One of my first memories to return was about Tony. This memory didn't return until I was in my mid thirties. I had no conscious memory that there ever was such a person as Tony. Then I had terrible, vivid nightmares and flashbacks that there was a hired hand that lived with our family on the farm by the name of Tony. In these nightmares I was five years old and he took me out of my bed at night and sexually abused me.
I had total amnesia that Tony even existed before my memories returned but because there were other members of my family, I realized there was an easy way to establish if I had just "made up" Tony. I called my older sister and asked, "Did we ever have someone named Tony live with us?"
She immediately replied, "Yes we did and I didn't like him at all!" So the memory of this man, including the sexual abuse, had been lost to me for many years.
Total amnesia about traumatic events in our life can be very merciful. Unfortunately for me, that amnesia was temporary.
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