The people who saw me in my worst moments and showed no support nor understanding. The people who decided they didn’t want to put the effort into the relationship between me and them, choosing to walk away. The people who just left without word nor any given reason, while I was left standing there, hurt because I cared.
These are my ghosts. These are my scars. These are my memories that may leave me feeling insecure and unable to trust easily.
I say ‘may’ because though these past experiences continue to haunt me, I’ve been working on decreasing their effects. It’s been a difficult inner struggle, partially because when I began trying to improve myself in this regard, the lack of trust had already been rooted in me for awhile. As well, there was the fact that as I struggled with those whom in my past had ‘left’, people in my current life gave me that vibe as well.
These are ghosts I’m still fighting to banish. In the last while, I haven’t felt or thought about them and happened to think I’d successfully gotten rid of them. Alas, last night, they returned. Hence, I know I’ve still got some work to do – and that’s okay.
It’s alright because I’ve gotten this far and I know I can continue to work on moving past these ghosts. I’m working toward the future, not looking behind at the past – and that’s one of the first steps one can take.
I don’t know what haunts you. Maybe it’s a similar trial you face, where trust is difficult to give because people have let you down. Maybe it’s something completely different. It doesn’t necessarily have to be people that haunt you – it could be events, words, anything. However, know that you can move on and forward from it. You have the strength and ability to do those things.
Here are some tips on what has help me in my fight with the ghosts:
- Know that what haunts you is a specific person/event/action/word, or a few of them. These are specific cases. Even if you have a collection of them – that doesn’t mean every individual/situation will be the same as those.
- If you have someone you do trust and you think will understand, talk to them about these ghosts. Let them know your story and how these past experiences still affect you today. Having someone else who understands what you’re going through is really helpful.
- Don’t let the past stop you from trying to move forward. An example from my life is making new friends. When I left my hometown for university, I had no one I knew with me. Sure, I could still keep in touch with my high school friends, but it wasn’t as if they were with me. Thus, I had to make new friends and that included slowly giving out trust. That’s typically a part of the friendship process but for me, it was even more important. So I’d hang out with these people and see how they responded to what I said, what I did. Now I have all these amazing people I’ve met and am so grateful to have them in my life. If I hadn’t given the opportunities for people to show me they could be trusted, then – well, I don’t want to even consider where I’d be.
- Remember that you can’t control everything. Especially when it’s a relationship – that takes two people. Others will do what they want to and feel like, and there’s nothing you can do about that. You may have done everything you possibly could have done in the moments you were with them. Put on the mindset of it being their loss.
- Above all, don’t lose hope that you can get past these things. You are strong. Keep heart. You can do this. There’s only one you and that’s because you’re simply amazing.
By Janice Lam, @lamjylam
Do you have any other strategies for how to move past your ghosts? Comment below!