I think I may have been abused in my past, but I don't remember....

As a therapist, I am often asked, “I think I may have been molested or abused as a child, but don’t remember it.  How do I know for sure whether or not I have been abused?”  This question is a really tough question to answer.  For one because our brains do not store information like a computer does.  Sometimes we can have a variety of memories or thoughts that are not actually saved properly. 


Hunting for memories can be a very tricky and potentially damaging process, and my primary question for clients who want to know for sure of the accuracy of these potential occurrences is, “How would this information be useful to you today?” 


Here is an article from the University of Washington regarding memory recovery, and creating false memories that I believe may be very helpful https://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/sciam.htm


I do understand fully how knowledge is power, and believe that trauma, even unknown, may have areas for healing that can improve one’s life.  I also want all who inquire about the unconscious to really ask yourself, “What is it in my current life that I am trying to improve or find growth in?”  At times, some of the most effective healing of our character and behavioral defects are best tackled by addressing the here and now versus searching in our past.