My aunt’s stories. Is it memory distortion, repressed memories, false memory, or just different memories? Elsa’s Blog Journals. When Memories Collide.

My Aunt's Stories.
Is it memory distortion, repressed memories,
false memory, or just different memories?
When Memories Collide.
Elsa's Blog Journals.

Feeling Safe, Feeling Unsafe

August 7, 2011

emotional safety - 476 / 204
emotional security - 174 / 335
emotional violence - 279 / 169
emotional risk - 0 / 0
emotional danger - 0 / 0
personal safety - 4638 / 19288
physical safety - 204 / 440
sense of safety - 31 / 568
to feel safe - 0 / 0
feel safe - 165 / 8649
feel unsafe - 0 / 0
feel unwanted - 0 / 0
feel unloved - 0 / 0
feeling safe - 447 / 648
feeling unsafe - 19 / 41
not feeling safe - 0 / 0
no one loves me - 90 / 3
no one wants me - 184 / 32
no one likes me - 143 / 28

knowing the limits - 0 / 0
have limits - 0 / 0
what are limits - 0 / 0
personal limits - 37 / 211
personal needs - 60 / 14467

I've been thinking a lot about feeling safe and feeling unsafe.

Actually, the thinking has come after a lot of feeling unsafe.

No threat of physical violence. And no threat of emotional violence.

So what's been going on?

I've been working with a musician / sound producer - out of home element. It hasn't all come together easily. And the desire to try working together has come from me, rather than them. He has gone along, has been ready to meet week after week for a couple of hours.

But such a sense of emotional unsafety.

Yet what have I got to lose in this? Nothing much has come together.

There are hopes and dreams. But I could just as well be out looking, instead of keeping on trying.

So what is going on?

Much more, what do I need for feel emotional safety, emotional security?

I need things spelled out. I need my safety spelled out. I need to know.

I remember asking, after we'd met a few times: "How do you feel about our working together."

Answer: "Well, you're here, aren't you."

Maybe an okay answer for someone who has a built-in sense of being wanted, being welcome. Not a good enough answer for me.

There's the whole thing of dealing with one's inner garbage heap - in my case, in this case, the sense that, outside my family, no one likes me, no one wants me around - that I'm always at the edge of being pushed away totally.

So weird, the sense of my stuff having value, and at the same time, the sense that no one really wants to work with me, there's no one who wants to be on "my team."


As a child, it always felt that the team was "elsewhere."

I still have a bit of that sense.

I also ask myself too: what's is my side of things? Am I doing stuff to push people away? Do I not recognize when it is safe, when I am liked, when I am wanted?


My question now, though. What do I need to feel emotional safety?

My sense: I need to know, explicitly, how things are. "There's a lot of good feeling that's been built up. You're definitely not near any edge."

So I don't need to feel there an no limits, anything goes.


I remember failing a couple of times to get my driver's license. Finally I passed the thing. One thing that helped me a lot that final time: a couple of days before the rest, I earned exactly what the marking system was. Aha! I didn't have t be perfect. If I did this wrong, I lost 3 marks. If I did that wrong, I lost 4 marks. But a pass was something like 85 - in other words, far from perfect. I didn't even need to be able to parallel park - it just meant something like 7 points off, if I messed up.

It was so good, knowing how I'd be judged - or rather, where I stood in terms of getting my driver's license.

I think of Olympic competitions. People know exactly how they're supposed to be assessed (though there are lots of charges and cases of bias).


Is it unreasonable for me to want to know where I stand? Should I have a built-in sense of "I am wanted." Well, that built-in sense would be good. It could also be off, if I believed I was wanted everywhere, even where I'm not.

Nothing wrong with wanting outside assurance.

I'm not talking about minute by minute reassurance. "Do you like me? Do you still like me? Do you still want to work with me? Are you sure you still want to work with me. Is it the truth that you're happy to be working with me."

Reassure me, and I stay feeling safe. "Hey, great to see you." "Nice to hear from you." "I like how things are going."


I've heard some people say, "This healing stuff is all nuts. When are people finally going to just live?"

My take. I've been living way less well than I could be.

I don't want to wallow in old feelings. I want to let go of the sense of being always on the outside - or anyway, just on the edge of being pushed away.

I also want to be reassured - you are safe.

I know that's what works with my scaredy cat - my cat who's so easily terrified of everything. It doesn't do any good telling her that she's nuts. It doesn't do any good ignoring her fears.

She's changed a lot by being touched lovingly, by being cuddled, by being reassured. That hasn't been easy - she started out hard to catch. Now she expects good things from a cuddle, purrs quickly, rolls and shows her belly.

She still has scaredy-cat eyes. But she's a scared-cat who knows that good things come from humans, that it's good to be cuddled. She will come into the room where I'm working.

I'm less afraid than she is.

And my sense is: I'm as deserving of good care as she is.

A sense of safety. I was able to give her that.

And within that, she's changed.


Something has just come to mind, something that's gone into and out of my mind. That what makes people feel good about their neighborhood is feeling safe. Without that, nothing is enough.

And something else comes to mind, on parenting styles. That children can fare well with parents with rigid rules, and with parents with very few rules. What is hardest is inconsistency. Apparently, in fact, just about nothing is harder than inconsistency - which may be why alcoholic homes are so difficult for children to cope with. Inconsistency.

When I am not told where the limits are, it isn't inconsistency. It's not knowing the limits - it's like the driving test where I had no idea exactly what was required to get a passing grade.

When that is spelled out, I felt safe.

And at this point in my emotional journey, pretty well the same thing applies. When I am told where I stand, I trust that is truly where I stand. I am comfortable. I relax.

Maybe further down the road, I will have such a sense of inner being wanted, that I will carry it with me at all times.


And suddenly I think - I had it in my teaching. I felt liked. It was wonderful. I did not need to have students tell me they liked me. I could like them.


I didn't feel vulnerable, scared, diminished if they acted less than enthusiastic.

Yes, I would like that everywhere. Such a good feeling.

The question is: how to get there in other parts of life?

And there I come to my scaredy-cat. It was loving kindness that did it - lots of acts of caring, gentleness.

In my life, I'm also doing a couple of techniques that are supposed to get inner change moving - EFT and something that is supposed to dislodge old stuck inner beliefs.

But it's the loving kindness that I like most. The other stuff feels empty beside it - or not enough - like washing out a dirty glass. That's not the same as being handed a beautiful cup of something that smells wonderful and then I sip, mmm, even better than imagined.


Emotional safety? What does it for you?
Emotional violence? What does that mean to you?


My aunt's stories. Is it memory distortion,
repressed memories, false memory,
or just different memories?
Elsa's Blog Journals.
When Memories Collide, Worlds Collide.
And I am stunned.

white line


to check out

World Truth Summit: Islam and the West


NOT trusting
your intuition


a fourth

a jack
to a king

what is
a good life?


I feel lost

a dark night
of the soul

Paul Revere

More Blogs

self shadow


creative fire

For more
blog journals,
not on
memory distortion,
but on
buried memories,
buried love,
click here


father and

in my own, my chosen home



True Love Poems


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Memory distortion:
when is it a false memory, when is it a repressed memory?

Memory distortion:
of course out memories are not perfect, but when is it just that we have different memories, none perfect, and when do worlds collide? when do we know that something wrong is going on - maybe repressed memories, maybe false memories, maybe just plain lying, perhaps motivated by shame?

Blog journals:
a great place to sort through the different stories, false memories, repressed memories, distortions and evasions, lies and half-lies.

What is the truth?
hat I don't know. I do know better than to trust memory, all memories - suppressed memories, repressed memory, false memory, memory distortions and evasions, traces of combinations..

Memory distortion:
linked to erasing memories.

Memory distortion:
it sounds better than false memories or repressed memory.

Memory distortion:
we all do it.

Why is there
memory distortion?

We need to simplify, but that's not all.

Memory distortion:
more questions.

When is memory distortion related to inner pain and trauma, to false memories hiding old pain.

And when is memory distortion something different.

Elsa's blog journals ... a place to explore.

Elsa's journal blogs ... a place to mull, ponder, express, and where I have explored some of my repressed memories, such as those of buried love.

Blog journals ... not a formal space, but an informal place to wonder and ponder, like on repressed memories.

So, just pondering on being utterly stunned by my aunt's stories, which maybe kindly I am calling memory distortion, and which may be something else entirely. Not false memory, not repressed memories, maybe outright lies coming from shame, and pain, from fear and maybe from feeling she should have done something.

So a question: when is it memory distortion, and when is it shame-based lying? Also, of course, when is it memory distortion and when is it a suppressed or repressed memory?

The phrase, memory distortion, brings to mind a distortion mirror - where suddenly we are as tall as a giraffe, or as squat as a frog.

But is that distortion, memory distortion. And when is it just that out perspective has changed, it's not anything shame-based or fear-based, t's just that we were small so it is not a memory distortion, it's just that in relation to us, things were huge.

Interesting question, but just as interesting is that when memories collide, worlds collide.

It doesn't matter the original of the collision - whether it's a repressed, suppressed memory, a memory distortion or a case of false or falsified memories.,... collision occurs.

And then, time passes and once again I come to ...

Memory distortion -
I can feel how memory is changing what happened - I only remember feeling stunned, I longer can go back to the feeling.

False memory -
I wonder, has my aunt created false memories of what happened, has she turned it into more repressed memories, or does she remember but is she ashamed to say what she remembers.

Memory distortion,
false memories,
memory distortion,
repressed memories ...
I wander through so many thoughts and memories, hopes and dreams - so many plans too of making connections.




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