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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

People from my past don’t acknowledge that I moved on

Home Forums Advice & Chat People from my past don’t acknowledge that I moved on

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  • #1116887 Reply
    Sylvi
    Guest

    I grew up in a completely dysfunctional country and a dysfunctional family. When I was 23 I moved abroad to study and then eventually left to live on another continent. I stayed superficially in touch with some people mostly through facebook, but then last few years before the pandemic didn’t have much contact with anyone. I was always depressed and suicidal while living back there, and once I moved away I became really happy and fulfilled and finally started feeling like “myself”. Then I find out that despite so much time has passed since I left and even visited, people there still feel like I live there and like we have some kind of unbreakable bond and that I am somehow accountable to them (this is both friends and family). It seems no matter how long I am gone or how much I have changed they still think they have some kind of “right” over me. I was mostly shocked when few years ago I asked one friend who had also moved away some time ago for some help as I had an emergency, but instead of helping me she messaged all the people I lost touch with long ago and then they even called my mother who I haven’t been in contact with for years. Apparently they all spread gossip about how I am “unwell” as if I am mentally unwell, though I needed help with completely practical things and was feeling great otherwise despite everything. Since then my father, who was the only person I had some kind of relationship with started treating me differently like I need to be punished or controlled. How can I let this people know to f** off from my life for good? I blocked some of them on facebook but I’m not sure they got the message.

    #1116888 Reply
    Avatar photoCopa
    Participant

    So I guess I’m not sure if I totally followed this. The one incident you cite was several years ago and you don’t mention why you think people haven’t gotten the message. But, if you’re trying to totally cut people off, you set that boundary by not having any communication in any form/on any platform.

    #1116889 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    So, a few years ago you reached out to a single friend from back home, who mentioned something to your parents and at least another person, or at least enough people for you to hear about it and decide there is a vast conspiracy against you? Or do you think maybe those people, some of them at least, could maybe care about you and worry about your health? And you said this happened a few years ago. Did you block them then, or just now?

    I don’t know without more information but maybe you should talk to someone about this, like a therapist if, years later, even though you live away and have cut contact with all of these people, you are still thinking about this.

    Why do you think people believe they have a “hold” over you? What does that mean? People love to gossip. People also like to know how people they care about are

    #1116890 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    I’m sorry, I didn’t quite want to submit that then. It sounds like your upset specifically about one situation. Otherwise, I doubt really anyone believes they have a right over you? But they might ask about you, because you’re the one who got out, you know? You’re unusual.

    #1116895 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    You need to decide what you want. If you want separation from former friends and acquaintances in your old country, you need only to block them. It seems you started this by dumping your woes onto one such friend who also had moved abroad. You don’t say what your emergency was (although you say it wasn’t mental health related) or what help you expected, but it seems like you frightened this friend regarding your current condition and friend didn’t feel able to help so contacted others. It’s clear that the person you contacted felt you were having mental health issues and needed help. Apparently someone they contacted felt the same and went to your family as the people most likely to be willing and able to help.

    You say life in your former country made you depressed and suicidal. Well, that’s the memory that folks you knew back then have of you. That’s why the former friend you contacted, seemingly out of the blue, for help became so worried.

    From family experience, I know this: people having a serious current mental health issue, often don’t recognize that they do. They are good, the rest of the world is crazy. Surely there are resources in your current location. Get an independent, professional appraisal of your current mental health. Also, since you say you have come into your own self and happiness after moving to a different continent, it’s more than passing strange that when you had this emergency you contacted someone from your past for help, rather than a friend in your current location. Do you have friends in your current location?

    #1116896 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    Anonymous has a good question. Why are you still so fixated upon this incident from a couple of years ago? There must be something serious in your current situation, which causes you to write about this now.

    Also from family experience: a person may ask for some practical help not related to mental health issues, but what they say and how they say it screams “mental health issue.” For whatever reason, that’s how you came across to your old friend.

    #1116897 Reply
    Avatar photoCopa
    Participant

    I wrote my response quickly yesterday, but one thing I meant to include was: What does it look like to have these people *acknowledge* that you have moved on? Like, are you waiting for people to affirmatively say this to you? Because silence is acknowledgment. If there is physical distance, you have the power to block people’s numbers, block them on social media, not give out your address, and otherwise set the boundaries you wish around communication. Barring regular unwanted contact in some form, which seems like it’d be difficult given the distance and your blocking those you do not wish to hear from, I don’t really understand why you’d need to tell people to fuck off for good. More context would help. And yes, if there are events from the past that you need help moving on from or need a safe space to unpack your dysfunctional upbringing, therapy can help.

    #1116900 Reply
    Anonymousse
    Guest

    I do think it’s interesting that the title of your post is “people from my past don’t acknowledge I’ve moved on.”

    That would be contact, asking common friends what you’re up to, that you say you don’t want. Everyone you grew up with is in their life, doing their things, for better or worse. They are not overly concerned with what you’re doing or to what extent you’ve moved on- especially if you have no contact with them.

    It just sounds like there’s this tension- you don’t want anyone talking about you or your life, but you want acknowledgment that you’ve moved on.

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