Why can't I get over my past?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2004
Why can't I get over my past?
3
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 10:42am

I am a 36 year old divorced woman.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 1:55pm

hey, welcome to the board. don't be embarrassed - we have lots of family-related conversations here. feel free to browse through some of the older threads; you may find something that will help.


it sounds like your parents are very fearful people (controlling/abusing others is a sign of insecurity, which is just fear in disguise). you are right in that you can't change them, but you can change how you interact with them. my mom is a very critical person, and it's hard for me to tell her something personal about my life without her freaking out and saying why i shouldn't do something or how i'm just going to fail, etc., etc. a friend of mine said that i can't control her criticism but i can limit my exposure to it. he suggested that i either (a) talk to her less often or (b) come up with a list of "safe" subjects to talk about. you said that you talk to your parents every day; is that because you want to, or because you think you're expected to? if you don't want to talk to your parents every day, then don't. they might not like it, but they'll deal with it. if you must talk to them daily, then find some safe topics that won't upset them or make you uncomfortable. my mom's and my safe topics are our dogs, our jobs, the weather, movies, my grandparents, family gossip, food, and politics, just to give you an idea. it might sound stupid, the idea of making small talk with your parents, but you are an adult now and are entitled not only to some privacy but to living your life as you wish, and this requires setting some boundaries.


think of it this way: you are 36, living on your own, starting a new life. you want to flourish in your new life, right? then you have to take care of yourself first. that means eating right, getting enough exercise, getting enough rest, doing

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2009
Sun, 01-17-2010 - 7:06pm
That is all very good advise, hpants. I'd just add that it sounds as maybe you haven't found the right therapist. If you're dealing with "being chased by your past" issues, cognitive therapy vs traditional is a better approach. Something I know a lot about, unfortunately.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Sun, 01-17-2010 - 7:32pm
very good point. cognitive therapy can help you recognize your thought patterns and figure out how to change them (if you want to, that is). it's something i've always wanted to try for myself, actually.