Dear Dr Archer,
This is a very hard subject to talk about. When I was 10 years old I sexually experimented with my younger cousin. I remembered about a month ago that I did it and I feel horrible about it.
I love my cousin very much and it was a onetime thing. I am now 18 and I have no idea why I did it and it sickens me. Why would I do such a thing?
I don't know whether to tell anyone or deal with it on my own. I know if I told anyone in my family it would tear the family apart. I love my cousin and would never do anything to hurt her. I just need help coping with it.
Thank you for having the courage to admit this happened. Sometimes we block out these events and the memory can be overwhelming and shameful when it returns.
Pre-adolescents are curious about their sexuality and may experiment with younger friends and family members without any harmful intent. Assuming it was just touching and a onetime deal, this is a normal part of growing up and is not something which causes lasting damage to either person.
Forgive yourself, Dominic. You were only 10 years old. Love and enjoy your time with all your family.