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Why do I let my past have so much power?

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have been doing a wrap up of sorts, and while I cannot forgive that younger me of being ignorant of his neurology, I can mourn the relationship experiences that he denied himself and thank him for his resilience to forge the person I am. Yet I hate pondering the past as there are always lies waiting to slap me in the face.

So, while I ponder how fortunate I have been in the loving relationship with my spouse, beyond what many have experienced, an unsatisfied voice whispers in my ear "You never were desired by any woman." Going through heart surgery with such a focus on my mortality, and I am more susceptible to such lies, when there may be little time left, or a fear of being bereft of my spouse and reverting back to that sad, lonely, creature I was. WHY DOES MY MIND GO THERE? There is every indication from my interactions with the people I have come to like in the bike club and elsewhere that I am not unnoticed. I am not incomplete. My experiences since rebuilding myself, experiences with my spouse, have shown me to be a complete, interesting, accepting and loving person. I need to silence those nasty voices that want to hurt me.
 
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Slime_Punk

Contaminating the hive mind
V.I.P Member
Sounds pretty normal to have those types of anxieties when your life has so much meaning. I consider them to be 'good anxieties', because they're worries about a non-current reality, and they're kind of like having excessive gratefulness when you really think about it!
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
My insecurities point right to my upbringing where l felt l never mattered. So at some time early on, I over compensated and tried too hard and that is a horrible existence. Now l think l just care less about all this in general because there are more important things to ponder, like is it carb nite, did l shut the door in the car, did l piss off the cashier at the store? We can't change our early years, so why bother hanging in that mindset for something that isn't relevant? Why not spend time comparing how far you have come? You spouse wants the evolved version of you not that young guy from Netherland.

At least you evolved enough to actually meet her. Some of us here never get to that step. Some of us do evolve but never meet that someone special. And finally, some evolve, and meet a screwed up version and end up denouncing relationships period. Of course, l am just so busy calculating all the odds, it's amazing l even was married.
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
You need to stop beating yourself up over this Gerald, it's not healthy. The past is the past, it can not be altered. You managed to do what a lot of people can't, you learned lessons and moved on.
 

Luca

charm & chaos
V.I.P Member
You need to stop beating yourself up over this Gerald, it's not healthy. The past is the past, it can not be altered. You managed to do what a lot of people can't, you learned lessons and moved on.
^This.
I know how hard it is though @Gerald Wilgus ... I beat myself up over my past and have a lot of intrusive thoughts and flashbacks too. I also have a lot of intrusive thoughts about death particularly.

Fortunately we're both working on our PTSD in therapy. There is light at the end of the tunnel, even though it doesn't feel like it sometimes.
But we have learned some important life lessons and conquered a lot of what was thrown at us!
 

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
I have been doing a wrap up of sorts, and while I cannot forgive that younger me of being ignorant of his neurology, I can mourn the relationship experiences that he denied himself and thank him for his resilience to forge the person I am. Yet I hate pondering the past as there are always lies waiting to slap me in the face.

So, while I ponder how fortunate I have been in the loving relationship with my spouse, beyond what many have experienced, an unsatisfied voice whispers in my ear "You never were desired by any woman." Going through heart surgery with such a focus on my mortality, and I am more susceptible to such lies, when there may be little time left, or a fear of being bereft of my spouse and reverting back to that sad, lonely, creature I was. WHY DOES MY MIND GO THERE? There is every indication from my interactions with the people I have come to like in the bike club and elsewhere that I am not unnoticed. I am not incomplete. My experiences since rebuilding myself, experiences with my spouse, have shown me to be a complete, interesting, accepting and loving person. I need to silence those nasty voices that want to hurt me.
Maybe you have not truly accepted the past. That includes your own shortcomings. Completely own them, and they can no longer "slap you in the face." Most of the unhappiness in our lives stems from wanting reality to be something else. This is especially true about the past because it cannot be undone. Relitigating the past seems to be a common source of misery.

You are not that person anymore. You've learned many things and had many experiences. Years have passed. Your environment has changed. There's no going back. You could not if you wanted to.

What you need to do is make your peace with that sad and lonely creature. Why can't you forgive him? I don't even understand what there is to forgive. You were what you were, and you didn't have a lot of choice in the matter. How could you possibly expect that person to understand their own neurology?

Imagine a butterfly refusing to forgive the caterpillar they once were. Love that creature and empathize with him because he is why you are what you are today.

Once you have accepted the past, you can let it go.

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

- Omar Kayyam
 
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phantom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Acceptance is just having come to the conclusion that it is no use allocate mental resources to trying to solve a problem anymore. Trying to formulate some solution in your head is not acceptance. Considering that you are 70 and have only had 2 relationships before, the question "was I generally desirable by woman" doesn't seem solvable to me.
 
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Owliet

The Hidden One.
V.I.P Member
I have been doing a wrap up of sorts, and while I cannot forgive that younger me of being ignorant of his neurology, I can mourn the relationship experiences that he denied himself and thank him for his resilience to forge the person I am. Yet I hate pondering the past as there are always lies waiting to slap me in the face.

So, while I ponder how fortunate I have been in the loving relationship with my spouse, beyond what many have experienced, an unsatisfied voice whispers in my ear "You never were desired by any woman." Going through heart surgery with such a focus on my mortality, and I am more susceptible to such lies, when there may be little time left, or a fear of being bereft of my spouse and reverting back to that sad, lonely, creature I was. WHY DOES MY MIND GO THERE? There is every indication from my interactions with the people I have come to like in the bike club and elsewhere that I am not unnoticed. I am not incomplete. My experiences since rebuilding myself, experiences with my spouse, have shown me to be a complete, interesting, accepting and loving person. I need to silence those nasty voices that want to hurt me.
I have similar experiences with negative thoughts on the loop and I think it comes down to the need that you realize that you need to analyze where things went wrong and try to find a way that makes sense as to what did go wrong. Then you tell yourself lies that helps to fill in the explanation, and they’re often negative and untrue and then It loops and it is hard to let go Because youre constantly trying to work out the puzzle of WHY.

I think there’s always going to be what ifs and yearning for what could have been, but you’re rebuilding yourself and your relationships, you have good experiences and you’re a more well rounded person. Feed those things, try to put a sticky or something that has all of the positives that you can see and read them when you’re looping. I have the safe word when I loop, so maybe you could try that too?=)
 

WhitewaterWoman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Early on I spent years bemoaning the why question. There was always a panoply of answers. I read all kinds of self-help books.

For me, in the end, I discovered the “why” didn’t matter. For me, all that churning around ”why” was a waste of my precious energy. It filled my brain with thoughts that were not conducive to making my life better.

You’re going through a really tough time. Your healing would better benefit from loving and positive thoughts. Use whatever tools you have to block these intrusive thoughts and forgive yourself when you can’t.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
If l start thinking about the past, it gets me absolutely nada. I mean there were bad choices made, and l sorta limped away from these choices. Now making healthy choices, having boundaries at 85% of the time, and accepting the imperfect person that l truly am is much safer and easier to do.

I am curious, is forgiveness a term you aren't use to? Can you slowly learn to forgive that inner child voice that feels he never mattered? Can you allow him to feel insecure? Insecurities really screwed me up. But Insecurities is actually a universal theme, many people feel insecure, we all have a place at the insecurity club, not just you. In fact l use to be a VIP at that club. :)
 
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Atrapa Almas

70% INTJ + 30% ASPIE = 100% HUMAN
V.I.P Member
WHY DOES MY MIND GO THERE?

Trauma works that way. If you want to understand trauma you must study trauma. As any other thing.

I need to silence those nasty voices that want to hurt me.

The more you try to silence them, the stronger they will be. You cant recover from trauma ignoring trauma scars, your past or your voices. The path for recovery is integration. You need safety (from others and from yourself), you need talking about it, uncovering it, feeling it and integrate it, and you need new conections.

I think you are already doing all this in your therapy, so eventually you should recover.

How do you know when you have recovered?

When you no longer care, when it has been integrated as any other part of your past it wont longer be important.

Thats how it works for everybody, thats how it works for you.
 

1ForAll

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
We cannot change the past Gerald but learn from it and become stronger from it, if we want to process things in better ways. We cannot change who we were then, but to hopefully accept it after seeing things in a different light. Our perceptions then of who we were then need not be the same as our perceptions now of who we were then. Instead of seeing yourself now as a failure then in your eyes and in women's eyes, tell yourself you tried your best with what you had then and with who you were then, and were a good person but they could just not see it and you could not see it as it was hidden underneath.

So, do not blame yourself or them as it is useless to do that, and as it is not the truth of who you were then. It solves nothing to distort who we were, and to want to turn back the clock to those days and be someone different. See each path we choose in life, regardless of our age at that time, is what our mind and body is telling us to do at that time. Also, we cannot control what others think of us, or if they assume things that are not true. All we can do is do the best we can do those moments to lead us where we want to be, and when our mind starts to cycle or recycle negative thoughts, replace those with thoughts that are kinder to ourselves.

In my case, any obsessions never are anymore about my bad past, any current negative situation, or any unfulfilled dreams. If others with worse situations than I can find some success and happiness, and overcome bad things, and not dwell on the negatives they experienced and experience, certainly I am not going to either as it is wasted energy and counterproductive to my desires. I do feel bad when others are focusing more so on their pasts and future though than their present. I mean temporarily this is ok, to learn and to sometimes motivate us more. But, the present is more important to me, as there are only so more days of those to enjoy left with those I care about.

My family deserves me to be there for them in the moment, appreciating them and life with them more than having continued sorrow for my past. So, when I at times want to relive that past, I tell myself, what good will that do? Will it make them or I happier doing that, as through my twenties I did that stuff and it only made matters worse.
 
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Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Hey @Gerald Wilgus

This got me thinking in my usual twisted ways.

So if there was a actual insecurity *club* , how would you be greeted? Me, they would send a limo, there would be a jacuzzi. There be a red carpet at the entrance because l definitely earned a complete wing at that club.

So perhaps the question is, just how insecure are we really? And to what purpose does it really serve? Does make our life better? If you use your insecurity to become a better person, or do things to help mankind, then excellent choices. However, if you use insecurity to constantly berate yourself, how are you helping yourself?

Maybe, we need to examine insecurity in itself. We as social engineers, need to measure how insecure we really are, acknowledge this, accept it, embrace it, and finally make peace with it and let it go. Hey, build a small temple to it, whatever rocks your boat, but eventually you must move on from insecurity if you wish to mature as a spiritual person. This is only said in kindness and l hope you understand this as such. :)
 
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Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hey @Gerald Wilgus

This got me thinking in my usual twisted ways.

So if there was a actual insecurity *club* , how would you be greeted? Me, they would send a limo, there would be a jacuzzi. There be a red carpet at the entrance because l definitely earned a complete wing at that club.

So perhaps the question is, just how insecure are we really? And to what purpose does it really serve? Does make our life better? If you use your insecurity to become a better person, or do things to help mankind, then excellent choices. However, if you use insecurity to constantly berate yourself, how are you helping yourself?

Maybe, we need to examine insecurity in itself. We as social engineers, need to measure how insecure we really are, acknowledge this, accept it, embrace it, and finally make peace with it and let it go. Hey, build a small temple to it, whatever rocks your boat, buy eventually you must move on from insecurity if you wish to mature as a spiritual person. This is only said in kindness and l hope you understand this as such. :)
This year I have been engaged with the spiritual, learning about Buddhism, that when you strip away the superstition is quite humanist. I hear your kind words and dealing with the lies I have told myself is dealing with the bundle of insecurity that was the younger me who was always questioning my place in the world. I certainly would have been a VIP at the insecurity club. Insecure about money, anxious and afraid (yes, afraid) of interacting with people, and so socially immature that when guys I thought of as friends would do things with girls as a group, I was never invited.

I have been feeling more secure in myself and feel much better even contemplating expected negative life events. Now! rather than feeling insecure over the thought of being bereft of Susan, I know that I will feel the loss, but I will not end up alone and insecure. Instead, some woman will get as a partner an accepting, devoted, interesting and loving man . . . me.
 
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Kalinychta

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
No one “lets” their past experiences haunt them. It’s a matter of re-mapping your mind. Have you ever thought about taking ayahuasca? You’re a biologist. You should do some research about it (ayahuasca) and seriously consider it. I think it would really help you with your struggles.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
No one “lets” their past experiences haunt them. It’s a matter of re-mapping your mind. Have you ever thought about taking ayahuasca? You’re a biologist. You should do some research about it (ayahuasca) and seriously consider it. I think it would really help you with your struggles.
Yes. People have stated but it's my mind that causes me to be this way. We actually do control our thoughts, not the other way around. Except for those severe cases of types that are truly pathological. So your bad habits or thoughts can be changed in as little as a few minutes. However, it's triggers, (or black and white thinking), that start that defeatist spin and it's best to identify when triggers, (or faulty thinking such as delusional), are influencing and handcuffing us. Also being on the spectrum means our gray matter may not be taking a straight line and we need decipher our thinking pattern, (faulty thinking, delusional, ruminating),and manually put our thought process to a acceptable place, ex., ruminating. I am ruminating, and it's excessive, l think l am shutting this down now. I have come to this conclusion with articles l have read and putting this together in my pea brain. Lol

Think l would like to term this process like clean eating or clean protein, to clean thinking, which l believe being on the spectrum, a good percentage of us can do this and successfully achieve this. At least l hope we can. I have used this to guide me a lot. And it really has helped. I hold myself accountable for the clean thoughts and forgive myself for the unhelpful thoughts that l may fall into occasionally such as ruminating.
 
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Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Yes. People have stated but it's my mind that causes me to be this way. We actually do control our thoughts, not the other way around. Except for those severe cases of types that are truly pathological. So your bad habits or thoughts can be changed in as little as a few minutes. However, it's triggers, (or black and white thinking), that start that defeatist spin and it's best to identify when triggers, (or faulty thinking such as delusional), are influencing and handcuffing us. Also being on the spectrum means our gray matter may not be taking a straight line and we need decipher our thinking pattern, (faulty thinking, delusional, ruminating),and manually piece our thought process to a acceptable place, ex., ruminating. I am ruminating, and it's excessive, l think l am shutting this down now. I have come to this conclusion with articles l have read and putting this together in my pea brain. Lol

Think l would like to term this process like clean eating or clean protein, to clean thinking, which l believe being on the spectrum, a good percentage of us can do this and successfully achieve this. At least l hope we can. I have used this to guide me a lot. And it really has helped. I hold myself accountable for the clean thoughts and forgive myself for the unhelpful thoughts that l may fall into occasionally such as ruminating.
So true. What if? ruminating is so poisonous. Not recognizing the social deficits I surmounted, my mind would poison me with What Ifs, like I could change the past. (of many mistakes) That was the worst thing that one could do for self esteem
 

Hypnalis

Well-Known Member
@Gerald Wilgus

I hardly ever share personal information (online and IRL), but something has been happening to me over the last few years that you might find interesting and/or useful. And you're definitely worth my breaking my non-binding rule of anonymity :)

Over the last few years I've been getting which would have been "brief flashbacks" once, back in the "psychedelic days".

They are of interactions and situations where I behaved poorly, or missed opportunities to behave well, or to achieve mutually beneficial social objectives.
When I analyze these scenes using my current experience and greatly improved social skills I'm usually very dissatisfied with my behavior and the attitudes and foolish assumptions that caused it.

This might be similar to what you're going through, but in my case they're not having any deep effects on my attitudes and general happiness. My "secret" is something I learned a long time ago. It turned out to be a common idea, but it's been very useful for me.

I use the phrase "the past is fiction" as a reminder.

I actually learned the phrase from a book, at a time when I didn't need it (back in the days when I didn't understand and/or care about my own limitations and poor behavior) but luckily I remembered it , because it comes into play fairly often these days :)

The point is that missed opportunities and unintentionally/innocent bad behavior by our past selves doesn't have to matter to our current selves. Memories are a story that's part of what we are, but in a sense they're just a story.

Like the principle that that you never see the same river twice, we're not the person that created our memories.

(There are edge cases of course - perhaps you've seen the Morgan Freeman "parole" scene from "The Shawshank Redemption". If not, I suggest you do - it covers this better than I could).

I can't forget these things of course, but I actively try not to reinforce the new (unflattering) insights, so the new perspectives don't become strong memories.
I have personal techniques for this, but I have no idea if they'd work for anyone else. If you're interested, just ask. But if you have a therapist, their methods are likely to be better :)

I think the reverse is also possible, but of course the process is different.
Our brains naturally reinforce bad memories (the "once bitten" principle seems to be "hard wired").
But thinking about happy times and/with people we love is always good. And sometimes an "old forgotten memory" resurfaces.
 

Mr. Stevens

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have been doing a wrap up of sorts, and while I cannot forgive that younger me of being ignorant of his neurology, I can mourn the relationship experiences that he denied himself and thank him for his resilience to forge the person I am. Yet I hate pondering the past as there are always lies waiting to slap me in the face.

So, while I ponder how fortunate I have been in the loving relationship with my spouse, beyond what many have experienced, an unsatisfied voice whispers in my ear "You never were desired by any woman." Going through heart surgery with such a focus on my mortality, and I am more susceptible to such lies, when there may be little time left, or a fear of being bereft of my spouse and reverting back to that sad, lonely, creature I was. WHY DOES MY MIND GO THERE? There is every indication from my interactions with the people I have come to like in the bike club and elsewhere that I am not unnoticed. I am not incomplete. My experiences since rebuilding myself, experiences with my spouse, have shown me to be a complete, interesting, accepting and loving person. I need to silence those nasty voices that want to hurt me.
This is tough and something I'm sure most of us have dealt with. For me, it's been better to be happy for exterior validation when I get it, but not look for it. That is hard in a society which is very driven by external reward, not to mention one where our differences are often commented on.

Another way of thinking about desire from the others:

1) Being Autistic means we may not be picking up on implicit cues. So there could be plenty of people attracted to you, but you don't recognize the signs. Or maybe they're taken, so they don't show signs because they're not unfaithful, but they do recognize you as an attractive person.

2) When we feel insecure, it's easy to feel we're unattractive in a way that assumes other people are superior. But, many people (male or female) have immaturities and character flaws. We can't assume we want their attention. They also may not share our values, for better or worse.

Probably none of the reasons have to do with some inherent inferiority, since you're not inherently inferior. And if anyone thinks so, you wouldn't want them pursuing you.
 

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