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Question: Hi I don’t know if this is the right place for this but here i go. I’m a 20 year old female dealing with some serious guilt. When I was around 9 years old up to 11 my mom’s friend would bring over his daughter and hang out she was around 4 about to turn 5. We played the usual stuff mommy and daddy but somehow we started dry humping full clothed. It felt good and it happened more than once.It became a normal part of play even influenced my interactions with other kids at the time. Of course back then I didn’t see it as dry humping but i think i knew it was wrong. The thing is i was a lot older and should have stopped it right away and i feel as if I took advantage of her/manipulated her though I never actually forced her. I bumped into her the other day and she was with a bunch of her friends and was really hostile i think she cursed at me or something but I’m not sure it was her who said it. This is causing me a lot of stress i cant focus on school its the last thing I think about before i go to bed….it’s like I’m waiting for it to come out :(I talked to a counselor at school and she downplayed it said I was young and it was sex play but i still feel horrible. How do I move on from this and should something I did in my childhood haunt me for the rest of my life? Thanks for any response in advance.

Answer: Hi. Thank you for sharing about your situation. Guilt can be a difficult emotion to manage and often the path for its resolution can remain elusive. It sounds as though you are a good person who made a bad choice at a young age when you really did not fully understand the multiple implications of your behaviors. No one should be haunted by excessive guilt or feel as though they are a terrible person, and that holds true for you as well. It is important to process and work through your distressing thoughts and feelings, so you can put this behind you. Anyone on our staff would be happy to meet with you.

Response by James R. Matter, Psy.D., LCPC

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Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 12:46