Just Ask Sooz

Dear Sooz:

I have a disturbing question to ask you. My granddaughter who is 15, had not been sleeping very well at night for quite a while. I’ve asked her several times as to why, and she always replies with “I don’t know”.

Her lack of sleep started to affect her mental stability, as well as her grades in school. I didn’t know where to turn until a friend of mine suggested a psychiatrist friend of hers.

Sooz, I didn’t know what to do as I have never been, nor, have I known anyone around me who has been to one. Finally, I could stand it no longer and decided to take her. After 2 or three sessions, the Dr. suggested Hypnosis, as she suspected my granddaughter had what she called a suppressed memory or memories.

She asked if was OK to put her under, so like an uninformed person, I said yes in hopes it would help her. When she was under, the Dr. regressed her through previous times in her childhood.

I observed as my granddaughter shivered and then shouted out as if she were in pain. I must say, I was very uncomfortable. When the Dr. asked her what was going on, my granddaughter responded that she was being raped by her older brother. I nearly fell off my seat, Sooz.

You see, I have raised her since she was a baby, and she has had no contact with her brother from a different mother. I was flabbergasted.

My question is, how could this be? There is absolutely no way the event she described could have happened. When I asked the Dr., she explained that she “believed” what my granddaughter had seen, and that she would need several, more sessions to get to the bottom of the problem.

Is it possible that these memories could be wrong? Again, I can’t see any substance to them. When I took my granddaughter home, I asked her about her brother. She stated that she has never seen him. That night, she slept like a baby. What is happening here? Can you shed some light?

Confused Grandmother


Dear Confused Grandmother:

I am NOT a DR. but, I do have a masters in Psychology and can tell you what I THINK. Many times recalled memories are a fallacy. As Dr. Stephen Gans says, “While we all experience memory failures from time to time, false memories are unique in that they represent a distinct recollection of something that did not actually happen. It is not about forgetting or mixing up details of things that we experienced; it is about remembering things that we never experienced in the first place.”

A false memory is a mental experience that is mistakenly taken to be a veridical representation of an event from one’s personal past. Memories can be false in relatively minor ways (e.g., believing one last saw the keys in the kitchen when they were in the living room) and in major ways that have profound implications for oneself and others (e.g., mistakenly believing one is the originator of an idea or that one was sexually abused as a child).”

The above is what I believed happened to your granddaughter. These things are tricky, as Psychiatry and Hypnosis are neither EXACT sciences perfected through the test of time.

My take away is that as long as your granddaughter CONTINUES sleeping OK, I would think no more of it, and release this distasteful experience from your mind.

Good Luck…





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