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I was different when I was younger, but in a somewhat troubling way. My anxiety at the time in regards to certain things--specifically sexual things--is what has been on my mind lately. I was wondering if I may have a repressed memory deep within me or if something else is what caused this all.

As a young kid, even at age four and five, I was always covering up, even in front of my mother (according to her). After baths, I'd come downstairs in only a towel and my grandfather (who we lived with at the time) would chase after me because he knew I was afraid of him seeing my penis. This made be scared and uncomfortable each time I took a bath. At age five, during a doctor's appointment, I remember being very uncomfortable about him examining me. When I was four, I was playing with clay and made a clay model of a penis, and though my mom laughed, I think back to this and cringe, realizing that the model penis I made was a bit inappropriate for me to be making at that age. When my father taught me how to pee standing up, I saw his penis and got very upset and ran away. I'm still disturbed by that moment. At around four years old, I had a sexual "fantasy" that I reenacted by myself in which my entire preschool class had to be examined by the teacher. To me it sounds strange, and certainly inappropriate for a four-year-old to be fantasizing about. During preschool, I refused to use the bathroom, and to this day I won't use public restrooms. Not because they're gross, but because they make be uncomfortable and paranoid. The only time I was willing to go to a public bathroom was when I was seven years old, in camp, because I thought it was fun and strangely arousing to be in the bathroom when all the other kids were in there. I remember being in the park at around five or six years old and seeing a very young kid--no more than two years old--naked in the sprinklers. After seeing that, I was very disturbed and upset by it.... I'm not exactly sure why, but seeing it depressed me. Finally, I had an intense fear of losing my mother. But looking back, it was much more complex than what a kid feels when their mother leaves for work or drops them off at school. When my mom and I separated, I would be upset because I was afraid of her getting lost, dying, or getting hurt. I was afraid for her being on her own.

This is where things get a little abstract. There's one dream I have in which I'm able to demand my dream to show me the "source of my anxiety." Doing so, I expect something insightful so that I may know what caused by anxiety disorders and other problems. In that moment, I'm overcome by flashing images that eventually wake me up in a panic. I see Ronald McDonald (though I've never in my life been afraid of him or any clowns), a crying moon (for some reason, I am intensely afraid of the moon in my dreams...), and myself as a toddler, with mutilated genitals and my grandfather whimpering in the background. I also whimper myself, almost feeling the pain I see. What's interesting about the crying moon is that when I was in my early childhood, I was afraid of the moon. This conscious fear has gone away, but it returns in my dreams. I have no idea why I was so afraid of the moon and why it would appear to me when I asked my dream to show me something as complex as the source of my anxiety.

I hope this wasn't too long, for I condensed a lot of it. I'd like to point that I have very mild Asperger's, which may affect this all. I know I only gave so much information, but is it possible that there's a repressed memory deep within me? My conscious and subconscious experiences and feelings lately have been telling me that this is the case, but I have a lot of doubt within me.... I'd be so thankful for some input right now! Sorry if this is in the wrong forum, I had no idea where to put something like this.

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Mmm, Dreamer, you ask a hard one. The nature of repressed memories is such that any of us might have one. In the end, to me what matters is whether the possibility is harming your life, in the present. In other words, how badly do you need to know causes, to work on solutions?

From what I understand, it can be quite difficult to work with memory. For one thing, it's all too easy to construct what we expect to find ...

The nature of the unconscious (the source of dreams) makes it essentially impossible to predict what it will show us when asked a specific question. It's unlikely to show us something our conscious minds will understand by logical means. But I have some experience, and know others with far greater experience, that tends to show that the unconscious does have a message for us. It just has to be "played" with somewhat. Logical analysis tends to reduce it to gibberish; a more intuitive approach seems to work better. And I couldn't presume to teach intuition ...

I can tell you I had a similar question about my early childhood, but in the long run, and after considering it in therapy, I decided that it didn't matter. Even if I found a memory of, say, being touched inappropriately while I was a toddler, how would I use that information today? I couldn't think of a way that it would change anything practical, and so simple pragmatism made me discard the entire question.

On the other hand, that's just my experience. If you find that it is important to you, it makes sense to work on it further.

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