How can I recover from previous inappropriate actions?
August 9, 2013 6:49 AM Subscribe
When I was in my late teens and early twenties I did some really weird and retrospectively embarrassing things. How can I stop obsessing over these mistakes and move on? Now that I am relatively "normal", how can I do damage control when my past actions are brought to light?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (38 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
I am female, happily married, and now in my late twenties. I feel relatively stable and "normal" now with occasional feelings of insecurity, shame, and awkwardness. These feelings are very strong when I am confronted with memories of early college or an unexpected meeting with a person from my past who I haven't seen in a long time. This has been occurring more often since we recently moved to a bigger city and run into more people.
I was raised by parents who, among other things, made bad social decisions and encouraged me to behave similarly. It took me a long time to break those negative behavior patterns. My reaction to having been emotionally abused, taught poor social skills, and struggling with financial security was to become overly emotional and weird in my attempts to seek approval from others. In the past I "burned bridges", cried too often and too easily, had a difficult time controlling my emotional responses, divulged intimate details of my life too freely, made weird romantic or otherwise intimate advances to too many people, was overly self-deprecating, said awkward things while intoxicated, closely associated with others who behaved inappropriately, and in general said and did things I regret having said and done. How can I stop myself from ruminating on bad decisions? How can I show those who knew me then that I'm not the weird girl anymore?