Unhappy with My Childhood and Education

Reader’s Question

I have a problem and am very unhappy about my past when I was a younger/little kid. It involves my cousin and I being sexual with each other. My parents said it’s normal for kids to experiment with each other, even siblings. I don’t think it’s normal, and they think it’s normal. I think I’m a disgusting person and I don’t love myself. I really consider killing myself or running away from home for good — I’m 18 years old. I’m also not happy that I didn’t get the education needed when I was little and growing up to go to middle school and high school. My mom didn’t want me to go to high school because she fear bullies will tease me, since I was teased in elementary school. I’m sad that I’m not smart and I’m sad that I’m not going to college because of the lack of education and knowledge that I have.

Psychologist’s Reply

For the first issue, it is common for children to “play doctor”. Children are curious about everything and sexuality and sexual differences often become a topic of talk and or play. But I don’t think that’s your major concern.

From your description, you’re having problems with depression. Thoughts about killing yourself, running away, regrets about your education/past, tormenting thoughts about past events (sex play as a child), and your feeling that you are disgusting are all classic signs of depression. When depressed, the brain finds events in our past to torment us…just like your brain is bringing up the sex play as a child. Depression is the major problem here, not your activities in childhood.

I would recommend seeing a mental health professional. Your self-confidence is very low, yet I can tell from your writing that intelligence is not a problem for you. While you may have limitations with your education, you have the intelligence needed to take additional education or training as an adult. I’d also recommend reading some articles on depression on this website. Depression is your major issue and once that has been successfully treated, your adult life will be very different than your childhood. Your parents controlled your childhood — you will control your adulthood.

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