Dear Therapist: How do I find out if I’ve moved on?

Making sense of the world we inhabit

By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Thu 24 Feb 2022, 8:55 PM

The person I’m seeing keeps bringing up my past. Even though I’ve moved on, it still bothers and I don’t like thinking about it. How do I find out if I’ve truly buried my past? — Name Withheld

Dear Writer, avoidance is one important sign that indicates you may not have buried your past or made peace with it. Not wanting to talk about it, pushing away thoughts related to it, denying its existence or minimising its significance are some of the ways that we avoid addressing any issue. It is quite possible that there are unresolved feelings or pain stemming from the past that you do not wish to experience. It is in human nature to avoid distress, but it is this avoidance that makes them larger than life and keep us stuck. Unresolved trauma or pain can also manifest and interfere with current relationships, which may be the reason your partner keeps bringing it up.

Perhaps it is time you brought your past to the forefront and acknowledge how it has affected you (or continues to do so). Only when you own your experiences, can they stop troubling you. Until then, you will continue to be victim of your past.

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