Unanswered questions about my past

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

This is all probably going to sound really strange, but I just really feel like something is not right. There is a blur in my life that I absolutely cannot remember. I can remember right before I started school, when I was 4 or 5. Then there is about 2 or 3 years that is completely lost. I have never though much about until here of late. It all centers around a place that me and my family stayed. It was a duplex and I don’t remember living there at all. I remember that house before that and the one after. The first memory I have of the house we lived in after the duplex is me and my older brother “exploring ourselves”. It was more then a “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.” I feel so ashamed about that and cannot figure out for the life of me WHY we did that?? I can remember touching my stuffed animals in inappropriate places and even doing the same things with another girl that was my age. I started having sex at a very early age, around 12, and haven’t stopped since. In fact, that is really the only risk taking behavior I have ever really had. From somewhere, and I don’t know where, it has been imprinted on my mind that if you care someone, that’s how you show it. I have never had any other experiences with my brother since that very young age, but I know that we did it more then once. I am just wondering were all this was coming from. I recently started having dreams of my brother and me now. I know, it sounds sick, but I can’t help it. This is also something that we have never talked about since it happened. I have also been having like these flashbacks of this man that used to come to the house that I don’t remember living in. (I know he was there from what my brothers have told me) In the scenarios, I am a little girl, around 5,6 or 7. I am yelling for my daddy, (my parents were separated at the time we lived in this house also) and a man in a police uniform, tucking me into bed and telling me to quit yelling and the he loved me and putting his hand over my mouth. I started to investigate this man and he was arrested in 2001 for 7 counts of indecent liberties with a minor spanning from 1976 to 2001. The accusers were girls that he babysat for other women and his daughter. I am just wondering if maybe my mind has blocked out the span of those years for a reason. Is that possible?? Is that why me and brother were “exploring” each other?? It would in fact explain a lot of my behavior. I have anxiety issues now, but I to scared to see a therapist. I am getting married in May and I am scared that if this comes out, he will think differently of me because of what occurred with one of my brothers?? It is possible I am freaking out over nothing??

I am sorry this post is so long, thank you so much for listening. This is the first time I have EVER told anyone about this. My mom and dad are together now, and I haven’t even told them. Even if you don’t answer, it felt really good just to get it out.

A: It was a brave and important thing for you to do to write us here at PsychCentral. I am very glad that you felt relief from just expressing it.

There are several classic features that suggest it would be good to follow up with therapy. If you felt this good just telling the story, it is likely for some sustainable relief in therapy.

The fact that you have no details of that duplex, the experiences with your brother, the encounter with another little girl, the dreams, flashbacks, and the reality that the man you recalled was arrested for his actions all point to the need to find a way to talk about and heal this time in your life.

My guess is that the impending marriage is stirring the anxiety. Often when we have major role changes, such as becoming a wife, there is a great deal of reflection and review of family roles. As you mature into a more adult role, you may be questioning those adults and circumstances that you’ve experienced.

I would use the find help tab at the top of this page to locate a therapist in your area. I typically recommend an interview with 2 or 3 and decide whom you want to work with. I understand that this may be a difficult thing to do, but just as you felt once you wrote us, therapy may provide an opportunity for more healing.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Jan 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Unanswered questions about my past. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/01/21/unanswered-questions-about-my-past/