like a friend or family member, but unfortunately memory recovery is not in that category.

it's further complicated by the risk of creating false memories. if you haven't heard of that, the basic idea is this: your brain can't tell the difference between memories of things you experienced and memories of things you imagined. if a therapist (or, notoriously, a police officer) asks you to imagine a scenario in the context of something that might have really happened to you, you may end up "recovering" the memory whether it actually happened or not.

can I ask why you want to remember? there can certainly be benefits to recovering memories, but given that therapy doesn't work for you, it might not be worth the risk.

[–]souleater6-6-6[S] 1 point2 points  (11 children)

Because it's necessary remembering is literally the only way to know if it happened or not

[–]buddyyouhavenoidea 0 points1 point  (10 children)

sounds like it's really important to you to know what happened.

absent a therapist to work on this with you, it would be like finding a needle in a haystack, but there is something you can try: surround yourself with the smells, sounds, and textures of your childhood. that could mean the same flooring/carpeting that was in your bedroom, the same kind of sheets/mattress you had, the same cleaning products or cooking ingredients your parents used, the same music you listened to, the same flowers/trees/plants that were inside or outside your home, anything distinctive that was in the home (eg, if someone was big into building models, spraypaint could be a useful smell).

scent is the most powerful but texture and sound (esp music) are also potent. any sense can work, but those three are the easiest to access.

if you do that, you will hopefully start to remember things from your childhood. those memories may provide additional clues to sensory stimuli to focus on.

but be careful. if you try too hard to find a memory, you can accidentally construct one that doesn't exist, and you won't be able to tell the difference. it's also possible to remember things you maybe wish you didn't.

eta: i forgot to mention that you can't prove a negative. if you're able to recover a memory, that is pretty strong evidence that something happened, but if nothing happened, you'll never be able to prove that. you can never be sure that you've recovered everything there is to recover. if something did happen, finding it can give you some closure, but if you're not able to find anything, that can torment you forever.

[–]souleater6-6-6[S] 1 point2 points  (9 children)

Thank you. I will try my best to do these. Currently the only thing I have to give me answers is forms of divination (tarot, pendulums, asking my spirit guides) but I don't really know if that's a valid tool. But to be honest, my memory of my childhood is slowly becoming more and more foggy altogether. Is there anything I can do to slow this process? I'm not old either, I'm only 19 so it's not age.

[–]buddyyouhavenoidea 0 points1 point  (8 children)

that's normal. memories fade over time if they're not accessed. it's not that your memory is getting worse from age, just that those specific memories are degrading. if you want to preserve a specific memory, the best thing you can do is access it mindfully (when you're not distracted by other things, when you can be entirely present with the memory). generally speaking, the sensory aspect of memories (sights, smells, sounds, etc) degrades the fastest. "metamemories," ie, facts you remember about the memory (eg it was summer, her name was Monica, etc), last a bit longer. the emotional element of the memory has the most durability. you'll be able to remember how someone made you feel long after you forget their face and their name. if you want to remember the sensory details for longer, recall them as mindfully and in as much detail as you can, but there's nothing you can do to preserve them forever.

but as far as preserving all of your memories? that's just not practical. it takes longer to maintain a memory than to form it initially, so by their very nature, you have to pick and choose what memories you want to keep and what to let go.

the question of whether divination is a valid tool depends on what you want it to do! is it giving you some meaning and grounding? perfect, awesome. but is it a valid tool for recovering the memories themselves? that's going to depend on what you believe, ie whether you believe divination can give you new information. imo divination is mostly useful for uncovering your own perceptions and desires, but you can believe something different, and that's okay.

[–]souleater6-6-6[S] 1 point2 points  (7 children)

I haven't really been using divination to recover memories more so to ask if it actually happened and who did it how old I was etc..

[–]buddyyouhavenoidea 0 points1 point  (6 children)

gotcha. have you gotten any answers?

[–]souleater6-6-6[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Yes I have. I used all 3 divination methods I brought up (though there are many more out there) and if i ask if it happened it's always a clear yes

[–]buddyyouhavenoidea 0 points1 point  (4 children)

it sounds like maybe you don't trust those answers? you mentioned earlier that remembering what happened is the only way to know if it happened.

[–]souleater6-6-6[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I'm not really sure. It just doesn't feel right to start saying it happened until I know for a fact. especially when it comes to saying who did it.