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Have you made peace with your past?


Shay

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The pain from many traumas in my life still haunts me - I am trying to let go and not just continue to keep it in. How about you? Can you let go of past pains and disappointments?

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I am not sure what the future is going to hold regarding my ability to let go of my traumas. Right now, I am facing the problem as I come out more, that there are people who had conditional love, not unconditional love which brings back memories of traumas from growing up. I have been working really hard to get past the traumas, but I am finding it insurmountable at times because I can’t seem to shake the negative talk. I am struggling in some ways, but in other ways I am becoming more at peace with the fact that the people who are staying seem to be there for me. I still go through phases though where I am scared people are going to just disappear on me.

 

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I've had plenty of cringe moments - and they still make me cringe.

But I think I have been able to move on from most of them.   Often, I just shake my head, and go about my business.

 

But one thing I still have trouble with is my marriage.  It broke before I opened my Trans-Pandora's box, but it was most of my life up till then.  I don't regret it, and am grateful for my kids who have been very (for the most part) supportive.

 

But I can't help wondering what would have happened if I had realized what my gender issues were at the time.  I was really at a questioning place, but didn't even realize that being transgender was a thing.  For me my fem tendencies were something to hide.  For a time I wondered if I was gay, but nope.

 

But back to my marriage… My ex has moved on, has a new boyfriend etc.  But me, less so.  She was not surprised when I came out to her.  In retrospect she had been dropping hints about it for awhile.  At the time I thought that the breakup was my fault, but now I'm not so sure.  Now I sometimes feel like I was abandoned in a way, but I feel bad about thinking that.  Guess there's two sides to everything.

 

I don't know If I have it in me to start over at my age.  But I don't really have a choice.

 

Sorry if I rattled on a bit.

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AwesomeClaire

For the most part I have, there is still work to do. I see a therapist to help me thru it, but it is something I have worked on for years. 

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Heather A

I let go as much as possible, but I'm sure sub consciously I am still holding onto something.   But for the majority of things I'm just accepting them as they are.  I can't change the past so I just move forward and try to be a better person today.   So I am still reconciling my past but for the most part I have attempted to make peace with the choices I have made through my life. 

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Willow Farmer

   Before I was 30yrs old I was sweet, introverted and low T.   after a couple times close to death, I pulled on Kevlar armadillo skin, grew 2 long middle fingers, and a shoot first, ask questions later mouth.   That would be like going from Awesome Clare to The Terminator.   I want to get back to that purity, but my mind keeps reminding me I almost died there.   I have made peace with my past, but I am still struggling with how much I can let my guard down as I go forward as female.   Thank you all for accepting me here.

 

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Jackie C.

Work in progress. One of the many, many reasons I talk to my therapist every week instead of calling home. I've got regrets, but most days they don't bother me so much anymore. I'm trying to be more forward-facing.

 

Hugs!

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AwesomeClaire
4 hours ago, Willow Farmer said:

   Before I was 30yrs old I was sweet, introverted and low T.   after a couple times close to death, I pulled on Kevlar armadillo skin, grew 2 long middle fingers, and a shoot first, ask questions later mouth.   That would be like going from Awesome Clare to The Terminator.   I want to get back to that purity, but my mind keeps reminding me I almost died there.   I have made peace with my past, but I am still struggling with how much I can let my guard down as I go forward as female.   Thank you all for accepting me here.

 

Aw I am pure and sweet? <blush> Interesting thing about that, when I was younger the Terminator was one of my role models (T2 mostly) and I would try to be like him, I wanted to be powerful and emotionless, it's a theme that is strong in my trauma narrative.

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@AmberM (Amber in particular - everyone else who responded as well) - my therapist is trying ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) with me and gave me exercises and asked me to stop saying I feel good or bad and dig down to the true root emotion. I've managed to compartmentalize so much in my life I locked out emotions and learned to avoid them. I do feel I've made a break through of sorts in that I recognize that when I received conditional love (Amber - I especially saw it when my first divorce came and so many so-called friends walked away). I also know I've been harboring resentment, jealousy, detachment, anger, frustration and avoidance to somehow convince myself I was protecting me when in fact I was causing further internal damage. I am hopeful now that I'm no longer HIDING and with 9 months HRT and a wonderful therapist who "gets it and gets me" and I've never been more hopeful that I will let go of the past and past pain and move to happiness. I can't truly love others until I love myself - and I'm getting there.

 

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KathyLauren

Yes, I have pretty much made peace with my past.  There were some cringe-worthy moments, but they are ancient history. 

 

There was one incident - sexual assault - that I would call traumatic.  If you had asked me ten years ago, I'd say I'd left that behind, too: locked it away, thrown away the key, boarded it over, etc.  That's what guys do, isn't it? 

 

But as I learned to be my true self, and stuff from the past started to surface and make sense, that one popped up, too.  I have released all the emotions resulting from it, so it doesn't actively bother me.  But I do get triggered by plot lines on TV that involve sexual assault or exploitation.

 

I don't think that is a bad thing.  It is a lot healthier than what I was trying to do in guy mode, which was to sweep it under the rug.

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Britany_Relia

I've gone through so many layers of trauma, and it's interesting that this post happened today.  I created a blog entry this morning that felt like a bit of a wreck itself, but it was like a Hollywood style wreck.  Every second of it planned and intentional.  It's called "Flying Dandelions by the end".  I ended up re-posting it on a new account I have made on a blog site.  I feel in so many ways like I'm in 1997 again.  My childhood was un-necessarily traumatizing, and I always say I have had just a little bit of it all. So much so that it's hard to actually make a list without forgetting one or three.

I'm moving on from there.  I have finally been able to pull all of myself together.  Writing it a million times, and seeing the heartbreak inside of me was so sad and so often confusing and conflicted.  Yet now I finally feel the sense of clarity that I've been yearning for.

I wrote on that same blog that I just created, and I may re-post it as the second entry on the one I've made here this morning. 

 

Quote

"Soul Reboot"

This morning I tried to write everything and trying brought something up to the surface. A while after I finished writing that entry on another forum and then posted it here, I started drawing, literally "drawing" conclusions. Shapes, it might be the light language of some kind or Starseed -crap- I don't know.

I felt like something massive was shifting and as I wrote that I got a vision of the energy of my soul doing a total 'reboot'. Everything I've been trying to pull together was flashed through me from the surface all the way through the center of the core and then back to the top again. It's not the first time I've had a wave-like this go through me but it is the first time I've seen it. 

Everything I've ever been was just flash-pointed and synchronized. I am now able to calmly think and describe what I wish to.

 

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Willow Farmer
3 hours ago, AwesomeClaire said:

, when I was younger the Terminator was one of my role models (T2 mostly) and I would try to be like him, I wanted to be powerful and emotionless

I just loved T2.   Do you still have issues with resorting to that safe spot when you feel insecure, I do.  I have a handle on most everything else, but even with a strong partner I find myself capable of too much "protective mode". 

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AwesomeClaire
3 hours ago, Willow Farmer said:

I just loved T2.   Do you still have issues with resorting to that safe spot when you feel insecure, I do.  I have a handle on most everything else, but even with a strong partner I find myself capable of too much "protective mode". 

I could also run super fast so I liked to be T-1000 haha. Hm, that is a good question. I think thru my trauma work it has lessened quite a lot over the years, but it was still pretty heavy most of my 20s. I also kind of flipped and became the opposite for a while, where I was very weak and helpless. That is mostly turned around now tho, I am feeling stronger again and more in touch with my feelings, as much as I can be with my autism.

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Willow Farmer
2 hours ago, AwesomeClaire said:

became the opposite for a while, where I was very weak and helpless.

I never really thought of my self as weak and helpless, but if you are quiet and private sometimes people stomp all over you until you find yourself rating yourself that way. 

   I probably have autism, but I have over ranging emotion that is hard to manage.   It is the world I live in and it is what it is.   I don't feel broken and need fixing, just guidance to calmly interact with others.   Here is an interesting article maybe you haven't read.  They don't say autistic, but "emotionally intense and highly sensitive person".   https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-emotional-intensity/202008/gifted-adult-therapy-the-wounds-being-too-intense 

   I feel the most comfortable around TMI people that are positive and trying to figure something out or build something.   It is like chasing a deer through the forest, wide open throttle.   I hope your life works out fantastic! You are young and have so much going for you.

 

   ---WILLOW---

 

 

 

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Carolyn Marie
16 hours ago, Shay said:

 How about you? Can you let go of past pains and disappointments?

 

In a word, no.  I am 67 and the older I get the more I dwell on all the stupid, embarrassing, hurtful and shameful things I've done and said.  Many are things that I will never forgive myself for, others were just poor decision making.  I've had success in my life, but those other things mar how I ought to feel about the good stuff.  I know I should get therapy for it, and maybe I will.  But I think that letting it eat me up is my way of punishing myself.  I've grown from some mistakes and not made them a second time, but other foolishness I've repeated over and over.

 

This is one of those threads that really makes you think, and that's a good thing, Shay.  Thanks for asking the hard questions. 

 

There is a song written by Jackson Browne called "These Days."  The last line goes,

"Please don't confront me with my failures; I have not forgotten them." 

 

Carolyn Marie

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I am not doing so well to be honest. I tried off myself 3 weeks ago. I keep mis gendering myself, people keep mis gendering  me,  and past was no price either. Actually the only good memories i have are from age 7- 15 and its has being downhill since. 

Therapist keep tell me to be kinda to myself, But i keep thinking of all pain I am going through just to live my true self and i keep asking myself is it worth it,,,I don't know...

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tracy_j

By and large - yes. There are many things I could have done better but things from the past have shaped the present and I am here and relatively in a good position. There were many things that happened which came very close to making things far worse (like being a bit silly and extreme on my bikes over the years) and others which may have made things better but who can tell?

 

Work for the future as we cannot change the past.

 

Tracy

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I have made peace with my past for the most part.  There are things in my past which have caused a lot of trauma resulting in cPTSD, but even those issues no longer control me the way they used to.  I started drinking when I was around 10 years old, drug use started around 13 or 14 years old.  I was diagnosed as an  alcoholic and drug addict by the time I was  21 years old.  In my years of active addiction, I did things that I regretted deeply, and that regret and shame fueled the addiction even more.  I have been clean from drugs since 1988, and sober from alcohol again since November of 2018.  I am at a point now that I don't regret my past, as it is just that, the past.  I don't want to relive it, nor do I want to  forget it anymore.  Everything that I did, and everything that I went trough happened to make me the person that I am today, and that person does not resemble who I used to be.  living in the past, traps you there.  My past is the road I had to travel to get to where I am now.

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2 hours ago, MiraM said:

My past is the road I had to travel to get to where I am now.

True.

So many things I've had to learn the hard way… And I'm a slow learner.

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VickySGV

Since I began my current recovery from Alcohol and prescription drug abuse 12 and a half years ago I have gotten to where I take the same approach that @MiraMdescribes in her post.  A maxim in 12 step programs is that "we will not regret the past, nor wish to close our minds to it" because we are here even inspite of all of it or more likely because of it.  If we have changed (amended) our lives and behavior from that past and are grateful for those changes then we have no reason to regret them.  If we still do, then, yes, counseling  is a very needed thing to do and without the deep shame that some of us first approached Therapy with.  Surprisingly to me, since Transitioning, some of the regrets my old self felt the worst about, and that that self felt as failures can actually be seen as times of admirable strength and true character.  I would never have seen those successes without seeing them as my own true history. 

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LusciousTheLock

Going through three counsellors, I decided not to share all things with all of them. It seemed to upset them more than me!  After describing my emotional state as a large dam that was starting to give way to a large body of emotions trapped on the other side and worrying about the little happy villages below, it was suggested to leave those emotions alone for now. keep moving forward with the things I can shape and change rather than being terrified of the past and the things I can't. Concentrate on the Transition. Live in the hear and now. The past made me who I am, but it hasn't made me who I'm going to be.

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I have also dammed up my emotions but my therapist strongly believes in ACT (acceptance commitment therapy) and facings your traumas and learning to let them be there but not domineering. It turned on the light bulb for me and a new break through that is actually really helping. I think I will be able to be at peace with my past finally.

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AwesomeClaire
1 hour ago, Shay said:

I have also dammed up my emotions but my therapist strongly believes in ACT (acceptance commitment therapy) and facings your traumas and learning to let them be there but not domineering. It turned on the light bulb for me and a new break through that is actually really helping. I think I will be able to be at peace with my past finally.

Great to hear you are making progress with it.

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