A person may suffer from an event known as traumatic amnesia. What this means is that a person may have no memory surrounding an event in which there was a serious trauma. Although this is more common in cases of head injury (in fact, there is a phenomenon related to head injury known as retrograde amnesia in which not only can a person not remember the event of the injury, but he or she has no memory of a period of time prior to the event), it is not unheard of in cases of psychological trauma. However, when a person suffers from traumatic amnesia, she or he does not ‘recover’ that memory (I am not referring to a person who suffers from a mild concussion from which that person may recover and remember events that he or she may have not previously recalled over the course of a few days). The reason that a person suffering from traumatic amnesia does not recover such memories is quite simply that traumatic amnesia is probably a result of events not being processed into memory and thereby never stored in the first place.
One does not recover a memory in the course of a dream. This is not to say that if I lose my keys and search high and low for them that I may not have a recollection during the nighttime at some point of putting my keys underneath a sofa cushion and subsequently find them there. In this case what I probably have not recalled from a dream is the recollection I had of putting my keys in the refrigerator, or the goldfish tank, or the lavatory system, none of which were accurate. I do not mean this to be facetious but merely point out how one can be misled into thinking that memories are recovered in dreams. I think it fair to say that a general view held by those who specialise in the mechanism of dreaming is that we remember part of what we dream but probably a rather small part.
There is a well documented phenomenon of recurring dreams, but there is in my opinion no credible research or professional opinion that would support the contention that recurring dreams are a ‘buried memory’ which are somehow trying to force themselves into our consciousness.
What may well happen is actually the inverse. If one has a recurring dream on a sufficient number of occasions, one may well come to believe not only that it is true, but that it is in fact an accurate recollection of events that may not have occurred: in other words, one more way in which a confabulated memory may be created.