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I Don’t Know What to Do

When I was younger, I was only 12 and a half years old. I did something terrible to my younger sister, who was 5 years old during that time. I asked her if she wanted to do sexual activities. I also did not approach her by asking her in that way. When I was a really young child, I use to get in trouble by my parents from touching myself. Where that was when my parents used this word to describe my action in a different language. Therefore, that was how I approached my sister on asking her. I have posted in other forums on different websites like Yahoo and PsychForum. They stated that it was a form of molestation or sexual assault. I did ask her for consent. However, thinking about it now, I don’t think it counts — she was only 5 years old. I really do think it was a form of molestation. I really want to get help for my sister but I don’t know how to approach my parents nor family doctor. The event lasted for 3 or 4 days and I’m afraid of what might happen. I’m 18 now and I’ve never stopped thinking about it, I’ve actually been crying every now and then about it. I did approach to my sister after a few years when she was 9 or 10 about it and apologized to her. I feel like I’m out of options and I’m worried about my younger sister of what she’ll think of the situation in the future. I don’t know why I committed those actions of mine, but I believe bullying and watching inappropriate videos played a role. I recall being constantly bullied at school and tried to fit in the crowd. I don’t want to blame on anyone or my surroundings for the incident. I’m too scared and worried on approaching my parents and the family doctor about the situation :( (From the USA)

A: Your honesty and concern for your sister, along with your courage in taking responsibility for you action, are admirable. You have already taken a big step in the healing process. Your thoughts about what might have been the causes underneath these actions sound very plausible, and my suggestion is to begin talking with a counselor at your university. Since you have listed in your profile that you are attending college this is the fastest and easiest way to continue. Most college counseling programs have highly skilled therapists who will be able to help.

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

I Don’t Know What to Do

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2017). I Don’t Know What to Do. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 25, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/09/08/i-dont-know-what-to-do-3/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 1 Sep 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Sep 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.