Understanding Trauma & Violence


Is it normal for me to begin to forget my assault? I feel as though I am making progress and now I am forgetting what it was like to be assaulted and the memories are fading. Does this mean I overplayed the event or is this normal?


Thank you for asking this question. It's common for people who experience sexual assault to experience changes in their traumatic memories over time. While some of that may be related to the passing of time generally, memories of traumatic events specifically can be especially fragmented, disjointed, or difficult to recall in the future. For some survivors, memories may become more vivid over time. For others, their memories might become more fuzzy or distant. Both are equally valid responses to traumatic events.

Having fragmented or blurry memories  can be a coping mechanism that our brain uses to protect itself from overwhelming emotions and feelings. This does not mean that the assault was not significant or that you overplayed the event. 

If you feel like your memories are fading and it is distressing you, it may be helpful to seek support from a therapist who specializes in trauma. They can provide guidance and strategies to help you continue on your healing journey.  

If your memories are fading and it is not distressing you, consider if these memories are serving you anymore. Perhaps their lack of vividness is protective so that you can continue forward in your healing process. You deserve to be happy and free from memories that cause you pain.

Remember that there is no "right" way to feel or remember the assault. Everyone copes with trauma differently. Give yourself the time and space you need to heal at your own pace. Trust your intuition. We believe you.

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