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Letting go of Childhood mistakes?

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This topic contains 213 replies, has 62 voices, and was last updated by  sofia 1 day, 12 hours ago.

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  • #297783

    nathan
    Participant

    i’m not really sure this is active but i’m hoping to get a response.

    i cannot believe i’m writing this on here for the current amount of overwhelming shame i feel but after reading this entire thread, and seeing that other people have experienced similar situations. i made an account & i simply feel the need to share because i don’t want me/anyone else reading this to feel alone.

    i must’ve been around the age of 6-8. my siblings and cousins use to live in the same house. we’re all around the same age no more than a few years apart (3 boys 2 girls) and one day, we found some of my uncles porn collection in the bottom drawer underneath all the clothes. i remember one night my aunt & uncle went out for their typical date night and my cousin decided that we were all going to watch one of the videos after they left. not long after the car left the driveway my cousin put the dvd in and we all sat and watched. marveling as to what was going on. i remember thinking something along the lines of, “whoa… cool” because i had never seen something like that before. we were completely oblivious as to what sex was. and after a short while of watching the film, we turned it off just incase my aunt & uncle came back early..

    this probably caused a spark of curiosity in our minds and is entangled in my deepest regret but (a few weeks or months later i can’t remember) me and my other male cousin, me being the youngest, and him the second youngest were closest and decided to try out some of the things we saw on the video simply out of curiosity [god this is so painful to write it has seriously already been about 2 hours of typing just because how many pauses i had to take] …so while the only adult home at the time was taking a shower we went underneath the covers in the room and sort of compared our private parts and touched them together. a little bit after that we performed some things on each other (no penetration was made) for maybe a few minutes and that was it. we decided to stop and go out of the room and do something else before my dad gets out of the shower. there was no abuse or anything, nothing forceful, it was just like experimenting, it was only one time. after i could remember feeling that we had done something that we weren’t suppose to. like “only adults should do that” so felt i needed to hide it. cuz i knew they’d be upset.

    well fast forward maybe 4-5 years and the memory of that day came up when i was in class maybe, 7th or 8th grade. i remember feeling regret but really only lasting a few minutes. i can remember thinking “oh let’s forget about that, i didn’t know any better and it was a mistake” oddly enough, i kinda did. until i was 17. so another 4-5 years pass and that memory came up again, as i was watching a comedian. he had said something and BOOM out of the blue it just got triggered and resurfaced. I got up and walked outside in a panic and deep feeling of regret and shame. i had gotten panic attacks quite a few times before but felt like only weed activated it. [that’s a discussion for another day] anyways, for maybe about 2-3 months after i was constantly thinking about the memory. which gave me pretty bad anxiety but nothing particularly overwhelming. i was still able to function throughout the day for the most part even with the constant intrusive thoughts and feelings. during those few months i remember taking up reading, i read a lot of books to sort of distract my mind from going haywire which actually helped out, before i knew it i felt like myself again.

     

    shortly after my 21st birthday i fell into a really really horrific state of mind i got severe panic attacks nearly 10-15 times a day and slumped deep into depression. i thought to myself “what could possibly make me feel this way” and again, that repressed painful memory of that day arose which fueled everything. making everything oh so horrible. i couldn’t do anything. i was completely stuck. it felt like forever. i would be hanging out with friends googling “how to’s” and “tips for depression & anxiety” i didn’t feel like engaging in anything. everything felt like it was crumbling around me. i lost interest in everyone and everything. i told my mom how i was feeling and she recommended a therapist but i really couldn’t tell her [or anyone for that matter] exactly why i was feeling that way. just too ashamed. too guilty. i ended up seeing the therapist and i instantly told him everything. he just kinda nodded at everything i’d say offering no insight or perspective. no comfort. after my first session was over i felt a bit of relief just knowing that someone else on earth besides me and my cousin knows about what happened but wasn’t really comfortable going back to him, i also didn’t really wanna go back for fear of reactivating pain. it took a handful of long dreadful months for my symptoms to start to dissipate but in time my ruminations stopped, anxiety calmed, and depression slowly seemed to lift.

    I’m now 24 years old and stuck in the same exact familiar loop. the awful feelings of shame, and constant brooding about the incident. i’m planning an appointment to see a trauma therapist asap hoping to free myself of this pain. but in the meantime i felt the need to post this for some guidance and maybe for anyone else that has a similar story

    #303809

    Virgilia
    Participant

    Nathan,

    I’m so sorry you are burdened with this. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I’ll address one thing, be reassured, and somehow I’ll be worried about something else. This continues on and on like a huge circle until I come back to what causes me anxiety and depression in the first place. And yes, lots of stuff can trigger it.

    But there are periods when I feel happy, confident, and peaceful again. I find this happens most when I’m preoccupied with a hobby, socializing, or busy with work. You can too.

    Keep this in mind. Kids do weird stuff. Curiosity and experimentation are natural throughout our lives, especially when we’re younger and more naive. Its unfortunate that yall were exposed to your Uncle’s stash of porn, but there’s no point beating yourself up over it. You’re very brave to talk about it. I don’t know the full situation but it doesn’t sound like anyone was hurt and yall were in fact very young and probably confused.

    A little trick I try to do when I think of a painful memory is the “Don’t think about Elephants” routine in my favor. When something reminds me of something bad, I tell myself “Don’t think of *insert positive thought or memory here*”. That way, I distract myself with a happy thought instead. Its a little exercise you can try.

    If it continues to bother you, I recommend you do talk to that trauma therapist. He/She could even prescribe some anti anxiety or anti depressive. Also I doubt this story would shock him/her. They’ve probably heard much worse. Even if you have a bad shrink experience previously, remember all of them react somewhat differently to each case. By the sounds of it, some people on this page haven’t met the best ones.

    Everyone has mistakes and a past that we regret. If we could go back and time and fix it. . . well a whole new set of problems would probably be born. Either way, you cant change the past but you can focus on the future. You could volunteer in a big Brother program or something like it to feel you were making peace with your past and making the world a better place in that area that troubles you. I hope this helps.

    #307129

    Kimberly
    Participant

    I am glad I discovered this thread as there seems to be so few resources for this sort of thing. Anyway, I’ll get straight to the point. When I was 15/16, I was sexually frustrated (I had always been hyper-sexual from a very young age) as well as interested in girls. (I’m a woman) There were about three times where I would take my 5/6 year old niece upstairs to my room, have her on top of me, and rub myself on her butt until I had an orgasm. The first couple times she kind of went along with it, but the third time she was visibly uncomfortable and didn’t want to do it. I would also force her to kiss me. We were both clothed and I didn’t touch her private parts beyond dry humping or make her touch me. She wound up telling my sister, who then asked me about it, and I started crying hysterically but denied it. That being said, I am now 26 and have been beating myself up for the past decade. I regret doing it wholly and am incredibly uncomfortable and even a bit suicidal as I type this. I had no attraction to her nor, but I took my sexual frustration out by using her to get off. I can’t even express how much I absolutely loathe myself for this and feel as though I don’t deserve happiness or anything good in life. (I’ve been battling depression and anxiety from a young age and PTSD from my teen years til now and feel that I deserve this pain and suffering) I’m so conflicted, because while I don’t want to feel this way forever, I also believe that I should feel this way forever. I have mentioned this to a couple therapists as well as loosely mentioning something horrible I did a decade ago in outpatient groups and such. Everyone says the same things: “you’ve beat yourself up enough” “you’re a different person now” “you did something bad, but that doesn’t make you a bad person” “you need to forgive yourself” “talk to yourself as you would a child or close friend” and the list goes on. I’ve heard it all, but I literally cannot find a way to forgive myself for what I’ve done. What’s worse is that my niece has always looked up to me, but I’ve remained distant because of the guilt and shame of what I did to her. I’m not sure if she’ll ever remember what happened, but I hope she doesn’t so that she doesn’t suffer. I guess I’m just writing this to kind of get it out as I believe I’ve never gone into full detail about it with anyone and if anyone has any input or advice to share. Thank you, guys.

    #313501

    sofia
    Participant

    I don’t know if anyone’s even going to see this but I remembered something from when I was a child that I feel a lot of guilt for. I think I was about 7 maybe, my sister (who was maybe 9 years old) and I were having a fight while we were raking leaves in the yard. I held up the rake and told my sister I was “going to kill her”, and I definitely was not, I was just mad, and I guess I was trying to scare her? I was just saying something stupid, she just responded with something like “no you’re not” and didn’t move at all. She was not threatened at all because I would NEVER actually do that or try to hurt her. I told my mom about it, and she just laughed and said she thinks nothing of it. Should I be feeling bad about this? Or was this just a dumb thing I said as a kid?

    • This reply was modified 1 day, 12 hours ago by  sofia.
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