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Mendeley23

Did it happen?

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I have PTSD following an event in college. That's about as much fact as I know. What I've gathered from panic attacks, triggers, and my husband's deduction work, what I believe happened was a sexual assault of some type outside a campus bar, with my dorm mate failing to have my back when she took me out for my birthday two months into my first semester. I suppressed it like a mf for three years, until I met my husband and discovered - in a most inconvenient way - that perhaps I wasn't a virgin after all, and it spiraled from there. But I don't remember the event, still, seven years later. I don't know if I'm grateful or not because while I don't have to deal with the memories, I still have all the symptoms and reactions. Body memory? My father, a cop, thinks someone drugged me, and my husband agrees. Could that be why I don't remember, along with my brain's protectiveness? Or am I being ridiculous, because it never happened, I have no tangible proof. I'm just a lump on the bed, surrounded by cats, and it may not even be real. Sometimes I want to remember, to validate my emotions and the pain I'm causing my family, but what's the point? Perhaps I'm just like this for selfish reasons, and if it's true it's too late to seek legal justice anyhow. 

Has anyone else ever faced this? Do you have any advice? Is it all moot because I have no say in selective amnesia anyhow? 

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Hello. welcome to AC.

I'm really sorry to hear of this and especially the not knowing.  With PTSD, you don't always know the event or have any knowledge of it and this is why.  PTSD happens because a horrible event or events happened in the past and because of the trauma associated, they are never converted into memory, they remain events.  Events are processed differently from memory, events are not grounded, they wander around as your mind continues to experience them deep down in your unconscious.  A memory is something that holds no emotional baggage either good nor bad UNTIL it's thought about.  Events throw emotions regardless of whether you're able to think about them or not.  If your PTSD stems from this event, then somewhere deep in your mind lurks that event, an event that your protective mind has buried.  In order to recover from it, you would normally require specialist therapy where they will use treatment such as EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).  This is something i had when i was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago and it is very very helpful. It gets to the heart of the problem and to that event and allows you to process it to memory which disarms its potency.

Were you diagnosed with PTSD by your doctor or therapist? If the event cannot be found in the mind then it's also possible that the very thought of that being the case has created the symptoms and panic that you are sadly experiencing.  PTSD is a horrible affliction and it is mostly trigger based.  The triggers sync with the past event and that event spews up fearful thought and reactions as if they were still happening.  Do you have certain triggers that for no apparent reason,  bring on very similar reactions?

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