Saturday, 9 October 2010

Meredith Maran in The Guardian

In the 1980s, Meredith Maran remembered her father abusing her. Years later, she wondered whether those memories were false.

When I was in my 30s, I accused my father of molesting me. I didn't see him or talk to him for eight years. I didn't let my children see him, either. And then I realised that it wasn't true.

In the late 1970s, a handful of feminist scholars had done some ground-breaking research and delivered some distressing news: incest wasn't the rare anomaly it had long been believed to be; it happened often, in normal families.

A psychological phenomenon called repressed memory had allowed this to go unacknowledged, even unknown. As Freud had first asserted a century earlier, the impact of child sexual abuse on young psyches was so profound that victims often lost their memories, for years or decades...