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Childhood memories & fears returning- causing confusion


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So for some reason over  the past few days I have been rembering random things from my early childhood (preschool to kindergarten). I’m currently 17 and most of the memories that are coming back to me are things I had never given much consideration to or had long since forgotten until now.  I also wrote a post in the “sexuality issues” forum but I’m not sure these memories are related to the subject of that post.  Some brief insight to my life before I share my memories: I’m a 17 year old male, currently living with my dad.  I was raised by two loving parents but two years ago I lost my mom to cancer ( I was 15). 


Ok, now for the memories, and I apologize in advance if some of these seem bizarre.  When I was in preschool, my family took in a foster child.  She was about my age and she stayed with us for a few years.  I have memories of pushing her around and bullying her to an extent (which I now feel pretty bad about) but I think it was due to jealousy of having a new child in the house, and I never really hurt her, I could just be mean.  And for the most part we actually got along fairly well.  Now here’s where I’m confused; I remember “experimenting” with her in some fairly innocent ways like kissing, hugging, etc.  but now that I reflect I think I also displayed some abnormal sexual behaviors toward her.  For example, we kissed once, but I remember trying to put my tongue in her mouth.  Or there was a time where we took our pants  off and got in my bed and rubbed our legs together.  I’m not sure if this was 100% innocent or if I was trying to gain some sort of sexual satisfaction out of it, even though I was only 4 or 5.  However these aren’t what concern me most.  We were playing upstairs by ourselves once and somehow we ended up naked.  I had an erection and I remember we tried to fit it into her... you know what. We didn’t succeed and thankfully gave up.  This is confusing to me as I’m not sure where I learned this behavior, as being so young my dad had not yet explained to me how sex worked.  I got quite a few erections as a kid which I realize is fairly normal, and while I didn’t masturbate I would touch my penis a lot and I remember feeling some form of something similar to arousal.  I remember seeing my mom naked once and trying to touch her vagina, but she scolded me and so I stopped.  I also would take my pants off and rub my legs on my moms, and once I tried to take off my underpants and rub on her, but she told me no.  Are these things normal?? When I was older and my dad gave me the sex talk, I got scared that he was going to show me his penis and I felt pretty uncomfortable and nervous. Of course he didn’t, and my day was normal after that.


 Also when I was younger, I’d get really scared at night.  This fear was something I’d completely forgotten about until very recently.  When I was young, I was scared of being either upstairs alone, or downstairs alone.  And when I say scared, I mean i HATED it.  It scared me sh*tless and I don’t know why.  I would also get really scared when I was in bed.  I know being scared of the dark is really common for kids, but I would get so scared that I was afraid to move or open my eyes.  I was paralyzed with fear and would feel like someone was watching me.  I even imagined that if I left my hands out from under the covers as I slept, a man would come to steal my hands.  Recently this feeling of paralyzing fear has come back, and as I lay in my bed I am scared to move and feel as though someone is watching me, or that someone is standing over me.  Everything I hear when I’m this scared seems enhanced.  The sound of my dad in the hallway, the sound of the TV in the other room.  Even the other night I  fell asleep on the couch and my dad came to wake me up.  His dark shadow standing over me made me uneasy.  

I realize I rambling now, but there’s a few more memories that are sticking out to me.   In 1st/2nd grade I got a lot of intrusive thoughts about hurting my family members or my dog.  I felt deep guilt and shame during this time and remember sitting in class thinking “nobody here  knows what I’m thinking and going through, nobody can help me”.  I remember camping with my dad and being scared of him when I was younger, thinking he was going to attack me with a hatchet.  I don’t know why I feared this, it’s totally irrational. Lastly, I remember not liking it when my mom wore glasses when I was young. I thought they made her look angry and she didn’t seem like my mom, it made me feel uneasy.  Or when my mom would come back from a  Halloween party dressed in a costume, I didn’t like it when she’d give me a kiss because again; she didn’t seem like my mom and it made me nervous.


Sorry for this rambling post, I’m just confused as to why I’m suddenly remembering all these things and they’ve been causing me quite a bit of stress as a lot of them seem strange to me now. Is it normal for teens to randomly remember things from their childhood? I feel like there’s something important I’m forgetting but I’m not sure what it is or if I’m just overthinking.

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First off, I don't think your memories (fear, anxiety, etc...) are anything unusual. Most of these things are what kids go through. I went through similar things and my kids did as well.

On the nude experimentation part, this is also a lot more common than you would think. It's a curiosity thing more than a sexual thing at that age. I did the same type of activities with male cousins and a female friend. I wouldn't worry about it because it's definitely not unusual.

Flashback memories like you're experiencing are not uncommon and this can be especially true during stressful periods of our lives. I would recommend just letting yourself remember because as time passes those memories fade further and further.

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