Q: I am a middleaged woman. As a child, I was felt up (outside the clothes) by an uncle. My parents refused to intervene, to preserve family peace and because I was asking for it. It was very mild “abuse” but I can’t seem to stop thinking about it.

A: You don’t say whether you are in therapy or ever have been, but this is very serious stuff that should be looked at closely by a competent therapist.

These memories are probably bothering you now because you recently noticed how strong you are, compared to before – when you weren’t having these memories. That may seem strange, but the way it works is that such memories are “forgotten” or they become “background” during the time/years when we feel too weak to deal with them. They become foreground when we finally feel strong enough to handle them (with a competent therapist).

The most important thing I can possibly say to you is simply that I am sorry you had such experiences. I do know how truly overwhelming they are to a child. (I’d also like to apologize for your parents, if I was able to do that! What a horrible way to handle such a thing!)

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