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Troubled by painful memories

I'm middle-aged and now live a quiet, reflective, solitary life. I'm full of remorse for some really terrible mistakes I made as a child, teenager and young adult. Promiscuity, tactlessness, boastfulness, lies, some really sociopathic stuff. I get the most terrible flashbacks. I don't want to sound glib, but sometimes I think they are like those that traumatized soldiers complain of - they can really stop me in my tracks and leave me dejected for days. My youthful behavior was all part of a vicious circle of being completely rejected by all my peers from as young as I can remember (pre-school age - so about 3) and being desperate to make them like me and going about trying to fix things on my own in a way which only made things worse. What with my parents and teachers just refusing to see there was a problem with my social skills and thinking that I was troublesome on purpose. The more rejected and isolated I felt, the weirder my compensating behavior to try and resolve matters - and so the worse the rejection. I kind of cured myself by removing myself from that toxic environment as a young adult where I was just constantly being set up for failure and I slowly grounded and healed.

I've been pretty introverted for years. I still dream about meeting up with peers I haven't seen since childhood thru to early adulthood and having at least one episode of 'normal' interaction (ie like how my relationships now are) and so getting words to the effect of 'you've improved'. Do you think I should seek these people out? What if they reject me again? Does this post make sense to anyone out there?
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replied August 27th, 2008
You know we've all done things we aren't proud of. I think that's just part of growing up. I can't seem to understand what you mean by the mistakes you've made but if you're referring things like lying then believe me that's no biggie. We're all human and we all (including you) learn from our mistakes.
I wouldn't try and search for these people to show them that you've improved. It shouldnt take their approval to make you feel better about yourself. I got in touch with some old mates and it really didn't go how it planned. Everybody changes and they grow up to y'know.
I would suggest maybe going to see a psychologist and getting some closure on the issues you have about yourself as a child, teenager and young adult. You'll see that what you're worrying about is not as bad as you make it out to be. You were a child... A teenager ( who doesn't flaw there) and a young adult... (Gosh if I told you the mistakes I made as a young adult, well, we'd be here all day)
honestly go and see a psychologist if you haven't before. It'll probbly only take you a couple of sessions and you'll feel as good as new.

I hope I too made sense and I hope this has helped you in some way.

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replied August 27th, 2008
That was lovely to read, Harmony! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and to post. I've been to a counsellor, who was good, but it's also great to read kind words from someone (like you here) who's not being paid to listen to you and be supportive.
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replied September 10th, 2008

I'm 22 and feel the same way. I have all these embarassing memories from school, to army about how much of a !**@! up I am and how much I hate myself. Happy Pills work but you find the memories still find you in dreams and all your doing is avoiding the memories.

I don't know what your memories are, but the best thing I think to do is to accept them as mistakes and how they make you into a better person today.

Hope I helped a little. Keep truckin.

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