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Damn the past!!!
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dfromspencer posted:
Hi

I really want to have a relationship, one that is loving, and caring, and romantic, but not mindful of the past!

Why must people be so judgemental of something that happened over twenty years ago? Especially since there has been no problems since then? Not even a jaywalking ticket, LOL!!! As soon as the lady learns of my past, they seem so anxious to get away from me. Yes, it was something bad, really bad. I am so ashamed of what I became! I let drugs and alcohol destroy my mind, I became someone whom I despised myself. I can't take it back. I have forgiven myself, and so have my victims. Yet, each and every time I put myself out there, and the lady finds out, that's it, they're gone in seconds!

My question is this, why can't people forgive? And this, why can't people judge me for who I am today, and not from twenty plus years ago?

I no longer drink, or use drugs that are not prescribed by an M.D.! My mind is clear, and I am "ME" again. So, why are people so judgemental of our pasts? It is the past, not the now, or the future! I feel so hopeless because of this, so helpless!!! Must I be sentenced to "Life alone"???

I hope there is some lady's out there, that are not judgemental? I keep my fingers crossed. How long must we punish someone? How long? Even though I have done everything in my power to change, and be a good man, my past still haunts me. What will it take to make someone see me for who I am today? What will it take, to prove myself worthy, again???

Any, and all help appreciated!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
Reply
 
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rohvannyn responded:
I haven't been there myself but I can understand how you feel. My own spouse has a checkered history, which she has surpassed with great courage and determination. She is NOT the person she once was and yet there are many in her life who would punish her for it endlessly if they knew.

It seems that so many folks just can't forget the past. Is it that they're afraid they can't overcome theirs, so they assume you can't overcome yours?

Personally, I'd have the urge to not talk about my past under those conditions but it's not good to start a relationship on a basis of omission. Perhaps focusing on who you are now, and talking about your past only in the context of how happy you are to have completely transformed yourself, might help? So much is dependent on context and what others understand of what you are saying, the message they take from it.

I wish you the best. You deserve the happiness and peace of a trusting relationship.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
Dennis, I wish I had a good answer for you. I don't. What I can tell you is that people make judgments all the time as a necessary way to get through the world. They tend to take whatever information they have about something and judge how to respond based on that - even though there might be much more to the situation.


This is obviously a complex and very personal situation; something that's difficult, if not impossible, to delve into and resolve on an internet forum. However, I can tell you this:

So, my hope for you would be that when you share your past with someone, they would have enough of a sense of the current you that this history would be a small piece of their knowledge of you; not a major piece that overshadows everything else and that they judge you on. Of course, the more problematic that piece is, the more sure they will have to be to overcome their judgment of you based on this.
 
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dfromspencer replied to rohvannyn's response:
Hi, Roh

Yes, you understand this perfectly! I feel for your wife, if she has ever had to face a problem like this! It does not feel good, not when you've put yourself out there. I don't ever blurt it out, I try to let them see me for who I am today, first. Then, I tell them that I have a bit of a past, and if they would like, I would tell them. As soon as I do, they act as if nothings wrong, but the next time I call, or write, I get a very cold shoulder, or no response at all. It doesn't seem to matter to them that I have done everything right since that time.

I don't know how else to go about this? I most deffinately do not want to go into a relationship based on a lack of their understanding of my past, as we all have one. And the past always has a way of coming up.

I don't know, would it be better, or right, if I just omitted that part till we are more into the relationship? I just feel that that is the wrong thing to do, am I right? I feel that, everything needs to be put on the table, befor going further, like having sex, or even meeting their family for the first time?

I don't need to tell you, but this has me at my wits end.

Thank you, for your insights!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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dfromspencer replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
Hi, Dr. Becker-Phelps

Thank you! I give them 20 plus years of me as a good person, prior to telling them of my past. Appearently, this is not good enough? I don't get it, not so much as a jaywalking ticket, that's not good enough? I've made amends as best I could, I have done everything right, but no.

I'm starting to think that, its not good to tell anyone anything? I can't just omit the past, can I? Wouldn't that be like lying to them? I can't start a relationship based on lies, or even omissions. I won't do that! What can I do? That's what I need to know, what can I do, or say, to make someone feel its ok, that is it just my past not my now, or future?

This is driving me crazy! I still have no appointment to see my Psychologist at the V.A., and i'm going crazy now. What can I do?

Thanks again, Dr. Becker-Phelps!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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displaced83 replied to dfromspencer's response:
Perhaps you are simply not meeting the right woman? I don't know your past, obviously, but from all of the posts I've read on here, you seem like a very good person! Everyone has a past, everyone makes mistakes, it's a part of life.While not everyone has made the same types of mistakes, I feel it's what makes life exciting. No two people are alike, and the most important thing is that a person learns from their mistakes. I could see a woman not wanting to be with you if you are still making the same mistakes, but not if you've moved on and made yourself a better person! I wish I had other advice to give, but I think you simply need to meet a woman more deserving of the wonderful person you are.
 
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dfromspencer replied to displaced83's response:
Hi, Displaced

Wow, thank you for that! I agree! If one still makes the same mistakes, he should not be given another chance! I have made a new life for myself. I even moved away from the bad influences from my past. I tried living in Omaha, but it seemed that everyone I tried to meet, either drank, or did drugs. I do not want anything to do with that "CRAP", ever again!!!

I have been clean and sober for 16 years. I am very proud of that!!! Well, that's not quite true. I have had a couple of beers with my brother during special events. Events like Christmas, or the Super Bowl, but that's it! I no longer like the taste of it. So, I would have to say, I was clean and sober for 13 years. And only have one or two for a special occasion! I hope that doesn't make me a bad person?

I would love to work, if I could, and employers would hire me! But, alas and woe, it is not to be.

Thank you, for concidering me to be a wonderful person!!! I think I am, also!!! I believe that, it is people like you, that I need to meet? People who are more caring than others.

Thank you, again!!! Take care!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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displaced83 replied to dfromspencer's response:
Having a drink every now and then does not make you a bad person at all! It's when it takes over your life and makes you forget about those around you that it becomes a problem. When all you care about is your next drink, thats when you know you need help. I'm sure you already know all of this, and it sounds like you have done all you can to take care of the issue. All I can say is to keep trying. If you give up you could miss out on meeting a woman who will make you happier than you've ever been.
 
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rohvannyn replied to displaced83's response:
Agreed, having a beer or two now and again without letting it rule your life does not make you a bad person. LIving a good life, making amends and stopping doing the bad things you used to do in my opinion makes you stronger than if you had lived a perfect life from the start. It gives you understanding and compassion.

Society these days loves to punish endlessly those people they have chosen to target. If you do choose to disclose your past, make sure you are telling them that you are doing it because you live a life of honesty and integrity. You recognize the mistakes of your past, and they deserve to know what happened because you care about them, but the only effect it has on you now is to show you why you never want to do it again.

Good luck, friend.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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dfromspencer replied to displaced83's response:
Hi, Displaced

Yep, that's exactly right! And yes, that is exactly what I am looking for!! THE ONE! The one who will make me forget all else!!!

Thank you sooo much!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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dfromspencer replied to rohvannyn's response:
Hi, Roh

Thank you for that, my friend!!! That is what I tell them. I want them to know that I am a person of integrity, and that lying is a thing of my past. I feel that that is whats scaring them? Perhaps the women I have tried to get to know, fear that honesty with me? Maybe they feel a bit intimidated by that? Maybe they feel they would also have to be honest with me, and therefore, the intimidation? I just don't know? I will admit, I am confused!!!

Oh, you are so right about society continuously punishing those who have done wrong! I get that. My step mother feels that if you break the law, you should spend the rest of your life in prison. Even if its for a traffic violation. Can you believe that? I asked her one day if her son should still be in prison for selling drugs while in the Marines??? She said no, that was different. How, I asked? She flustered about, till I said it was her son, and that her family could do no wrong. She has since come around, and doesn't hate me anymore. LOL!!!

I can promise you one thing, I will never give up!!! I will continue to lead as healthy a life style as I can, and hopefully, one fine lady will come into my life? A lady who understands that the past is just that, the past. Not the here and now, nor the future.

Thank you for the good luck, I will deffinately need that!!!

I wish you all the best of luck!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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rohvannyn replied to dfromspencer's response:
To your stepmom: reformed criminals have families too, who believe THEY can do no wrong! Something for her to think about. I'm glad she's forgiven you!

Remember, somewhere some fine lady is sad because she thinks all the good men are taken. All she wants is a sweetheart like you who will be as devoted to her as she is to him. She wants someone with honesty and integrity to match hers. She is out there. I hope you find her so you can make each other happy.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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BalconyBelle replied to dfromspencer's response:
Dennis,

I agree with the other posters...it sounds as if you haven't met the one for you yet, and it's admirable that you've turned your life around and are living with integrity, honesty, ect...IMO, because of your past, you now have a very clear picture of who you don't want to be, and from your posts you've done an excellent job of moving beyond that and becoming the person you are now.

It is possible to find someone who will accept you as you are, and who will accept that your past is simply that: the past. My ex-fiance found that in me. Before we were together, he had a problem with alcohol, substance abuse, and he'd experimented with hard drugs. He told me about it, and while some of his previous actions made me uncomfortable, he was no longer that person. I knew who he was now, and I was proud of the changes that he'd made to no longer be the person he was then. I loved him, I trusted him, and I valued the fact that he trusted me enough to let me know what had given him the drive to be the wonderful person that I knew, instead of who he'd been before.
 
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dfromspencer replied to BalconyBelle's response:
@BalconyBelle, wow, you are SPOT ON!!! That is it, exactly!

Now, if only I can find her, eh???

Thank you, sooo much!!!
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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LUVishere replied to dfromspencer's response:
Dennis, life is hard, and relationships are very hard.. most people are scared too death of many many things, one being putting themselves out there, and the possibilitoies of being hurt or rejected, stolen from, used, or abused in some way. Maybe they are not as judgemental, as they are just unsure. We tend to base of decisions on the future with the experiences from the past. I can forgive someone, but would I date a child molester, one that is now rehabilitated, molested 40 years ago, NO.. not that I would think he would re offend or taht i condemn him before really getting to know him, but I would just think it would carry high risks to bring him into my life with me and my children. I think you should not look at it as they are so judgemental, as maybe they are just safe guarding. Maybe they havenot told you that they too had those same issues in the past, maybe they see it as not helping them, but as a hindremce, and out of fear of relapse. I think you are a very warm, caring man. I know that u get down and out, and I can surely see how depressing this must be. Maybe you should NOT tell the women as quickly as you have in the past. When they ask, just tell them not now, you will in good time. Treat them right, show them all of your fantastic pluses, and its not deceitful to eait and let them in on the negatives for a while. I surely would not blame a terrific guy. If u meet a lady that u really care for, then just play it cool, show your amazing personality, let her fall for you. When u trust her enough, tell her that because you care so much, you didnt want to open up until now. It would have no bearing on me. Drugs that is,, molestation yes,, that's a deal breaker for me,, Dennis, Ive been here for years, and I find you most appealing, You are very insightful, loving, warm, and genuine as well as intelligent. Do not let lonliness take a hold of your life! You have too much to offer, do not settle for less than an amazing women, and one that will see all that you have, and one that will be proud of the man that youve become. A real women will love you whole heartidly and love ALL of you, past, present and future!!


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