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Thread: Repressed memories

  1. #1

    Default Repressed memories

    I've posted a few stories, and have commented more than once that I seem to remember every wetting experience that I observed or had in my life. But I don't think that's entirely accurate.

    I remember in grade 6, aged 12, we had some free time at the end of a lesson, and were allowed to sit in groups and talk. At lunchtime that day, a younger grade 3 boy had wet his pants in the playground, and a boy in our group, Paul, had taken him to the toilet to help him. So naturally, wet pants at school was the topic of choice we discussed. The teacher intervened, and warned us not to be mean, as the boy involved was only young and accidents happen.

    "You boys would've all had accidents when you were younger" she told us as she moved onto the next group, who were probably discussing the same thing.

    Now I had still experienced a few accidents up to age 11 (with another one to come) but always at home or the like, never at school. And I wasn't going to tell my friends that I had wet my pants only a few months earlier.

    I remarked "Well I may have wet myself before, but never at school!"

    As soon as I said that, 3 boys straight away called me a liar. I denied lying, but the debate continued. Paul said "You did. You wet yourself in Prep." (At my school, Prep was started at age 5, before grade 1.) He continued, "Remember, I had to take you to the toilet and help you with your shoelaces!"

    I didn't remember, and although his 2 friends were backing him up, I kept denying it. Eventually the teacher had to tell us to quieten down. I cracked it, and went to another group.

    But the seeds of doubt were sown.

    I have spent years trying to recall what should have been a big deal, but I only have 2 small memories, and I'm not even sure that they ARE memories, and not something my imagination has come up with.

    I do seem to remember being in the toilet block with Paul, and me absolutely bawling my eyes out and screaming while he was telling me not to be silly. I also remember giving mum a plastic bag with some clothes in it as I had needed to get changed at school.

    Now I don't recall if that was related to this occasion or not, and a change of clothes at school did not always relate to wet pants. If you got overly muddy in the playground or spilled your lunch over yourself you were given a change of shirt or pants (or dress) as required.

    So did I or not? I'd love to know. If I did, then what happened that made me block the entire thing out. I mean, I'm sure some teasing would have occurred, and I know that other kids that had accidents were reminded about them, sometimes for years afterwards, sometimes good naturedly but mostly not. If something terrible happened, then why didn't it put me off wetting for life as a negative experience? If it wasn't traumatic then why have I blocked it.

    Now I don't want people to dredge up bad experiences with abuse or molestation, but I gotta ask, do you have or suspect you might have a repressed memory?

  2. #2


    I swear I can remember my mom diapering me, telling me to stop squirming or she'd accidentally stick me with the pin. Reason says I shouldn't be able to remember at that young of an age, but I suppose it's possible. My point is that what we think we remember about ourselves, may be about another child a year or two later in our life. Was this me I'm remembering, or another child I might have been visiting when with my mom. Memories and false memories may mix together over time. One has to be careful about what they perceive as true.

  3. #3


    Good point made Dogboy. Makes you question wether what you remember as fact, is in fact, fact!

  4. #4


    I know I have blocked out or repressed some things from when I was a kid. I think this is a large part of why I'm a little now.

  5. #5


    My wife can remember a lot of her babyhood, back to less than 1 year old. Her parents verified that she was remembering correctly. And yet many of the abusive things she repressed, causing a great deal of pain in her life. As she brings these out of repression, she improves.

    I am working on opening up my abuse, and I think I am improving also, albeit quite slowly.

    I experienced a repression in real time once which goes to show how it can happen. We were towing a sled full of scrap wood along a road. I was riding the sled. It went to the side of the road and toppled off the edge, putting me in great and fearful danger. Just as it went over, I jumped the other way and escaped. But right then and any time after, I could not remember the part between starting to jump and coming back to the wreck. Several seconds repressed and never came back.

    So I see how we can repress painful moments, and these repressions can lead to strange emotional troubles.

  6. #6


    I remember something (not diaper related) from when I was 1. It happens.

  7. #7


    My memories start around 2 years old. There was one moment where my I remember potty training and my parents snapping a photo for keepsake. Sure enough, that exact memory exists in a photo....much to my dismay. I can even remember the front tape design on the disposable diapers I wore, which sure enough existed a box of existed when I cleaned out the attic a years ago. I vaguely remember being changed, but by who, I don't know.

  8. #8


    My memories come back to me in 'snapshots.'
    I don't recall what happens before or after a particular event.
    These memories start when I was three years old.

    If I truly have repressed memories, they're buried very deeply.
    I'd really like it if I remembered more.

  9. #9


    Memory is strange. I don't know if there is some kind of defense mechanism that "represses" certain memories or if it is simply a matter of it being impossible to remember many things in any real detail. I would guess trauma and other things, such as drugs, can either stop a memory from being implanted in the brain or somehow obstruct the path to that memory. The latter could be considered repression - the memory is buried there somewhere but hard to recall.

    As you try to recall your experience in prep school you should be aware the way human memory works is that there is a tendencey to alter every memory that is recalled. Computer memory is non-destructive readout, meaning that information retrieved from memory does not alter the original information which is still stored in those memory locations. Human memory doesn't work that way. One way to look at it is that when you recall a memory you are also creating a new memory about "recalling" a memory. Details recalled from the orginal memory, whether accurate or not, will be reinforced as they are blended with the new memory and rewritten back to the brain. You now have a new "old" memory.

  10. #10



    For me, I have no memory of the first 10 years of my life. I woke up sitting in a chair in the school office on November 20th 1990 with no memory of anything before then. In my late 20's (now 33) some memories have surfaced. But just flashes from different events. Of them was a baby sitter that had tied me to a chair and put me in a closet that was later confirmed by my parents. And there was a sexual abuse incident that came up in the memories. But I only have what amounts to like 8-10 still images out of 10 missing years. So there is clearly a lot I don't know about. What bothered me in my family is the lack of pictures of me. My parents both say I wasn't away at some residential place or nothing, that I was at home. But most of the pictures are of my brother. Even the family photo I am not in it. It was dated to be taken on my birthday my mom taking the shot and my dad, brother and my sister who passed when she was 1 was in the picture. But I wasn't in it. And the treatment by the family while my brother was treated well all lead me at one time to think I was adopted and they just were not telling me. But yea, I have a lot of unanswered questions in my life.


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