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Repressed/forgotten memories

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by blagh, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. blagh

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    For those of you who discovered/accepted your same-sex attractions later in life, were there memories that you repressed that, once you accepted yourself, came flooding back?

    Similarly, were there memories that, at first didn't make sense, suddenly did?
     
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  2. DecentOne

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    Hi blagh,

    I’ve had memories of guys and I don’t think I ever repressed any, maybe because I grew up in a family and church that was ok with me being me. I thought I was straight, since I liked girls (and then women), and I’d never done anything with a guy (not even kissing), so those instances were just “extra” somehow. I guess they weren’t worth repressing, because I wasn’t going to be rejected for having them, and they didn’t bother the straight narrative enough to deserve that kind of psychological energy.

    I wandered life as, at worst, a baffled straight guy. I read other’s stories here on EC and realize my experience is somewhat different because of that.

    Leading up to my coming out there was a shift, I began fantasizing about guys the majority of the time. This was new, not ignorable, and it was a definite challenge to my concept of my orientation. Plus I now understood bisexuality existed, so I had a better concept I could “try on” for myself.

    But since coming out to myself and my wife and others, and embracing my bisexuality, I’ve embraced this new energy, reinterpreted my experiences, and given them new significance. The “admiration” or (using younger generation’s vocabulary) “squish” I felt for a friend in Middle School I now claim as a gushy crush (which is, I remember, how he interpreted my attention to him at the time, and he gently rebuffed me). So even though memories were not repressed, they became empowered and now take on greater importance in my identity. Sure, more to the point of what you ask, a few more memories come up from time to time, but they weren’t repressed just not worth remembering before I had a purpose for including them. Some people have talked about the movie “The Sixth Sense” — how at the end you watch Bruce Willis’ character go back and everything flashes before his memory in a new way. Much the same, now I’m going back through my life and revisiting moments and realize what I thought about my experience wasn’t taking in the whole picture.
     
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  3. EllisMar

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    YES! In middle school I told my mom I liked girls and she told me "you dont like girls, you want to be like them." I had completely forgotten about this until I got my first girlfriend at 24. I had forgotten the situation until then but what she said then had essentially been mantra for all those years. Now I look back and can re-label those feelings for what they were, attraction to women.

    I also now realize that I would cover if I thought someone saw me checking out a girl. Id point something out about her like "wow those were cute pants" when I had really been looking at her butt.

    And recently I remembered the girl crush I had in middle school. I made up a song about her and everything but other kids gave me such a hard time about it, I realized it must not be normal and I never expressed those feelings again.
     
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  4. 0to21

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    The vast majority of anything to do with it wasn't 'repressed'. My interpretation of it just changed (or was 'corrected').

    The only 'repressed' memories which came to light were the more traumatic ones; like when a teacher ignorantly outed me in front of a crowd of people. At the time, it was something I'd evidently wiped from my memory immediately after the moment had struck, which was followed by me going about as though nothing had happened. That was also when I realised that everyone who knew me knew before I did - so it was all extremely violating/disempowering.
     
    #4 0to21, Oct 2, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
    blagh likes this.