November 9, 1997- I woke up really early in the morning reeling from horrible nightmares. Nightmares of things I knew couldn't be true. I knew the people in my dreams. They couldn't have done those horrible things to me. Why would I even dream that? I wasn't abused. I had a fantastic childhood.... no traumatic events. What kind of horrible person was I to dream up such awful things about my neighbors.... good people. Since it was so early in the morning, I lied back down and tried to go back to sleep, but it wasn't a restful sleep.
The memories of those dreams haunted me the next few days, but I didn't have any other dreams or memories, so I just shrugged them off as a night of awful nightmares that my crazy mind concocted. About a month later, I had my first awake memory. It freaked me out. Not b/c that specific memory was all that bad but because I saw it while I was awake, and I couldn't make sense of it. Dreams and memories began coming on a regular basis after that. By January 1998, I was having them almost daily.
In March, I finally broke down and told my Youth Minister. He'd recently received his master's degree in Counseling, and it seemed like a good place to start. It took him until July to convince me to tell my parents. Telling them is a post all it's own. My youth minister suggested I get into counseling immediately, but I refused b/c I was still a minor and was adamant about not reporting the situation. I was still having a hard time believing it was real. I convinced my family and my youth minister to let me wait until I turned 18 in December before I started therapy. In the meantime, my family and I just pretended like we'd never talked about it, and I found solace in a couple of online forums.
My first therapy session was Dec. 28, 1998.