Getting over the past


#1

Before I came into the Church 3 years ago, I lived a very sinful life. I would go out partying pretty often and I would drink too much. I had many guys take advantage of me and there were quite a few nights that I completely blacked out and have no idea what happened. I was a mess throughout high school and college and I'm very embarrassed and hurt by my past. The thing is that during that time I felt really lonely. I'm not good at connecting with people and I have an extremely tough time making friends. I didn't want to sleep with these men but once drinking was involved in the mix, it happened. It's hard for me to control myself when I drink and it goes from one drink to wasted very quickly.

I thought I was over my past and I had been okay for a while but now the feelings are welling up again. I have seen people from my past and I've had people tell me what a bad person I am. I tried to reconnect with someone I thought was a friend and he told me that he hates me and never wants to speak to me. I've also had an old high school friend tell me how much her mother doesn't like me and never wants to see me around the house.

All of this has really taken a toll on me and I just don't understand. I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years recently and as I've been trying to meet new guys, I find that a lot of them are interested at the beginning and then as we talk more, they just lose interest. I've even had one tell me he didn't want to talk to me anymore because I had an attitude.

I'm just so confused and I feel so unlikeable. I don't know what I'm doing wrong or how to make it better. I feel so bad about my past and my present just hasn't been so bright. I've been feeling farther from God and I'm scared I might fall back into old ways. I've tried praying, I've gone to Mass, but nothing makes me feel any better. I'm starting to question my Catholic beliefs and everything about my life.

I don't know what advice can really help me but I would appreciate any that y'all have to offer.


#2

You are going through a lot right now. It sounds as though you are being attacked on every side!
The only thing you can do is get really Catholic. I have been in an extremely depressed, even psychotic, state. What helped me come out of it, besides psychological help, was going regularly to Mass and to confession; praying the Rosary; praying the Divine Mercy chaplet, etc. I did a lot of reading about the faith. I felt dead inside, and I felt nothing when I attended Mass, but soon I was being lifted out of my funk and began feeling so much better!
God will bless you if you continue your walk with Jesus, even if you feel horrible or nothing at all. Keep at it.
I will be praying for you!


#3

Try to find some new catholic friends around your age. It sounds like some people from your past are unwilling to give you another go and you may need to start fresh. Meeting catholics through church groups, volunteer groups, etc will be a good way to meet people who won't have preconceptions about you and will hopefully be more understanding (less judgemental) if you choose to share you past with them.

Also, based on your history and recently breaking from a 2 year relationship, I'd strongly suggest giving dating a miss for a considerabe time. It sounds like you use men to fill a void of loneliness, but it's not working. Spend some time making some good female friends. Spend some time getting to know yourself better without the distraction of dating. We often tie our own self esteem into our dating/relationships and when things aren't going well we feel devalued. Learn to value yourself without the need for male validation.


#4

I want to recommend a book called The Thrill of the Chaste by Dawn Eden.. The author's life story was similar to what you are describing.


#5

My past a lot like yours. I just want you to know IT GETS BETTER. Throwing myself into my Catholic faith is the ONE change that I made in my life that lifted me out of a cycle of depression like you're experiencing.

I agree with the previous poster's advice to not date for awhile. You have a void to fill, and you need to fill it with something that will never abandon you. I think the only truly reliable thing you can count on is God.


#6

[quote="cmrngrts, post:1, topic:222159"]
Before I came into the Church 3 years ago, I lived a very sinful life. I would go out partying pretty often and I would drink too much. I had many guys take advantage of me and there were quite a few nights that I completely blacked out and have no idea what happened. I was a mess throughout high school and college and I'm very embarrassed and hurt by my past. The thing is that during that time I felt really lonely. I'm not good at connecting with people and I have an extremely tough time making friends. I didn't want to sleep with these men but once drinking was involved in the mix, it happened. It's hard for me to control myself when I drink and it goes from one drink to wasted very quickly.

I thought I was over my past and I had been okay for a while but now the feelings are welling up again. I have seen people from my past and I've had people tell me what a bad person I am. I tried to reconnect with someone I thought was a friend and he told me that he hates me and never wants to speak to me. I've also had an old high school friend tell me how much her mother doesn't like me and never wants to see me around the house.

All of this has really taken a toll on me and I just don't understand. I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years recently and as I've been trying to meet new guys, I find that a lot of them are interested at the beginning and then as we talk more, they just lose interest. I've even had one tell me he didn't want to talk to me anymore because I had an attitude.

I'm just so confused and I feel so unlikeable. I don't know what I'm doing wrong or how to make it better. I feel so bad about my past and my present just hasn't been so bright. I've been feeling farther from God and I'm scared I might fall back into old ways. I've tried praying, I've gone to Mass, but nothing makes me feel any better. I'm starting to question my Catholic beliefs and everything about my life.

I don't know what advice can really help me but I would appreciate any that y'all have to offer.

[/quote]

Advice about drinking: If you can't control it, and you always go from one drink to blackouts, you could well be an alcoholic. I know young people binge drink a lot these days, and this is terribly dangerous and deleterious to your health. If you have tried to quit drinking and cannot, please call Alcoholics Anonymous right away and find a meeting to go to. There will be all kinds of people there, and hopefully some around your age.

As for the rest: God does not hold your past against you. Have you confessed every single sin that you can remember? Then they are FORGIVEN and cast as far as the east is from the west! You can hold your head up and not be ashamed. Don't torture yourself with what you have done wrong in the past. Focus on the good that you have done since you became a Catholic (congratulations!!!).

If you live in a smaller town, it can be hard to leave the past behind, because you will see the people you partied with and they won't understand your transformation. Some people move away from their histories and have success in a new location where no one knows or cares about their past. This is not running away, because you have already changed your way of life, and you are taking care of yourself by starting new. Just something to consider - I don't know how old you are, what your financial or job situation is, who you live with.

Feelings are not facts. Just because you are feeling remorseful again about your past, does not mean that you need to hang your head and let people's hurtful comments knock you down. Consider your feelings and then let them go. Maybe pray for the people who are making those hurtful comments to you. And I would not spend time with the people who keep reminding you of what you've done.

Forgive yourself. And please make an appointment to talk to your pastor, too. He may be able to recommend a counselor if you feel you might need to discuss your past and work through any other problems. Maybe some social classes, on how to be in relationships?

Have you grieved the loss of all those years of partying? It's sad when we realize how we've treated God's gift for our lives. Tears can be cleansing as long as you know why you are crying. There are good books available on loss and how to grieve it. And then God promised us that he can restore the years the locusts have eaten, so don't think your life is over because you have a history.

I hope that helped a little bit. Please remember God loves you and forgives you.

:hug1:


#7

Just to echo the themes others have said, by all means consider making new friends, people outside of your usual social circles. Go to new places, shop at new places, dine at new places.

Maybe even change little things, like new clothes different than what you're use to. Drive a different route to work.

Give away book collections you no longer care about. Old CDs, old letters, old photos, anything that pulls you into identifying with the past you're trying to let go of.

I know it doesn't all directly relate to the problem, but it sometimes helps to learn how to let go of old patterns in general, which changes our attitude, which change how people see and treat us ;)


#8

Not to sound mean or anything but I think men know or can sense your past. When you live a bad life for so long, you do build a reputation. You cannot out of nowhere re-write your reputation.

Many people probably knew you from your past. They knew what you were like and what you did. Many might not trust in your conversion. Many still expect the same person they once knew.

Men lose interest for several reasons. One is probably your past. They learn about your past and run away. You yourself admit to getting drunk easily and having sex with random guys. Men see that as a tendency to not have control and will think you will cheat on them easily.

Two is that they heard you were loose sexually in the past and want that from you. When you dont give it, they lose interest because they think you are playing games. The could be the "attitude" the guy was talking about. He probably expected sex and thought you were purposely blocking that from happening to play around with him. Men do ask their friends about who they date. You probably still have a reputation from your past.

Third possibility is that you do have an attitude. Maybe you dont see it or know it yourself but you may have an attitude. If you talk a lot about chastity and religion now and expect it from your boyfriend then maybe they wonder why someone with a past demands these things. Or maybe you really do have an attitude and its just part of your personality.

It could very well be that you are dating the wrong type of people. That could be a real issue.

I have very similar feelings as you do. I dont understand why women wont go for me and wonder what I am doing wrong. It isnt easy to say why. It can feel very lonely and disappointing. You just have to pick yourself up and move on.

You need to find yourself someone who can help you re-invent yourself. You need to get a new set of friends. In your present circumstance, you might not ever be able to restore your reputation.

The hardest part of changing your ways is to deal with pressure from others that know who you used to be and are upset you suddenly changed.

Once you find a new and better situation, things will get better for you.


#9

All these folks have great advice. I suggest you go to Adoration and talk to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist † Open up to Him and know that He loves you unconditionally.

My next rosary is for you, friend. :slight_smile:

Pax†


#10

Please know that there are good men out there who will not hold your past against you. You might want to go to purelove.com and check out the story of jason Evert and his wife Christillina. She has a promiscuous past and turned things around. They are married and have 2 kids. Everyone is a child of God and He loves you. Almost everyone has made mistakes in their youth. Once you feel healed maybe you can use your experience to help others who have gone on the same path. We will all pray for you.


#11

The past is the past. That being said - know that when we drink to the point of losing control we are not "being taken advantage of" what we are doing is giving in to our baser desires that are there due to Original Sin. What we must first do is learn to get control of our drinking - AA if necessary, seek help through Reconciliation, and learn about the true joys of chastity. Through this we will be forgiven. God bless. Pax et Bonum.


#12

:slight_smile: It sounds to me as though you have been incredibly brave to pick yourself up from the mess you had got into. You’ve clearly taken a long, hard look at yourself and really do want to move on with your life as a good Catholic.

:wink: I’d be willing to bet that most people on here have gone through phases where they wondered why on Earth they are Catholics and keep on trying and trying when their lives just seem to be stuck in a rut, or their self-esteem is low; or things just keep going wrong.

A very wise priest once told me something about prayers that I want to pass on to you…
When you really don’t feel like praying; when you are tired, or depressed, or doubtful that your prayer will be heard - but you give it a go anyway and say something - even if its just repeating a prayer you learny at school - those are the prayers God loves, because those are the prayers that take the most effort.

:thumbsup:What’s the prayer everyone can remember from the Bible?
The really-short-and-to-the-point-prayer “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner”

:getholy: So just keep looking forwards and remember, we are all behind you. I know sometimes circumstances prevent us from just ‘finding’ a new set of friends, but I am sure something will come along. In the meantime, what are you good at? What do you enjoy? What can you do to share your gifts and enthusiasm with other people?


#13

[quote="cmrngrts, post:1, topic:222159"]
I was a mess throughout high school and college and I'm very embarrassed and hurt by my past. The thing is that during that time I felt really lonely. I'm not good at connecting with people and I have an extremely tough time making friends.

Who isn't a mess in high school.

All of this has really taken a toll on me and I just don't understand. I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years recently and as I've been trying to meet new guys, I find that a lot of them are interested at the beginning and then as we talk more, they just lose interest. I've even had one tell me he didn't want to talk to me anymore because I had an attitude.

Sweety a lot of us are in the same boat. If they aren't willing to put in the effort and treat you right they aren't worth your time....move on.
]
I'm just so confused and I feel so unlikeable. I don't know what I'm doing wrong or how to make it better. I feel so bad about my past and my present just hasn't been so bright. I've been feeling farther from God and I'm scared I might fall back into old ways. .

[/quote]

Just remember you are a child of GOD. I'll pray for you.


#14

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