Can't stop bringing up ugly experiences from the past and it's ruining my social life

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ardour

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Basically, I grew up around narcissistic, aggressive a-holes and have trouble keeping that to myself.

Some topics just aren’t suitable for everyday conversation. Nothing good ever comes of it. I end up regretting presuming on someone’s patience and making things awkward. But I keep doing it, retreading the past, looking for another perspective. Then later I'll cringe about it, as I should, because it’s shameful. Nobody wants to be used as a dumping ground for negativity. Friends add value, they don’t use someone for their own ends. It’s become a problem of late as nothing seems genuine with the way older adults interact. It's tempting to want to cut past all that surface level crap and talk about something that matters. Often that ends up being personal topics to do with my past that should have been steered clear of.

So yea, another embarrassing experience. I recently talked about an incident at school mentioned in another post with a work friend I meet up with at lunchtimes once a week. (Then there was facebook post I made directed at the main perpetrator. I've since had one classmate on my friend list block me: no loss, he was a nasty piece of work anyway.)

She was definitely weirded out and I can see why. Oh well, another learning experience where nothing was really learned. What kind of idiot brings these things up with someone they don’t even know that well? Even old friends have their limits.

It's deeply unattractive behaviour for men to indicate they're bothered by anything. Even doing this with trusted friends or family can make you into a liability.

I've always believed therapy to be an elaborate scam, a way for the educated upper middle classes to make money off the damaged, the broken. I hate the dynamic where a patient becomes vulnerable with a paid professional who is only tolerating them because it's how they make a living. This is something I could never be comfortable with. But at least it's contained there, doesn’t end up damaging real life connections.
 
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TropicalStarfish

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Don't be so hard on yourself mate..

If you haven't tried therapy, it might be a consideration, maybe, maybe not.

What do we do when we see that homeless, scruffy, smelly man in the streets? Usually we are afraid, or we turn our gaze, and try to avoid the unsightly and very visible pain (I'm not saying you are like that; but, that, people tend to be attracted to that which is bright, beautiful, and merry. We all tend to avoid that which is unpleasant and seek out that which is pleasant.)

So, work on being a bit more pleasant. That doesn't mean you have to ignore the pain inside of you, and you shouldn't; but, you realize that, perhaps the way you've been trying to address it, isn't working, so, just keep working at it, little by little.

We all need a hug, a good cry, and a trustworthy ear of nurturing consolation. Words on a screen, just don't quite compare... I think such things are just in short supply right now, the world over; but, keep at it.

Don't be so hard on yourself. It's just vicious circles.
 

ardour

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(I'm not saying you are like that; but, that, people tend to be attracted to that which is bright, beautiful, and merry. We all tend to avoid that which is unpleasant and seek out that which is pleasant.)

That is not what I grew up around, not what was valued then.

It goes beyond typical teenage/early 20s brattishness. Every conversation involved degrading or humiliating somebody or something. Every conversation; no let up. They had no interests.

It’s strange, as if it were as easy as flipping a switch and displaying positive energy and agreeableness, when behaving that way would have made you a target during the first 25 years of life.
 
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Unsigned

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No, it's not.
It is though.
Other people label you a "whiner" or a "complainer", even when you have a legitimate beef.
Problem is, the other people who do that often have been fortunate enough to have much better lives.
For example, if your work manager comes from a well off, athletic, attractive family, and perhaps was on a sports team & fraternity for an Ivy League college, there is no way he will be able to empathize with the issues faced by a "regular guy". And thus any complaint the regular guy may have, no matter how legitimate, will be considered "whining" due to the fact that the Frat Boy types never have experienced anything similar.

So bottom line is...men don't complain and just shut up and take it. And the cycle continues.
 

Claudia1794

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Stop talking about honeysuckle that makes people uncomfortable.
Keep saying what you think and feel and let go of having a social life.
When I was a wee little thing of 6 years I was touched, kissed, and eventually completely violated by a "friend of the family". This information makes people uncomfortable so I learned to not talk about it openly. In case you haven't noticed most people whether they want to admit it or not don't really care. Those that do admit it are considered mean, cruel, insensitive, selfish and the beat goes on la di da di da...its not even about not caring its more that people, all people, are dealing with honeysuckle in some form and they don't want to hear about some honeysuckle that happened decades ago. I can't change that a pervert robbed me just like you can't change your ugly experiences.
 

VanillaCreme

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So bottom line is...men don't complain and just shut up and take it. And the cycle continues.

Men aren't the only ones who feel like they need to shut up. It literally took someone that I loved so much dying for me to even tell anyone else how much I was struggling with life. People that I'm close to and talked to almost daily. Took death for me to finally speak up for myself. You can't keep perpetuating an ideal and then wonder why it still exists in your life. Being a man doesn't mean you can't open up. Perhaps the issue is really with who people open up to. It's really not for everyone you come across to know everything. But there's nothing wrong with guys opening up and talking about things that bother them. It doesn't make them weak. It takes quite a bit of strength to even begin to talk about issues.
 

9006

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It can be difficult not to talk about things that had a profound effect on you in the past.. good or bad. But like you touched on, most people tend to separate themselves from negative people, generally. I understand what you're getting at, and I think it's because they either don't know how to respond, or you're seen as a "negative nelly" who brings people down. Sometimes people who deal with negativity by avoidance look down on people (particularly men) who seem to have issues.

To be clear people do listen and understand, like real friends, or someone who's more empathetic. But certainly in my case I do not believe that people you work with fit in with either one of these, and they're just "people you know".

It’s become a problem of late as nothing seems genuine with the way older adults interact. It's tempting to want to cut past all that surface level crap and talk about something that matters. Often that ends up being personal topics to do with my past that should have been steered clear of.
I'm not too sure what you mean by this, maybe how they react to the things you talk about? If so it could be a result of what I said above.

I kind of share your views about therapy in that they only really listen because they're paid to do so. But I suppose they can be used as a dumping ground for negativity - as you put it - which would benefit the people who feel better for offloading. But I'm a bit cynical and think that talking about things doesn't change anything, and that only yourself can truly make a difference in the way you deal with things. But I suppose you COULD come to some kind of understanding about how to deal with things better from therapy, so it's not like I'm saying don't bother.
 

user 135067

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Basically, I grew up around narcissistic, aggressive a-holes and have trouble keeping that to myself.

Some topics just aren’t suitable for everyday conversation. Nothing good ever comes of it. I end up regretting presuming on someone’s patience and making things awkward. But I keep doing it, retreading the past, looking for another perspective. Then later I'll cringe about it, as I should, because it’s shameful. Nobody wants to be used as a dumping ground for negativity. Friends add value, they don’t use someone for their own ends. It’s become a problem of late as nothing seems genuine with the way older adults interact. It's tempting to want to cut past all that surface level crap and talk about something that matters. Often that ends up being personal topics to do with my past that should have been steered clear of.

So yea, another embarrassing experience. I recently talked about an incident at school mentioned in another post with a work friend I meet up with at lunchtimes once a week. (Then there was facebook post I made directed at the main perpetrator. I've since had one classmate on my friend list block me: no loss, he was a nasty piece of work anyway.)

She was definitely weirded out and I can see why. Oh well, another learning experience where nothing was really learned. What kind of idiot brings these things up with someone they don’t even know that well? Even old friends have their limits.

It's deeply unattractive behaviour for men to indicate they're bothered by anything. Even doing this with trusted friends or family can make you into a liability.

I've always believed therapy to be an elaborate scam, a way for the educated upper middle classes to make money off the damaged, the broken. I hate the dynamic where a patient becomes vulnerable with a paid professional who is only tolerating them because it's how they make a living. This is something I could never be comfortable with. But at least it's contained there, doesn’t end up damaging real life connections.

If you have not dealt to satisfaction with your past it will remain in your present and infect your future. Deal with it. I don't mean that snarkly... snarkishly... snarkaly... That's just what you'll need to move on without it.

Talking it out is one way to deal with it, but that can take a long long, LONG long time. You will likely run out of ears to listen. You could pay someone, but they don't really work on your issue. I mean, they have a dozen issues everyday to hear. How can they keep any focus on yours? I've never had a therapist solve anything. That's not why they are there. They just listen.

Everybody has crap in their past. There is no fujita scale for abuse, trauma, and pain. Everybody's worse is worse. So, how might one look upon you when you bring up your worse? What a sniveling weakling. Yea, some are like that. You don't want to talk to them anyhows.

But what else? They hurt too. It might be that you've triggered their pain and they don't want to deal with their own, so how could they possibly deal with yours.

Or it could be too much too fast. Most of us have a need to fix others. I mean, look at the responses in this thread. These people have run to you, not from you. But a whole life worth of anything can become overwhelming. Exercise temperance.

Or maybe they are having a great day and then you bring in your dark cloud. My point is, your need to express your grief might not coincide with their need to listen to it.

So, if you cant talk to anybody how do you deal with it? Hey, it wasn't so bad. I'm here now. I can be okay. Positive thinking. Try it. It might get you through a bad day. But it's just a band aid. The crap will return tomorrow. But sometimes a band aid will help for just a little while.

These forums are helpful, but the conversation usually ends long before you are ready for it to. It isn't out of the realm of possibility to feel abandoned.

I deal by writing mine down. Sometimes I write it how it happened. Sometimes I fictionalize it how I'd wanted it to have happened. When it creeps up I write it out again.

I went to my dad's grave. I yelled at him. I likely looked like a fool if anyone saw. My dad beat me nearly every day... skinny leather belt so it hurt more. When I was 12 he carried me into the ocean as deep as he could when he knew I couldn't swim, and he left me there. He dropped me, he dove away, and went to shore. He never even looked my way. His intent was that I drown so he could be done with me.

I came within a grasping reach of my end. Had it not been salt water I would have drown. Buoyancy. I had sunk. I opened my eyes. I saw the pier post I'd been struggling for. I reach as I drifted down and touched its slimy skin. That gave me that last burst of effort to grab it and shimmy up.

Death was literally the length of my arm. I told him what I thought of that. Yeah, I yelled for a very long time. Didn't help.

But I've written that event so many times and so many ways that now when I think of it it's just something that happened to me. It no longer owns me.

To deal with it you must get it out somehow and look at it. It isn't that it gets better. It's that we learn to cope with it, and we can then put it in the past where it belongs. We don't let it own us.

I don't know what coping device might work for you. If you use people for it, well, it takes a long time and few are willing to stay the course. They each have their own coping to attend. If you force it on them you will burn every opportunity for relationships. I know you hope someone will get you, someone will help you get past it. But no one will. It's not their fight.

Find a way to cope that doesn't burden others. Life always has an opportunity to be great. But it can't so long as you drag your past with you like a barnacle coated anchor on a chain.

Sorry if this is offensive. Just trying to help, which is what you said no one does, Here we all are. Trying to help. Someone among us might suggest a way to cope, but you must cope before you can break from that chain.

For what it's worth, I hope you get right. I want you to find your coping mechanism.
 

Claudia1794

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If you have not dealt to satisfaction with your past it will remain in your present and infect your future. Deal with it. I don't mean that snarkly... snarkishly... snarkaly... That's just what you'll need to move on without it.

Talking it out is one way to deal with it, but that can take a long long, LONG long time. You will likely run out of ears to listen. You could pay someone, but they don't really work on your issue. I mean, they have a dozen issues everyday to hear. How can they keep any focus on yours? I've never had a therapist solve anything. That's not why they are there. They just listen.

Everybody has crap in their past. There is no fujita scale for abuse, trauma, and pain. Everybody's worse is worse. So, how might one look upon you when you bring up your worse? What a sniveling weakling. Yea, some are like that. You don't want to talk to them anyhows.

But what else? They hurt too. It might be that you've triggered their pain and they don't want to deal with their own, so how could they possibly deal with yours.

Or it could be too much too fast. Most of us have a need to fix others. I mean, look at the responses in this thread. These people have run to you, not from you. But a whole life worth of anything can become overwhelming. Exercise temperance.

Or maybe they are having a great day and then you bring in your dark cloud. My point is, your need to express your grief might not coincide with their need to listen to it.

So, if you cant talk to anybody how do you deal with it? Hey, it wasn't so bad. I'm here now. I can be okay. Positive thinking. Try it. It might get you through a bad day. But it's just a band aid. The crap will return tomorrow. But sometimes a band aid will help for just a little while.

These forums are helpful, but the conversation usually ends long before you are ready for it to. It isn't out of the realm of possibility to feel abandoned.

I deal by writing mine down. Sometimes I write it how it happened. Sometimes I fictionalize it how I'd wanted it to have happened. When it creeps up I write it out again.

I went to my dad's grave. I yelled at him. I likely looked like a fool if anyone saw. My dad beat me nearly every day... skinny leather belt so it hurt more. When I was 12 he carried me into the ocean as deep as he could when he knew I couldn't swim, and he left me there. He dropped me, he dove away, and went to shore. He never even looked my way. His intent was that I drown so he could be done with me.

I came within a grasping reach of my end. Had it not been salt water I would have drown. Buoyancy. I had sunk. I opened my eyes. I saw the pier post I'd been struggling for. I reach as I drifted down and touched its slimy skin. That gave me that last burst of effort to grab it and shimmy up.

Death was literally the length of my arm. I told him what I thought of that. Yeah, I yelled for a very long time. Didn't help.

But I've written that event so many times and so many ways that now when I think of it it's just something that happened to me. It no longer owns me.

To deal with it you must get it out somehow and look at it. It isn't that it gets better. It's that we learn to cope with it, and we can then put it in the past where it belongs. We don't let it own us.

I don't know what coping device might work for you. If you use people for it, well, it takes a long time and few are willing to stay the course. They each have their own coping to attend. If you force it on them you will burn every opportunity for relationships. I know you hope someone will get you, someone will help you get past it. But no one will. It's not their fight.

Find a way to cope that doesn't burden others. Life always has an opportunity to be great. But it can't so long as you drag your past with you like a barnacle coated anchor on a chain.

Sorry if this is offensive. Just trying to help, which is what you said no one does, Here we all are. Trying to help. Someone among us might suggest a way to cope, but you must cope before you can break from that chain.

For what it's worth, I hope you get right. I want you to find your coping mechanism.
Yeah so, in my mind I was trying to say mostly the same thing. Clearly, I'm lacking in the ability to say the uplifting and supportive stuff. Person of positivity I am not but agreeable I can be. I very much agree with your post Jesse.
 

Black Rose

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It sounds like you haven't healed from your past. The "looking for another perspective" reminds me of how I have tried to deal with some hard things that I have been through. I have found if I can look at things in a different light it helps to make peace with it. You say you are negative, but I say you are a survivor who hasn't found the answers yet to the negative things you have gone through. The past doesn't bother me like it did, but I would not have gotten to this point without walking through the darkness first. I'm here if you need a friend. I will even give you my number.
 

Bratwurst0516

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I nearly died when my (ex)wife saw me have a seizure during our marriage(I told her it could happen), but did nothing to protect me. She was in denial about her health, and mine. She didn't even call 911.

My mentally-ill(and emotionally abusive) (ex)fiance on the other hand. Didn't mess around when I had seizures' in front of her. She promptly called 911 and, remained calm, cool n' collected.

So, I can never forgive my (ex)wife, yet I have no problem forgiving my (ex)fiance(for the emotional abuse). Sure, I carry around the past. Because, Seizures can kill. If a woman can't accept that, then she is no good to me.
 

TheRealCallie

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I nearly died when my (ex)wife saw me have a seizure during our marriage(I told her it could happen), but did nothing to protect me. She was in denial about her health, and mine. She didn't even call 911.

My mentally-ill(and emotionally abusive) (ex)fiance on the other hand. Didn't mess around when I had seizures' in front of her. She promptly called 911 and, remained calm, cool n' collected.

So, I can never forgive my (ex)wife, yet I have no problem forgiving my (ex)fiance(for the emotional abuse). Sure, I carry around the past. Because, Seizures can kill. If a woman can't accept that, then she is no good to me.
Okay, okay,first let me say that it is NOT at all okay that she didn't call 911 or at least try to help you in some way.

BUT, I just want to point out that emotional abuse CAN kill.....it can push someone to suicide.
 

Bratwurst0516

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Okay, okay,first let me say that it is NOT at all okay that she didn't call 911 or at least try to help you in some way.

BUT, I just want to point out that emotional abuse CAN kill.....it can push someone to suicide.
I know that all-too-well. Two years after my divorce, I got engaged to a mentally ill(Bi-Polar II, and possibly Borderline Personality Disorder) woman. Who over the course of 4yrs.+ together, 'diagnosed' me thirteen times(ADD, ADHD, BP-II, BPD, Diabetes, DID, Hypoglycemia, MPD, NPD, OCD, OCPD, PTSD, PTSS, and Tourettes. When I finally told her to stop. She accused me of 'controlling her'. That ended in 2007.
 

Kar

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Therapy can help you but it's important you find the right therapist. It's not that it's a scam, just that some therapists style doesn't work with some people and it's not obvious at the start. It's a long process so you might have spent a lot of money and time to realize it's a poor fit. But a good fit with your therapist is very therapeutic. Basically, someone who is in your corner with great advice and never judging you.

It's much better than wasting years of life by driving away potential friends by using them as a dumping ground for deep negative emotions. I think as you get older, you also realize there isn't much value and offloading to others the negativity inside. This would require you have some other means to off load that negativity and again that points back to therapy. I say give it a try, but you need to at least do a minimum of 3 months. The first weeks/months aren't that helpful because it takes a long time to build trust. So if you try it for once or twice and quit, you really didn't try it.
 

ardour

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Therapy can help you but it's important you find the right therapist. It's not that it's a scam, just that some therapists style doesn't work with some people and it's not obvious at the start. It's a long process so you might have spent a lot of money and time to realize it's a poor fit. But a good fit with your therapist is very therapeutic. Basically, someone who is in your corner with great advice and never judging you.

It's much better than wasting years of life by driving away potential friends by using them as a dumping ground for deep negative emotions. I think as you get older, you also realize there isn't much value and offloading to others the negativity inside. This would require you have some other means to off load that negativity and again that points back to therapy. I say give it a try, but you need to at least do a minimum of 3 months. The first weeks/months aren't that helpful because it takes a long time to build trust. So if you try it for once or twice and quit, you really didn't try it.
Therapy is expensive (it isn't funded here unless it's a referral). And how can you ever trust someone who’s job it is to appear sympathetic? I have no idea who this person really is, or more importantly who they would have been. It'd be more comfortable to just talk to a mirror.

I would need to be transported back to the point where this actually mattered, where people weren’t polite, change my behaviour, be assertive, repair my self-esteem that way. Obviously that can't happen.
 
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Kar

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Therapy is expensive (it isn't funded here unless it's a referral). And how can you ever trust someone who’s job it is to appear sympathetic? I have no idea who this person really is, or more importantly who they would have been. It'd be more comfortable to just talk to a mirror.

I would need to be transported back to the point where this actually mattered, where people weren’t polite, change my behaviour, be assertive, repair my self-esteem that way. Obviously that can't happen.
I don't get the point you were trying to make. "And how can you ever trust someone who’s job it is to appear sympathetic?" So you don't trust your dentist or medical doctor who would fall under the same category? My point of view is that some doctors and dentists are better aligned with your goal. Same with therapist. If you ignore all dentists and doctors, that would be foolish. Similarly, if you accept all dentists and doctors, that would be foolish. Why think of therapists differently? I sometimes use a maid. Not all are great. Some are better than others and are better at benefiting my well being. Why is that different for therapists?
 

ardour

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I don't get the point you were trying to make. "And how can you ever trust someone who’s job it is to appear sympathetic?" So you don't trust your dentist or medical doctor who would fall under the same category? My point of view is that some doctors and dentists are better aligned with your goal. Same with therapist. If you ignore all dentists and doctors, that would be foolish. Similarly, if you accept all dentists and doctors, that would be foolish. Why think of therapists differently? I sometimes use a maid. Not all are great. Some are better than others and are better at benefiting my well being. Why is that different for therapists?
I guess it’s possible they may have insights without empathizing, relating, or even liking a patient/client that much. But there’s also a million cautionary tales from people for whom therapy did nothing or worsened matters. I’ve never read a success story from anyone who was bullied, ridiculed or isolated in their youth, except those involving some kind of direct revenge on their tormentors. Otherwise people rarely seem to get “better.”

Vulnerability is also what put me in those humiliating situations in the first place, so being that way with a therapist would be very uncomfortable.
 
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