(CNSNews.com) - Christine Blasey Ford, a psychologist who has been in therapy herself, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that she has vivid memories of the alleged attack, but not where or exactly when it happened.
In her opening statement, Ford said, "The details that -- about that night that bring me here today are the ones I will never forget. They have been seared into my memory and have haunted me episodically as an adult."
Later, questioned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Ford explained why she's so sure that a young Brett Kavanaugh was her attacker:
"It's -- just basic memory functions," Ford told Feinstein. "And also just the level of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the brain that, sort of, as you know, encodes -- that neurotransmitter encodes memories into the hippocampus. And so, the trauma-related experience, then, is kind of locked there, whereas other details kind of drift."
One of the details that "drifted" was how Ford managed to get home after what she describes as an almost-rape at the hands of two drunken boys, including a hand over her mouth that could have smothered her.
Ford said that someone must have driven her, but she does not remember who came to her rescue after she fled from her alleged attackers.
In her opening statement, Ford wrote: "I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home."
In response to questions, Ford said, "I had to walk past everyone to leave the house..." She also testified, "I remember being on the street and feeling an enormous sense of relief that I had escaped that house and that Brett and Mark were not coming outside after me."
"You said that you do not remember how you got home, is that correct?" asked Rachel Mitchell, the career prosecutor hired by Republicans to question the witness.
"I do not remember other than I did not drive home," Ford responded.
Blasey said the home where the gathering took place was "somewhere between my house and the country club...And the country club is about 20 -- a 20-minute drive from my parents' home."
Mitchell asked her, "Would it be fair to say that somebody drove you somewhere, either to the party or home from the party?"
"Correct," Ford said.
"OK," said Mitchell. "Has anyone come forward to say to you, 'Hey, remember, I was the one that drove you home?'"
"No," Ford said.
Mitchell left it at that.
(A number of Committee Democrats noted that sexual assault victims tend to remember some details but not others: "A polished liar can create a seamless story, but a trauma survivor cannot be expected to remember every painful detail," Sen. Dick Durbin said. "The prosecutor should know that sexual assault survivors often do not remember peripheral information such as what happened before or after the traumatic event, and yet, she will persist in asking these questions all to undermine the memory and basically, the credibility of Dr. Ford," Sen. Mazie Hirono said.)
Mitchell also asked Ford, "Have you been contacted by anybody saying, 'Hey, I was at that party, too?'"
"No, I haven't talked with anyone from that party," Ford said -- but moments later, she amended her statement.
"You know, oh wait, I'm sorry," Ford said. "I just realized that I said something that was inaccurate. I said I hadn't spoken with anyone from the party since that. I have spoken with Leland."
Leland Ingham was identified by Ford as being the only other girl at the gathering.
Leland, and the three boys also identified by Ford (Kavanaugh, P.J. Smyth and Mark Judge) have all submitted statements under penalty of felony that they have no memory or knowledge of the party or behavior Ford has described.
"Do you have any particular motives to ascribe to Leland?" Mitchell asked Ford.
"I guess we could take those one at a time," Ford responded.
"Leland has significant health challenges, and I'm happy that she's focusing on herself and getting the health treatment that she needs, and she let me know that she needed her lawyer to take care of this for her, and she texted me right afterward with an apology and good wishes, and et cetera, So I'm glad that she's taking care of herself."
(Was Ford implying that Leland lied in her statement? Mitchell never followed up.)
"I don't expect that P.J. and Leland would remember this evening," Ford continued. "It was a very unremarkable party. It was not one of their more notorious parties, because nothing remarkable happened to them that evening. They were downstairs.
"And Mr. Judge is a different story. I would expect that he would remember that this happened."
This is the same Mark Judge who allegedly watched the attack described by Ford -- and whom, according to Ford's testimony, she said "hello" to several weeks later at the local grocery store.
Democrats on the committee are furious with Republicans for refusing to subpoena Mark Judge's testimony. The are demanding an FBI investigation.