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Confusion and Disconnection Self Help Guide

Confusion and Disconnection

Some survivors may be uncertain as to whether their memories of abuse are real or not. The memories may be fragmented or start to surface in flashbacks or dreams.

Some survivors may feel disconnected from their feelings about the abuse. Pretending the abuse didn’t happen and blocking out painful memories and feelings can be a common way of coping with trauma and can leave people very confused about what has really happened.

Some survivors lose access to all memories of the abuse, even when there is concrete evidence about what has happened to them.

Memories can then be reawakened by current events such as the birth of a baby or the death of an abuser.

Our minds sometimes bring memories of frightening events into our mind when we are safe enough or strong enough to deal with them.

If you do not have full memories of what happened to you, you may be anxious to find out, however, this is not something that can be forced. Survivors often get access to suppressed memories gradually and this helps to protect them from being overwhelmed.

When we have been traumatised, our bodies are imprinted with memories of the trauma, particularly in cases where the body has been involved in some way as in cases of sexual or physical abuse. Some survivors may feel disconnected from their bodies, not being fully aware of when they are hungry, in pain or needing rest. This ‘numbness’ or disconnection can help prevent survivors feeling overwhelmed with ‘body memories’ of the traumatic events which happened to them.