I have been doing lots of reading about this recently as I am currently having to deal with allegations being made against people I know and love. Unfortunately it seems that the only way of ever getting to the bottom of false memories is by getting all parties to talk about it to find where the distortions of memory may have occurred. For my situation this is not possible as there are no mentally reliable people left to talk.
Most of the reading I have done seems to centre on sexual abuse by parents or grandparents, the majority of stories and research also centre around poor therapy where abuse may have been inadvertently suggested.
However there is a smaller body of evidence that seems to show that it is possible that people are able to start to recount false memories or flashbacks in order to avoid looking at real trauma. This is not done on purpose but is a coping mechanism of a damaged person.
I am now tasked with finding a way of living with the information that I have been given. Reading this article has helped. This encourages the focus to remain on the person who may be having false memories and remembering that they are occurring for a reason, even if it is not the reason they might believe it to be. What I am surprised by however is the lack of conversation that has occurred with any professionals that we are involved in to discuss False Memory Syndrome at all. I have stumbled across it (and the fact that there is a British society of it!) because of deep gnawing feeling and some pretty reliable evidence that suggests these allegations are not true. I had presumed that they were just lies - but now I can see that there is far more to it than that.
I do not know whether there will ever be a conclusion to the situation that I am in, I have been told not to expect one. It has made me turn whole heartily to my faith in God, it is a burden far to big to be able to bear alone.
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Amen to that!