False Memory Syndrome - Part - II

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 14th Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Alzheimer's & Memory

This is the Second Part of the Series on False Memory Syndrome. The example used is from one of the landmark cases which opened the door to successful litigation.

The Story of Viv

Viv attended a psycho-therapist because she was having trouble forming a long lasting relationship with a man.

The therapist took her history, asked questions, and concluded that Viv had been abused as a child.

Viv had no memory of anything like this.

Her relationship with her mother and father was excellent, she'd never had any sexual problems. Yet, the therapist felt Viv was suppressing a childhood trauma of sexual abuse.

Eventually with a mixture of hypnosis and psychotropic drugs, brought Viv to recall that her father had often abused her when she was about 12 years of age.

After this emotional revelation, the therapist warned her;

"Don't bother to confront your parents. They will only deny it.
You know what you know."

After the revelation

Viv could not obey the therapist.

She rang up her parents, roundly cursed them, told them she never wanted to see or hear from them. When questioned, she recounted the story of abuse, which her parents denied. She cursed them again, telling them that was exactly what the therapist told her they would say.

"I know what I know!!!!" she shouted as she hung up.

For the next five years Viv held to her mantra. Being the 34 year old woman who was sexually abused by her father when she was 12 was the center of her being.

Anyone who disputed the abuse, people who had known her all her life and were sure that this never happened were cut off, told they were in denial.


Her therapist was on vacation, and Viv went to see the locum tenem.

This therapist took a history from Viv and came to the conclusion that the reason she was having difficulty in forming a relationship and maintaining one was that she set far too high standards.

The 2nd doctor found nothing in Viv's history to suggest sexual abuse.

At that moment, all those 'memories' of her father sexually assaulting her fell apart. Viv realised she hadn't been abused as a child. Those memories were provoked by the therapist.

She called her family, her father was dead, her mother didn't want to talk to her.

She called a lawyer, sued the therapist.

She won.

Understanding False Memory

A false memory is not mixing up the place where your sister got married, it is recalling you wore a red dress to a wedding you never went to.

Recalling it because you were told that you went, and bits and pieces of other memories fill in. Where there are blanks your imagination supplies the rest, taking pieces from old TV shows, half heard statements, etc.

The memory becomes so pervasive that, as in the test of the colour of the getaway care in Part I of this series, you remember something you subconsciously 'know' is wrong.

Because it is wrong, because something inside of you keeps 'belching' it like cabbage, you can't let go. You keep going over it and over it, so that like Viv, it now defines you.

People who were slightly acquainted with Viv knew she was abused as a child, because that was the core of her life, the thing she had to talk about.

This is because false memory needs to spoken, written, rewritten, defined, and constantly fertilised to keep it alive.

Viv had to cut off everyone who defied the memory, holding to her "I know what I know" mantra.

After the First Law Suits

The American Psychiatric Association, as well as their British and Canadian counterparts, have warned against sudden adult memories of childhood abuse.

Basically, a person who was abused shows signs of it at the time and after the event.
A child isn't raped by her father at 3 p.m. then is seen having a great time at a birthday party at 6 pm.

Many therapists have created false memories in their patients because there is a lot of sexual abuse going around and probably this patient has it.

Patients who are fortunate enough to realise that "I know what I know" without proof is more likely to be fantasy than fact, or those who get a second opinion, are spared from years of wallowing in a destructive delusion.

But many people never realise that the False Memory has destroyed their lives.
That it has become their lives.


Abuse, Hypnosis, Memory, Psycho-Therapist, Psychotropic Drugs, Sex

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author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

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author avatar Delicia Powers
18th Sep 2011 (#)

Pretty powerful, and scary to think of really, being made to believed something that never happen... eye-opening report, well done...

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author avatar kaylar
18th Sep 2011 (#)

thank you delicia

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