I've a theory on why introverted, socially-underdeveloped people like myself find it so very hard to forget-or forgive-certain events and trespasses in their life and find them occupying too much mind-space. I think our memory jars are too empty, filled with bad marbles and need a fill-up.
Let me explain. For the longest time, I could not let go of a grudge, or of hurtful memories. I thought it was just because I was an obsessive personality. (and maybe it is, a little). But tonight, as I was lying in bed (as it always is, when I'm getting ready to sleep, that's when the inspiration hits me so I need to get up and render my whole plan of getting a good night's rest moot), I believe I have sussed out the root of the problem, and it may be insightful to others.
People like myself who have led very sheltered lives with very few close friends and very little motivation to join in social activities like clubs, or trips, or excursions--people who, to be blunt, haven't really lived in the same way most other "normally" adjusted people do-- tend to have a paucity of "filler" experiences--every experience had is "significant" and intensified, engraving itself upon the memory and the psyche that much more impactfully than for the "well-adjusted", "well-rounded" sorts.
This results in the ghosts of the past being stronger and easier to see, and harder to slay. There's nothing to blunt the edge of the knife stabbed into your consciousness. It's there, seemingly always, and you have to dull the blade yourself, and chip it away, piece by piece, over the long course of years.For others what was a simple summer's diversion becomes a decades'-long scar to the introvert, a trauma-not-really-a-trauma but just as hard to shake.
Over time, and with effort, of course, one adjusts, one forgets, and one moves on. But it takes effort. Real, dedicated effort. I got past it, but didn't quite realise how until just now.
It's because I was able to displace them.
Consider our minds as jars that can hold "memory marbles". A regular person with a normal life's experiences has their jar almost full, and so one bad marble added in isn't really that noticeable in the mix and easily fades away. For someone whose jar is basically empty, though, each marble is significant, present, obvious and looming.
Whereas, for example,for an average person a meal shared wiith a date might be a casual everyday thing, for someone like me who (was) not used to such things, it's an event. An event with significance, meaning and weight. Something to be cherished and remembered.A shining marble front and centre.
Then let's say that date dumps me. The marble looms dark and cloudy, dominating the basically barren landscape.
Hurt is amplified, cutting deeply into an otherwise event-less existence which, one could argue was nominally safe and secure otherwise. Wounds are remembered and grieved over long after the other party has honestly just forgotten about it and moved on, not out of callousness, but just ordinary human nature. .
And as long as the Marble stands there towering, the memories dominate, insist upon themselves and cannot be avoided.
The trick then, as I believe I have learnt it over years, for people like me, who think too much, who remember too much, and who go over their memories too much, is to make a dedicated effort to make better memories to displace / replace them so they don't crowd my memory jar. It sounds simple, but it is difficult. It involves ignoring the black monster in the back of the mind and believing that one can move past it, and have better experiences. To be able to fill the jar with something else that can crowd it out. The trick is to have good experiences, large and small, of any kind. To live. And find joy. To offset what came before. To relegate that dark cumulus of misery to the mists of memory, and then oblivion.
I've been fortunate to find good friends and loved ones to make that possible, and I understand not everyone has that luxury... but do try.
Life is waiting. Find a way to fill up your memory jar with wonderful things so you're not just staring at the same old pains for a lifetime.Bury them with new, better experiences. Find the people willing to take you along on the journey to doing so.
Having successfully invaded both America and Canada from her home base in Windsor, Paisley has become horribly corrupted by the world. She hates active voice and wishes to god Twitter had an edit button. Dedicated to "creating the greatest 'Ship of them all", she ponders horribly terrible, idiotic things for your amusement.