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It's True.

This is a concept that most people forget on a daily basis. You can't change the past--a minute ago, included, is the past. So what if you can't change it? That just means you have to push forward and make the future better.

I need to remember this, myself. I may not be able to change anything that has happened in my past, but I can change how it will effect me in the future.

I can't change the fact that my father did terrible things to me, but I can change the future and how I deal wit it. I can stop it from becoming a defining characteristic of my life and make sure that when I have kids one day, I'll never let the same thing happen to them.

I can't change the fact that I broke up with my ex, which believe me, I do not regret. But I can continue to look at it and gain all of the knowledge I can from such a terrible relationship. I can take that knowledge and pass it along to my sister as well when she starts dating, and give her signs to watch out for--such as her bf being an alcoholic like mine was, if it ever comes to that (which, I pray, never happens.)

I can't change the fact that I stopped going to church for as long as I did, but I can change that in my future and I'm doing it now.

I can't change that the man I'm with now and I didn't talk for over a year because of the way our conversation had ended, but I can cherish every moment I get to spend with him now and talk to him, as well as holding him. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Why should we want to change our past? Everything happens for a reason. If my dad wouldn't have done bad things to me, I wouldn't have found out about what he was doing to my sister and wouldn't have been able to have the courage to stand up with her and have him locked away and get justice for us and all of the other girls he did those things to. If I wouldn't have locked him up, I wouldn't have been able to see my life at that house for what it really was. If I wouldn't have distanced myself from that, I wouldn't have talked to my current boyfriend and then stopped because of circumstances I didn't understand then that I do now. If I wouldn't have done that, I wouldn't have met my now-ex. If I wouldn't have met him and gotten with him, I would still be living with my mom and sister in a house I couldn't stand. If I wouldn't have broken up with that man, I would be living with an alcoholic still. If I hadn't broken up with him, I would not be with the man I am with now, about to get a house together and be engaged.

I have learned that everything really does happen for a reason, and good reasons despite hardly ever understanding what those reasonings are at the time.

But no, we can't change the past, and we shouldn't want to. Our past is what has helped us get to where we are, and the past is what guarantees us our future.
Shebby88 Shebby88 18-21, F 19 Responses Nov 9, 2012

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You sound so wise

Thank you. :)

This is a bit off topic from your intended post, but......actually, if one can acknowledge that time itself, is just an illusion, and that there is really only a vast endless NOW, then the past can indeed be changed. In fact, every time you recall a past experience, it is perceived a bit differently, in accordance to your own perceived personal growth.

For example, new found wisdom about our "past" experiences, can shift how we perceive what has happened to us in our so called past.

Everything we do right now, moves out into our so called past, as well as into our so called future. Nothing is a static as most people believe or assume. In truth, there is really no such thing as a closed static system.

Today I reread your post, :You are a strong and very wise young lady. You are an inspiration to others going through similar experiences.
Your sister is lucky to have such a loving sister to guide her
Blessed Be both of you

Thank you so much for your kind words. :)

wow, that clarified ghosts that had been following me since childhood. Thank You.

I'm happy it could help. :)

that take courage to let go of the past. not everyone can and i feel for them.

A wonderful post, thank you for sharing with us, and I agree with you
Blessed Be

Thank you for taking the time to read it. :)

heeelllllooooo

Hello. :)

I believe it only becomes a problem if it effects one's ability to sustain him/herself as far as livelyhood goes , anything else should be embraced wheather it be good or bad take it all in you'll be a more rounded person equipped & ready to take on anything that should come your way. theres no substitute for experience i say.

That makes sense. Sometimes it's difficult to accept bad experiences with a positive outlook, but it really does help in the healing process.

So true

Great post..... A man without a pass is like a tree without a root .....you live and you learn...... You forgive but don't forget, a lot of people forget and make the same mistake all over again our pass really guarantees our future. You have done well keep on progressing and reaching your goals. Blessings.

I agree. It's difficult to resist the urge to forget everything, but it's what stops us from repeating it.

Thank you. :)

In your young life, you have sufffered a great deal, but if you hang on to your positive outlook, you will get through it. Every year, no matter how bad the ice and snow of winter, daffodils bloom in the spring, and one day, I hope that you will bloom. Stay strong, the best is yet to come.

Thank you very much. Your comment was a very nice reminder for me. :)

I agree. Things happen for a reason although we don't understand why... we should stop calling events "good" or "bad" and so on, I mean they seem to be "good" or "bad" in that moment but we cannot know or accept they are happening because they have to occur that way... Despite it's cloudy, sun is always lighting...

@ Happyfelisa: Yes, I do very much agree with you. We would not be who we are if we didn't have "good" or "bad" things happen to us, and either way what has happened has happened, and it won't change. Honestly, I believe we should chalk it up as lessons learned.

@ Trevmorr094: You make a good point, very thoughtful.

I am so proud of you , I wish you best of luck and prosperity in you life now and in your future lots of love .

Thank you so much. I really appreciate that, and the same for you. :)

And if all those things haven't occured to you, you wouldn't have written this wonderful story for us. Thank you.

Thank you for such a kind comment. :)

You're welcome.

Very thoughtful. Yes, we can work toward a better "present" and a better "future".
That's what I'm gonna do in 2013 !.

Thank you. :) And same here--a few things have changed since I wrote this, including breaking up with my fiance, but in 2013 I'm living for me and making the best of life. :) Best of luck to you!

And to you !

“There is an alternative to throwing our hands in the air and giving up when things don’t go our way. If we want more out of life, it starts with the person in the mirror…and a willingness to go the extra mile.” – Shawn Anderson, Executive Director

https://www.facebook.com/ExtraMileAmerica

A wonderful quote. :)

Great FB page Shawn, thank you


Michelle

Thanks Shebby88.

You are most welcome, sensualspirit.

You're welcome. :)

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Hello Shebby
What you say is a powerful awareness (that the past can't be changed and even a minute ago is the past). The sad thing is that most people read this, nod their heads in agreement, and then carry on resisting the past. It doesn't stop at a minute ago by the way. Even the present can never be changed. We can never 'undo what already is'; we can only ever change the next moment or the future. Practically every negative thought (studies tell us 97% of all negative thoughts) involve resisting the past or present. Either we're wanting something that's happened not to have happened or we're wanting a situation that exists right now not to exist right now. Neither of course is possible. So they're all crazy thoughts. The only exception (the other 3%) is worrying about the future and if I had the time I could convince your readers that this is crazy too. We live in a crazy world. Everyone resisting what was, what is or what will be. All this is the basis of a relatively new psychology called Acceptance-Action Therapy (AAT) and Acceptance-Action Training. It's having a profound effect on people's lives by teaching some thing called 'Positive Acceptance' that moves us out of resistance and into acceptance (of 'what is') and action to improve the future ..... exactly what you're wisely saying.

Thank you very much for your comment--it added more insight into what I was already saying. I have been been guilty of dreading the past and the future, even recently so. But yes, once we accept that what has happened has happened, and start forcing ourselves to understand what we must do to ensure a more positive future, we'll be doing ourselves a much better justice. I think it would help in the battle against some mild forms of depression, as well, because stressing over such things has a lot to do with it.

@Graham, I added you as a friend.

Lovely post Shebby. Thank you for the reminder. I'm glad things have worked out for you & others even if they haven't worked out for me.

I support your struggle & your embracing of the knowledge.

Be well.


Michelle

You're welcome--and thank you for your comment. :) I hope things get better for you. I've recently split with my fiance, so I understand that things get hard, but we just have to keep a positive outlook. I do hope things start looking up for you, and feel free to message me should you need someone to talk to. :)

Thank you. :)

I am currently in the process of permanently splitting from mine. Some break ups should be celebrated rather than mourned. "Here's to the men that we love, here's to the men that love us. But the men that we love will never love us so **** all that, here's to us." Quote from Dirty Love. I like your outlook on things anyway. I've been in and out of depression and I have to say that if you can remain this positive when you approach your late 20's you have it made. The thing is we will always repeat the patterns we learned growing up. The relationships we form when we are young show us how to form relationships as we grow. We might attract the same patterns as to try and work them out differently and if we can recognize these early signs when the pattern begins to occur again in a new relationship we can learn new skills and tools that will not enable these patterns to continue for long. Hopefully over time breaking away from old patterns and creating new healthier ones.

First off, I love that quote. :) And I'm sorry that you're having to split from yours as well, but we're stronger for it. :)

Thank you. I battle with depression and Bi-Polar II Disorder, myself, and so I know how rough it is. It's very difficult to maintain a positive outlook, I won't lie, but I also keep telling myself that things will get better--but the only way that they're going to get better is if I take the steps and allow them to. Most of the time, I am the one who keeps things from taking a turn for the better, because at a young age I had no control over what happened, and I've realized this. I think that looking at it that way helps me a lot.

That is an excellent statement, and a very true one despite the fact that I would have denied it three years ago. As it's said in my story, I am a victim of child abuse, and I have realized that both long-term relationships that I have been in have ended up with me being put through some sort of abuse again. My first ex was an alcoholic sociopath who stole what was left of my self esteem (most of it had been trying to recover after what happened with my father), and who made me feel worthless. The one I just left turned out to be a drug abuser (who is now seeking help, thankfully) who stole over a thousand dollars from me and didn't treat me right. So, I've started to realize that I'm getting into a pattern, and that's ultimately what I believe is going to help me get out of it--by realizing and accepting that this is what is happening.

I think admitting when we're going through these things, or allowing ourselves to become stronger because of it, is what initially helps us to better things--and ourselves, in the long run.

But, as far as love goes, for people like us who have been abused tend to fall for those who do similar things, but in different ways. A favorite quote of mine from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" suits the situation perfectly, as I see it:

"We accept the love we think we deserve."

It's the mentality that we have to get out of--and I'm no saint to it, either. I am personally guilty of this.

Thank you Shebby & yes, I could tell you are well beyond your years. Kudos for your wisdom & pushing thru the pain. I can feel it.

I added you to my circle b/c I couldn't find the friend button LOL

Reach out if you'd like.

Hugs


Michelle

Thank you. :) Yes, I've been told this quite a bit, that I seem older than I am (considering I'm nineteen), and I consider it a positive thing. I have to, considering the circumstances that surrounded the need to grow up faster than I was supposed to. :)

Thank you. :) I work every day to become stronger, and do what I can to help others when possible.

Lol, I'll go ahead and add you back.

Thank you, and the same goes for you should you ever need someone to talk to.

Shelby

Yeah and don't forget from this you have learned exceptional skills such as the ability to spot these people out. The re occurring pattern makes sense as when we feel a sort of familiarity we apply our learned behaviors such as learning how to cope and adapt for our own survival. We may be aware the relationship is unhealthy setting off triggers & the ways they are being dealt are more damaging than not. For those of us who've been abused we go back into coping & surviving mode if the relationship is one sided or unsupportive and lacking nuture.

Wisdoms beyond your years you will later come to find is part of being emotionally independent. One day you may mourn the loss of your youth as being adultified or abused will force a person to grow up quickly. Once you go through certain things at a young age it's hard to relate with others your age unless they've gone through similar experiences. Usually others who have been there will have serious issues. Learning skills to protect yourself such as not trusting too easily or giving too much when very little is reciprocated is something I've come to value till this day. It sounds like you may be a warm hearted individual & so naturally you will attract all kinds of people including predators. Although they don't always appear that way at first. Being young & pretty makes you even more vulnerable. Don't let anyone determine your value or confidence or look to others for validation.

The recurring pattern of abuse makes sense, because it's what we're taught from a young age. Whether we have learned otherwise or not in our adult life, it's still instilled in us as far as what to expect. I do what I can to avoid people like that now, while at the same time retaining my knowledge so that I can pass it along to others as well.

And yes, I've learned about the wisdom as well. I have occasionally been very upset because of losing the opportunity at a real childhood. It was stolen from me, and I find myself envying children that I see that are truly happy, but then I realize that I should be happy for them because they get to have what I never did, and they deserve it. It's difficult, but it's nice to know that not everyone has to go through such terrible things.

I'm overly kind to people to the point of self destruction at times, but I'm getting better about making sure to care for myself first.

Thank you very much for the kind words and good advice. I truly appreciate it.

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I agree. I too have experienced horrific abuse by the hands of my stepfather while my mother allowed it to happen. I also know what it's like to learn wisdom from those experiences and what it's like to see the big picture like you. I am okay now but I still react to triggers because of the PTSD and it knocks me back two steps in my spiritual and emotional growth sometimes. I am glad you can use what you learned and teach your sister. It also helps to be an example of strength for her to follow. So many people give up and turn to addictions. I have none. I welcome you to free yourself as well if you already haven't because there is genuine peace in that.

I'm sorry that you have had to go through that as well, but it really does cause one to become much wiser. Triggers are one of the hardest things to deal with, and I am happy to know that I'm not the only one who hasn't turned to an addiction to deal with these kinds of stress. And thank you. :)

"Triggers are one of the hardest things to deal with, and I am happy to know that I'm not the only one who hasn't turned to an addiction to deal with these kinds of stress. "
It's nice to know there are others out there like me because it seems so many people I know are addicted to something from weed to cigs to alcohol to forms of abuse.

Exactly, and it's sad. I understand the hardships of people who have gone through things that create triggers or anything of the sort, but in the end, any form of addiction will only make it worse, because addictions make us feel worse about ourselves. I've seen too many people destroyed as people because of it, or killed.

I'm so impressed with what you guys are doing. Understanding the impacts of our past, including childhood abuse, becoming aware of resulting patterns. Very powerful. Here's something that might help. Stop resisting the past. Shebby already talked about that. And stop trying to directly change what's going on inside. We psychologists have spent decades trying to do that and have finally realised that the most powerful way to achieve internal change is to accept (for now) what's going on inside .... uncomfortable feelings, sense of insecurity, etc .... and focus on changing our behaviour. It's really tough to directly change uncomfortable feelings and the unconscious beliefs that are driving them, that result from our past. But we can always choose what we do. And the amazing thing is that if we accept our feelings and change our behaviour, there's a powerful feedback loop that changes the beliefs and patterns that, up to now, have been driving our feelings and unproductive behaviour. If we continue to resist our feelings and behave in ways that are driven by them, we'll continue to reinforce the beliefs that are driving the feelings. So if we're depressed and withdraw, we'll reinforce the unconscious beliefs that are driving the depression. If we accept the feeling while we fully engage in life, we'll unwind them. If you stay in an abusive relationship, you'll reinforce the beliefs that drove you into it. Accept the past and the resulting uncomfortable feelings .... then dump him and find someone better ... and you'll unwind those beliefs. It's called 'accept the feeling, choose the action' ... the most powerful tool I know of for creating permanent internal change.

You have a very good point, and I greatly respect you for being able to say those things. It really is a matter of how you handle things that can have the biggest impact. As you said, with depression and the like, it's very easy to withdraw and dwell on the emotions and feelings that go with it (I'm guilty of doing this at times), but I've found that it's best if I DO go into work instead of calling out, or if I go out and hang with a friend that I enjoy being around. Constant contact with others, or even doing mundane tasks, can help quite a bit because you aren't allowing yourself to be overpowered by the depression.

Thank you so much for your support and kind words.

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