Did that bad thing really happen?

Something terrible might have happened a long time ago, but it’s hard to know for sure.

Our elder encourages a letter writer to investigate her past.

Dear EWC

I am 15 years old in my sophomore year of high school. I think something really bad could have possibly happened when I was really young. I have a memory of it but it’s just so clouded. Sometimes it almost feels like a dream. It affects me emotionally and I think about it a lot. How can I be sure if this happened or not because it is something really bad but I don’t want to tell anyone if I’m not completely sure

Ketchman replies

Thank you for contacting us. The human brain is a pretty marvelous and complicated organ and it’s not at all unusual for it to, sometimes, give us very vivid “memories” of events that may, or may not, have really occurred. It can be very difficult (as you’ve discovered) to separate true events from those that our brain has just made up.

I know you’ve said that you don’t care to talk about those memories but, in my very unprofessional opinion, the only way to start getting to the truth is to have a conversation with an adult whom you know and trust. Most of the time that person would be your mom or dad but I can see some circumstances when you might want to go to someone else. Is there a close relative — an aunt, uncle, grandparent or, even, a family friend whom you have a close relationship with? Someone who knows you well and can keep your confidences?  If that’s not available to you, you might think about speaking to a teacher or school guidance counselor whom you have confidence in. Sometimes none of those alternatives are available or suitable. If that’s the case, help is also available through a free texting support service. You can get the details about that here.

Please think about what I’ve suggested. In my opinion it’s important to investigate, and put to rest, situations such as you’ve related as quickly as possible. I wouldn’t like you to be constantly thinking about that to the point you start missing out on some of the joys of life you should be experiencing. We are also a resource for you. Call on us whenever you’d like a second opinion or bit of advice on almost any situation that might come up. There will always be someone here for you. Thank you for giving me a chance to help. I hope I have.

Letter #: 432525
Category: Self-Improvement

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