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I stumbled upon your site by accident through the Earth Wisdom site. I have been in therapy for several years now. I would like your opinion on something if that is possible. My opinion and my therapist's are diametrically opposed on this issue. First, let me explain about my self. I am 27 years old until the last three years i worked in nursing. For the past three years I have been out of work due to depression and several suicide attempts. I had a deeply buried secret that I only revealed less than two years ago. I did not reveal it by choice. I was implicated in criminal activity (activity that I was involved in but involved in by force.) Unfortunately my sister was also implicated and she had no involvement or knowledge. Anyway, to try and keep her out of trouble I told everything. I had been involved with an uncle since I was 18. The first time I guess it was consensual. I was flattered that someone "wanted" me in that way. But I knew even then it was wrong. After that first time he would not take no for an answer. First he threatened to tell the guy I was involved with (actually engaged to ) at the time. However, after the first time it was never never by choice I did it because I had to not because I wanted to - I hated it always. He was (is) a degenerate pervert, into all sorts of sick things. Then he threatened to hurt or kill me and when it got to the point where I didn't care if he killed me. He threatened to harm my sister or her son. The only reason I am out of the situation now is that I tipped him off that the police were on to his other criminal behavior and he fled and has so far stayed away. (I took the blame and the fall for what I was involved with because they couldn't find him.) My dilemma at this point is I do not want my family to know about this ever. Except for my sister (actually my half sister) no one would believe me. I don't blame them, after all I was 18 - a legal adult at the time. I probably brought it on myself anyway. I also don't know for sure if my sister would believe me. She was raised by my grandparents and regards this uncle as a brother and is very very close to him. So I am in a quandary. My therapist feels that I can not truly heal while still keeping secrets. I tend to agree with her but I can not deal with even considering telling my family - I would die first. My question is is it possible to heal or get over it without telling. My sister and her son are the only family I have that matters - they are what keeps me going. I do not want to lose them but I do want to put this behind me. If you have any ideas I would appreciate it. Is it possible to keep my secret and still get over this and get on with my life? My therapist doesn't think I can, but there must be a way mustn't there? I know you probably can't help but any resources would be appreciated. I know you probably won't print this letter but you can if you want. - Thank you, Anonymous

You're right that I'm not sure if I am the best person to help you. Actually, I think the only person that can help you is you. If I were in your situation, I know that I would continue to blame myself and feel guilt and shame--all unnecessary, but nonetheless unavoidable feelings--until I got it out in the open. What I don't know is if telling it to friends and current loved ones would bring enough healing or if I would need to go to the root and to my family.

In your example I think that you also need to think about others. If this uncle did this to you, it is possible that he could have done it to others--or will do it to others. By sharing your experiences with your sister you might be giving her room to share things that she has been troubled about, too. However, the other side is that she may not want to believe you--and this may cause her to just put distance between you two. In the end you have to remind yourself that you did the right thing. I'm sorry that I couldn't be of further assistance. Good luck to you--and I'm sending you my best wishes for you to be able to heal yourself and move on in your life.


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