For Wise Warriors Only-How do you forgive and forget ppl that ruined your life as a child?

by 19 comments
I am an adult and still having trouble over things that happened to me as a child aged 11-18.

Before that I was a very happy, popular kid with a ton of friends and always playing sports and at sleep overs. Then we moved to a not so good town for lack of better words and thats when all the really bad stuff started happening and bad, bad stuff happened for years and years until 18 when I got out.

Sometimes I still have nightmares and am having trouble forgiving and forgetting. I hate thinking about what "could have been" it kills me. Cause all that was taken away. My childhood from 11-18 was ruined when it could have been good. have tried but can't seem to just let it go once and for all. I really want to just forget about it forever but is there a way.

ps. by people I mean parents. They were not good parents.
#off topic forum
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    You don't need to, and probably couldn't, forget - or forgive. Just accept.
    We all have a reason to be here and sometimes it takes experience to learn what we need to know to fulfill our purposes. Sometimes that means bad experiences. You were linked up with those people for a reason, nothing is accidental. They also have a purpose and you were linked with them to
    fulfill purposes that fit for both of you. It doesn't do any good to hate them for it - or to pity them. Just accept that things were as they were and if you are going to think about it at all, which you will no matter who tells you it is wrong or debilitating to do so, just try to see how the experiences shape
    the lives that were involved. See how the experience might lead you to create specific situations for others, and if you see a negative progression, change it.

    Do try to do more looking ahead at where you are going than looking back at where you came from though. If your head takes control and keeps you looking back at least you will have the right perspective so that you can stop obsessing over it. Remember who hurt you and do be aware of what they are capable of doing if you still associate with them so they can't repeat it on you - that is learning.
  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    Well Kay I have really tried hard to forget once and for all and just get over it. I left a ton of stuff out b/c that would be like writing a book.

    But I've met new ppl and when they ask Qs about that period of my life I just say something like I don't wanna talk about it and they say I'm withdrawn or secretive for not wanting to talk about it.

    Also I moved back to the town I was happy in 5-10 or 11 and have run into some ppl who remembered me from way back cause I was a "sports star" and pretty popular in elementary school and it really hurts thinking about what "could have been" if all that bad stuff didn't happen. And I don't mean 1 or 2 bad things I mean YEARS from age 11-18. It was not just bad things it turned into a bad existance and lifestyle. I got out as soon as I legally could 18.

    So I decided long ago to forget about it and move on, leave it all in the past but its just really hard. Sometimes stuff just comes back. Especially when I have nightmares.

    ps- im not choosing to hold a grudge. its just hard to make it be gone.

    I am using the WF for free therapy again.
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    "Free Therapy" = Friends.

    You have become part of a community here. You are a neighbor in a place where people are all different, yet understand the concept of neighbors and accept that everyone has differences - yet we have sameness as well. Pull up a chair, have a cup of java, and chat about it.

    It's not uncommon to not want to tell "whole stories". The whole community doesn't need to know everything. From time to time you will find someone special within the community to confide specific info to and chat more privately with.

    Bad dreams can be a pain in the butt for sure. They can steal your focus. They can even induce emotions that are not appropriate to anything that happens to you at the time. Probably everyone has had a dream in which someone has done something bad to them and they awake mad at that person. I have woken up so mad at people I have asked them to please leave
    me alone for the day. LOL.

    I have bad dreams too periodically. They usually happen when I am totally alone with no one to turn to for help and have reason to have some fear in the outcome of the situation. Not much you can do about it but keep working on getting over the rough spots and move ahead. These dreams can zap your resolve and energy to work something out - but that's when you really need to get tough and find a way to get around the roadblock. It's the only way to get the dreams to leave you.

    Now you have had problems lately, been saddened over losing a friend, moved your residence, just to hit what you have posted about. You are probably just undergoing a bit of insecurity from being juggled around so much at one time. Do something today that validates your value to yourself. It will help remind you that you can't be held down against your will - you have escaped before and you can do it again if need be.

    I hope that knowing that people here have come to know you, like you, and care what happens to you helps make a difference.
  • Profile picture of the author acreativetouch
    I was kidnapped as an infant and raised by a sociopath who thought I was out to break up his marriage. I think he had severe ptsd from WWII and the Korean War. He believed I was the "enemy", and tried several times to kill me (or threatened to several times). My mom was too beat down to protect me. I was also bullied in school. Those kids were as psychotic as my adopted father. Then, I married "dear old dad". My X was also psychotically abusive.

    So how do we cope? I dive deeply into my faith. I resolve to use my life to honor my biological family who DID love me. I also ( as crazy as this sounds ) believe that all things, even the worse ones have a purpose in our lives. Just like a beautiful painting has to have dark contrast to bring out the lighter, more vibrant colors, so do our lives.

    Forgiveness...how can you forgive a person being what they are? A snake is a snake. A crocodile is a crocodile. These people are who they were destined to be. AN SO ARE WE. The thing is, we choose who we are every minute of every day. I chose to not be a clone of those people but to honor the good things in life. We always have a choice between good and evil, our good inclinations and are evil inclinations. By choosing good, I dismantle a bit of their programming, and empower the positive energy in my life.

    I use acupuncture, somato-emotional release, herbs to help release the emotional cysts of repressed pain that has been encapsulated, a protective mechanism. I write, journal which releases pent up emotion. Fiction, short stories are a way that I cope. Also there is painting, artwork. All the the aspects in life are tools. It's learning how to use the tools given us...even horrible childhoods is one very important key.

    I cannot undo the past. I work daily to not live in the past ( I do that one a lot ). I can accept what was, and move forward with my life now. this forum helps a lot. Friends, getting out of the house, focusing on positive things helps. Exercising releases endorphins which combat depression and helps with focus.

    I hope this helps, just keep going forward, appreciate the good things given to you.

    Dorothy
  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    Dorothy what is somato emotional release and what herbs help?
    I also do writing to help.
  • Profile picture of the author Sam I Am
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  • Profile picture of the author Li Weng
    I know it's difficult but you have to focus on your life now rather than thinking about the past. When you do think about the past, choose to think about the good times and not the bad.

    What's happened had happened and there's nothing you can do about it. You probably can't forget what you've been through and you don't need to, but you can choose not to think about it. Dwelling on negative events in the past doesn't help, because those events are not something you have control over now. And if you think about it, it's just going to bring you more unnecessary negative emotions. It's enough to have experienced it once, don't make yourself experience those bad feelings over and over again. You can make that choice.

    Don't look back. It's better to look what you have right now and appreciate it.
  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    I always loved Gahlil Gibran ('The Prophet') who said

    'your children are born through you not to you'.

    I always took it as proof that parents have no business oppressing anyone or imposing their beliefs on them.

    ... but looking at it from another perspective, You are your own person and nothing anyone can do to you has to stick. Just peel it off a little at a time. The better you feel about yourself, the more negative energy you will strip away.

    Another one I like is 'Fathers, do not drive your children to wrath'

    I know extreme wrath and it is just more poison. GET UP OFF OF IT!

    So is feeling like a victim. We project it - it's like a sign that says 'kick me'. There are so many cruel people - some who I just don't understand how they don't realize they are.

    Like they say in Al-Anon - 'you can't change anybody else, all you can do is change how you deal with them.'

    Nobody is ever going to apologize either. Probably no prince on a white horse will come and kiss all of our OWies away. (I am having trouble accepting this one)

    So what can I say, we all just have to live with the 'wounded inner child' and try to be good to ourselves if nobody else will. (bummer nobody comes when you cry)

    I agree writing is very therapeutic - and I have written since I was a suicidal teenager. Great stuff. It is as if to write it all down just gets rid of it on some level.

    Since then I will write notebooks and boxes full of notebooks and then I have a big ritual and burn the whole thing.

    Music also really helps me get through rough spots. Punk Rock is great for wrath and angst. Regular rock is just good to feel happy.

    For a while I did the binaural beat tapes and brain training - hey that's what you need brain training! LOL

    It uses sound to reach places others meditate for years to reach. It is pretty powerful stuff alright. Very positive.

    The last suggestion is NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming. Now I am no Life Coach but I did talk to one a few times.

    Just real real basic. When you feel like crap all the time you begin to carve neurological pathways in your brain - just like a car driving over mud will leave tire prints.

    You have to reprogram those pathways. Everytime you are starting to have a bad feeling or thought, you think of something happy and pleasant. Think of something you have accomplished or you did well.

    You have to practice but it doesn't take long to just replace all the bad thoughts with good ones if your are diligent. I am about 50% good at that, but still can get into a complete pit of dispair.

    Hope I said something that you can relate to and you find your thing that will help you get past the rough patches.
  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    Ya know what's weird? Or maybe it's not. But I was listening to African tribal drums, these deep drums and it calmed, relaxed and soothed me. It helped me go to sleep I had them playing and then went to sleep before I knew it. That African tribal music is really therapeutic at least it was for me.

    Then I listened to a sample of elvendrums Drumstruck. Elvendrums ::: Sound - Drumstruck -listen to sample online. hmm I want that cd for xmas may be my gift for myself. Even though it's Irish which makes me think of that awful Thomas :p
    Same thing. No other music or words or singing just drums. It's good.

    So I was wondering if it was weird to be soothed by drumming then I came across some article about drums having therapeutic properties and sages n ppl used them for meditation, trances, healing, and ceremonies. So I guess I stumbled upon something therapeutic by accident.
  • Profile picture of the author 4tune
    In your own time and way.. I would say know your not alone, It happens to more people than is known about and
    well I can't really say much more, we all do things differently to cope, Keep faith that justice will prevail in the end..

    Girl I have been a witness to Karma so many times, It's a real thing! And it's helped me to cope many a time with my own hard times. I should have kept journals!
  • Profile picture of the author dantealigre
    I know that to forgive and forget is easier said than done. I highly recommend books of Philip Yancey such as "Where is God when it Hurts", "Disappointment with God" or Harold Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

    The wisdom I got from those books had helped me deal my own problem with deep hurts.
  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    My God , some great advice here and some terrible stuff.
    I see a lot of "I had a terrible life" posts. But the bottom line is, and you can believe me on this or not, but there is always someone out there that is in worse shape than you or is having a worse life than you.
    Another thing to realize is that it can always get worse for you.
    Over the years I have known many people that have complained about how they come from a dysfunctional family,like they were the only ones.
    I have not met ANY family that is not dysfunctional. It's part of life.
    I used to spend way too much time dwelling on what could have been, or or why did so and so do this to me ,or on why did this happen in my life.
    I've had a fairly good life,but only because I chose for it to be that way.
    Like many of the other posters in this thread,many things happened to me while reaching adulthood that were atrocious, but all that did was motivate me to do better.
    Now, I'm at that point in life that should have been a piece of cake,but isn't because my world fell apart on me two years ago.
    Even though I put up a blog about what has happened to me, I really don't think anyone can understand what I deal with on a daily basis.
    And every time I think I have overcome one obstacle, another is tossed in my way.
    I could go on and on, but I'm not going to.
    You may never be able to forgive and forget. You will run into people for the rest of your life that will try to ruin things for you, both personally and professionally,it's up to you to not let them.
    Pat gave some very good advice and information.Read The Prophet. I was about your age when someone first gave me a copy. And admittedly,it was hard for me to understand at the time,but over the years I read it again and again.
    NLP can be very helpful to some. My brother in law is a certified trainer.
    My oldest sister is a Reverend.
    I myself probably have one of the largest collections of books on dealing with the problems mentioned in this thread that most of you would ever see,because at one time I was studying psychology.

    I think the best thing you or anyone else can do is strive to be the best person YOU can be,and don't even thin about what was or what could have been. Only look to the future, the only thing the past is good for is to learn from it.

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