1. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    How to explain wounds from a memory that was blacked out?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mallory, Nov 14, 2010.

    Hi,

    My current novel deals with a girl who's in a dystopic government facility where she's been physically tortured, but then they drug her and mechanically alter her brainwaves to alter/erase her memory of it.

    In the story, she knows she has flashbacks and hallucination issues, but she thinks it's a result of the mental issues she's been diagnosed with (clinical depression, etc).

    Only as the story progresses does she slowly unravel what the higher-ups have been doing to her and concealing.

    Okay so here's the question...after her experience, several weeks later she thinks she's been sick with the flu. How would they explain the wounds she has? What would they make her believe as an alternative as to how she got the wounds? Thanks.
     
  2. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Some people who suffer from depression are known to self-inflict wounds upon their personal being. So that may be an excuse they may use on her.
    Or, if your really lazy, you can just constantly say, she's accident prone and clumsy and that's the reasoning for her wounds.

    Of course, the latter of the two only really counts if the wounds are minor, like bruises, scrapes and things like that. If not, then obviously the "You're accident prone" isn't going to work here.

    But these are just my suggestions without really knowing what kind of wounds your addressing in the story.

    Hope it helps some.
     
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  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Hey SilverWolf, thanks for the reply!

    I'm talking about bruises, burns, and cuts from pressure where she was tied up (like circular cuts around her wrists/ankles).

    I'd prefer not to go with the "you're just accident prone" route. The self-infliction route could be an interesting take. The thing is, she wouldn't have any memories of self-inflicting stuff on herself (because she doesn't do it), so they'd have to convince her that that's what's going on. It would definitely work later on down the road, once they've brainwashed her further, but right now she wouldn't believe a false accusation of self-infliced wounds.

    If this helps, she thinks that the 2 days of being interrogated were really days of her being at home with a fever of 104. This explains the delusion and brief flash memories of pain, darkness etc, which could have been the results of dreaming while sick and miserable. But I'm just stuck on the wounds. :)

    Again, thanks!
     
  4. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    I've seen some people come up in bruises where they've had an injection, and its dicoloured a large patch of skin around the point at which the needle entered. This might be one explanation, if she was given an injection for her "flu".
     
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  5. Sy_B
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    Sy_B Member

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    It's 5am and I'm just going to throw this out there. Since I don't know exactly everthiy about the story this may or may not work.

    Could they have invented an abusive boyfriend for her? Can they make her believe virtual reality type things? You could start it off that she winds up with them sometimes and other times she's back with her boyfriend, who starts off good and all, but as they torture her he becomes abusive. When she dreams in that world she's back in the facility, as if she left to go there. Since they seem to be able to alter memories, I don't see why they can't make it seem like she came there afterwards. Unless she never leaves the facility.
     
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  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Could tell her she likes it rough? She has an abusive boyfriend they are protecting her from and she runs away to him, they bring her back to keep her safe. The loss of memory is the drugs she takes when she is with him.
     
  7. DisFanJen
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    DisFanJen Member

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    Just a thought, does she actually have to have many marks on her?

    Surely a good torturer would pride themselves on being able to leave no marks.

    With a low amount of marks, any lingering pain could be written off as side effects of the fever. Then as things progress and they ramp up the agression in the sessions, the drugging\brainwashing to make her believe it's self harm could be brought in, making her think it's a progression of her illness.
     
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  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having the flu DOES make you feel like you're bruised all over. If she's only aching and bumped up, she could put a lot of it down to things like illness, or falling off the sofa, like, waking up from a bad dream, collapsing in her home, etc. Falling over could explain a fair few things. Wouldn't be able to explain marks where she was tied up, but if they're good enough to do the memory thing, they should be good enough to stop them being too obvious with the bruises.

    Write the story convenient for you, and if it's inconvenient, change it. A lot of interesting plot ideas can come out of stuff you just put in to work around one problem.
     
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  9. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    She could be told that an overly high fever caused her to suffer from delirium. In her delirious state of mind she lashed out at anything and anybody within her reach. ( punched, kicked, bit or scratched) Thereby, for her own safety and the safety of those caring for her, she had had to be physically restraint e.g. straitjacket, tied to the bed whatever.
    Cause and effect of this. Would cause the victim to feel guilty. Effect, overly apologetic.

    Instead of flu, (most people with flu go to bed for a few days, it is only really serious for the weak) Have you considered, Meningitis, malaria or legionnaire's disease?
     
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  10. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Thanks so much everyone. This is all really helpful and you've given me some things to think about. :)
     

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