Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Damaged Past

Dear Zane,

I just finished watching your show and I love it, as well as your books. I am 23 years old and I live in NYC. I can relate to the character Ana Marie in your show because I became sexually active at a young age. Not by choice, at first, but after a while I basically said, “Fuck it!” My mother and I were never close and I never told her what happened to me. In fact, I have never told anyone except my significant other whom I am with now and have a two-year-old daughter with. Throughout my life, I have been in very few serious relationships but the ones that I was in always ended on a sour note. Yes, because of me. I have trouble being faithful. I remember, in one of your books, I think it was Nervous, where the character had multiple personalities because of something that happened in her past. I was wondering if there was any medical truth to that because I think my past may be the reason why I have problems in my relationships. I need someone to talk to and I cannot afford therapy so I looked you up. I would really like to talk. Maybe you can help me.

Always a Fan

Dear Always a Fan,

You are correct about the book being Nervous but many of my books deal with characters struggling with their past. In fact, we are all a culmination of everything we have ever experienced or learned throughout life, especially during childhood. Yes, there is medical truth to what I wrote. In fact, I have received numerous compliments from psychiatrists regarding how I handled the subject matter.

You have taken two major steps toward healing. You have acknowledged that you have a problem being faithful and you have reached out to someone to get help. While you may not share a close relationship with your mother, I believe that a great load would be lifted if you tell her what happened to you. Oftentimes, simply speaking the truth can work wonders and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Your mother and your family members need to face the situation because too many things are constantly swept underneath the rug. Also, being that you are 23 now and I am not sure when this occurred or by whose hands, the possibility exists that your offender might victimize someone else, if they have not already. That is why the main character in Nervous finally suffered a breakthrough to reveal the incest in her family; in order to protect another child before they fell victim to the same man.

Until you being the process of self-discovery and healing the past, things will be difficult. You have a good man and a beautiful daughter and you do not want to live the rest of your life feelings traumatized. See if they have any free help in NYC. I am confident that there has to be some assistance. Meanwhile, talk to your man some more and tell him that you really want to build a life together but that you need him to be patient and help you get the treatment that you need. I say “treatment” in the purest sense of the word. You need help but do not let funding stand in your way. Also, do not let the feeling of embarrassment stand in your way. You are far from alone but you are stronger than you think. It takes a strong and wise person to seek help.



Anonymous said...


I have experienced the same situation as Damaged Past. However, I do not have problems with being faithful. I have a problem with settling for less when it comes to dating/sleeping with men. I do believe that this problem has something to do with being sexually abused as a child (age 8). I have recognized this problem and am receiving therapy. On a personal note, I have vowed to keep my legs closed and not have boyfriends until I am healed. I have also created realistic standards that a guy must have. It has been four months now and I feel good. I would like to keep my legs closed preferably until marriage. Nonetheless does Mr. Right even exist?

Slowly Healing

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