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    giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged."
    Dale Carnegie, posted by Cat Dancer
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Why is it that some people have a feeling that they may have been sexually abused at some point during childhood even though they have no memory of anything and don't want to get back at any family member? Why would somebody feel like this? Is the media to blame?
 

David Baxter

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There might be more than one reason for this: certain fears, anxieties, or feelings triggered in certain situations; certain recurrent dreams; certain feelings of uneasiness around a certain individual; or difficulties with emotional or sexual intimacy. This might lead one to wonder about repressed memories of sexual abuse because (1) it happened, or (2) the individual has read or watched materials that describe symptoms of repressed memories related to early sexual abuse and for that reason suspects a connection.
 
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So basically, if there aren't any memories, it probably didn't happen, right? And intimacy issues can have plenty of other causes, yes?
 

David Baxter

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Yes. Personally, I think it's a mistake to jump to the conclusion that because you have certain symptoms the cause is childhood sexual abuse.

It's not that I doubt the existence of repressed memories -- I know those do occur. However, I also do believe that false memories of childhood abuse can occur. I think it's best to be cautious and not to try to force memories to emerge. If abuse really did happen, it will emerge in its own time and its own way.
 

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