Psych Central

Will I Ever Have a Normal Life?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am writing cause I want to understand what is wrong with me and if I will ever have a normal life. About 20 years ago wheb I was 18 and after I had moved out of my mothers house, I had gone back to visit to make my father happy. I had gone into my bedroom from when I was a little girl to look for something and I had a funny feeling come over me and I had to leave the room but I could not understand why. That night when I went to bed I woke up crying and in a cold sweat…..I had a dream of something that happened to me in that room when I was about 11 or 12 years old; something that for some reason I had blocked out of my mind. I was in my room laying at the bottom of my bed with no pants or underwear on and my brother was kneeling on the floor at the end of my bed and he was touching me. He made me close my eyes and he would touch me down there using different things(his tongue, his fingers, his penis, a wet cloth etc.)and he made me guess what he was using. I do not have any recollection if it went any farther…..if there was any intercourse or for how long this went on for but I remembered it as if it was yesterday. I had been able to burry the memories again until now when I began having flasbacks again and I do not understand why. I question myself as to if it really even happened, was it my fault, did i deserve it? I have never really told anyone and it has effected me so much that it has pretty much ruinned my life. I am 38 years old and I have never had a boyfriend and I am so ashamed of my body that i have turned to food to destroy my body so that no one would be interested in me. I am so messed up and confused and just want it all to go away but it just will not. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!!!!!!

A. It’s difficult to answer your question about whether abuse had occurred. It is a realistic possibility. The dream revealed specific details about the potential abuse. It is uncommon to have specific, spontaneous, detailed and vivid memories about abuse if no abuse had occurred.

You may never know whether the dream is true. There is effectively no way to verify its authenticity. I would advise you to carefully record your dreams. Future dreams might reveal more specific details. Psychoanalytical theory suggests that memories are repressed because they are too painful to handle. Those memories are subsequently revealed when an individual is psychologically ready to handle them.

Many of the questions that you asked are unfortunately unanswerable at this time. However, one thing is for certain, if you were abused by your brother, you’re not to blame. It was not your fault nor did you deserve it. No one deserves to be abused. You were a child. You were an innocent victim.

It would be advantageous to seek counseling. Choose a therapist who specializes in abuse and trauma. There are many effective treatments to deal with flashbacks and many of the symptoms that you are experiencing. Your life could be greatly improved if you were to seek professional help. There’s no reason to continue living with distressing symptoms when treatment is available. I hope you will consider it. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Feb 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Will I Ever Have a Normal Life?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/26/will-i-ever-have-a-normal-life/

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