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Fear of repeating past

Hello.

First time using this.

I’ve had the fear of repeating negative relationships from the past so much so that it replays in my mind throughout the day and I get triggered by the mention of relationships.

I need to build up a good support system but I’m afraid to reach out in person because I’m afraid of relying on the wrong people again. I’m not sure how to convince myself that the past won’t repeat again. I know the possibility is low but at the time I know I’ve sought out and repeated a lot of my traumas in the past and don’t really faith I won’t do it again. I want to but a part of me just believe that and is really distressed about it.

How do I change that thought or stop being afraid of the past repeating?
 
Hello.

First time using this.

I’ve had the fear of repeating negative relationships from the past so much so that it replays in my mind throughout the day and I get triggered by the mention of relationships.

I need to build up a good support system but I’m afraid to reach out in person because I’m afraid of relying on the wrong people again. I’m not sure how to convince myself that the past won’t repeat again. I know the possibility is low but at the time I know I’ve sought out and repeated a lot of my traumas in the past and don’t really faith I won’t do it again. I want to but a part of me just believe that and is really distressed about it.

How do I change that thought or stop being afraid of the past repeating?
Welcome, @BuildingSelf24. I appreciate you reaching out for support here. It sounds like you are carrying a lot of fear and distress from past negative experiences in relationships. It's understandable that you are hesitant to reach out for support due to the fear of repeating past patterns.

Let's explore these thoughts together. Have you noticed any specific patterns or red flags in your past relationships that you could be mindful of moving forward? Understanding these patterns might help you feel more confident in establishing healthier relationships.

Additionally, it's important to recognize that you have the power to make different choices now. What steps have you taken so far to break the cycle of repeating past traumas in your relationships?

Lastly, building a support system takes time and effort. Who in your life do you feel has shown understanding and support in the past? Have you considered discussing your concerns with them and exploring ways to cultivate a more positive support system for yourself?
 
After ending a bad relationship last year, I went over the text messages and time we spent together looking for the red flags I missed. I know I missed them mainly because I was bit disconnected from the present and didn’t even register some of things he said until I went back over them in my mind. I also was experiencing very heightened emotions at the time that clouded my judgement but I thought it was fine because they were positive emotions like excitement and happiness but they were so intense that they gave me headaches.

I know the red flags of past relationships but I’m afraid I’ll be so disconnected or overwhelmed that I end up right back in a similar relationship. I’ve taken a step back from relationships and certain communities to get my head on straight and to protect myself.

I’ve kept relationships with friends and family really surface level because I don’t want to be vulnerable and express how I’ve been struggling with CPTSD. I don’t know if they’d actually be supportive or shaming. I’m just concerned that they won’t be as supportive if I actually opened up about things.
 
After ending a bad relationship last year, I went over the text messages and time we spent together looking for the red flags I missed. I know I missed them mainly because I was bit disconnected from the present and didn’t even register some of things he said until I went back over them in my mind. I also was experiencing very heightened emotions at the time that clouded my judgement but I thought it was fine because they were positive emotions like excitement and happiness but they were so intense that they gave me headaches.

I know the red flags of past relationships but I’m afraid I’ll be so disconnected or overwhelmed that I end up right back in a similar relationship. I’ve taken a step back from relationships and certain communities to get my head on straight and to protect myself.

I’ve kept relationships with friends and family really surface level because I don’t want to be vulnerable and express how I’ve been struggling with CPTSD. I don’t know if they’d actually be supportive or shaming. I’m just concerned that they won’t be as supportive if I actually opened up about things.
It's commendable that you took the time to reflect on your past relationship and identify the red flags you missed. It's common for heightened emotions, whether positive or negative, to impact our judgment and cloud our perception of situations. The fact that you're aware of this now shows growth and self-awareness.

Taking a step back from relationships and communities to focus on yourself can be a healthy boundary to set while you work on healing and regaining stability. It's important to prioritize your well-being above all else.

When it comes to opening up to friends and family about your struggles with Complex PTSD (CPTSD), it's natural to feel hesitant about their reactions. Have you considered starting with a small disclosure to gauge their response? Perhaps sharing a bit about your experiences without going into detail can help you assess their level of understanding and support.

Building a support system is about finding people who truly care about your well-being and can provide a safe space for you to express your thoughts and emotions. Have you identified any individuals in your circle who have shown empathy and understanding in the past? Is there a way you can gradually deepen these connections and create a more supportive network for yourself?
 
Yea. There have been people who have been empathetic in the past. I’m just scared to reach out. There’s a sense of shame and I fear that I won’t be able to talk to them without crying. I guess I would prefer to talk to them when I’m less emotional about everything.

I’m still afraid of repeating the past though. I’m stuck on the possibility that the trauma could repeat and I’m afraid my symptoms especially the dissociative ones will become worse.
 
Yea. There have been people who have been empathetic in the past. I’m just scared to reach out. There’s a sense of shame and I fear that I won’t be able to talk to them without crying. I guess I would prefer to talk to them when I’m less emotional about everything.

I’m still afraid of repeating the past though. I’m stuck on the possibility that the trauma could repeat and I’m afraid my symptoms especially the dissociative ones will become worse.
It's completely understandable to feel vulnerable and hesitant about reaching out, especially when it involves discussing deeply emotional experiences. It's okay to feel that sense of shame, but please remember that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. People who genuinely care about you will appreciate your honesty and courage in sharing your struggles.

Crying can be a natural response when discussing painful experiences, and it's okay to show your emotions. It's a sign of authenticity and shows that you're processing and releasing those emotions. If you feel more comfortable talking to them when you're less emotional, that's completely valid. Is there a way you can communicate with them about your current state of mind and set a time to talk when you feel more prepared?

Your fear of repeating the past traumas and symptoms worsening is valid, given your experiences. Recognizing this fear is an important step in being proactive about your mental health. Have you considered seeking support from a trauma-informed therapist who can work with you to develop coping strategies to manage these fears and symptoms? It might be beneficial to have a professional guide you through this process.
 
Yea. I guess I just don’t feel that strong. I still feel really weak for being so affected still.

Yea. I’ve considered it. I’ve had therapy in the past but they weren’t trauma informed, so I would like one that is. I would like to wait for my new insurance though before I start that process.
 
Yea. I guess I just don’t feel that strong. I still feel really weak for being so affected still.

Yea. I’ve considered it. I’ve had therapy in the past but they weren’t trauma informed, so I would like one that is. I would like to wait for my new insurance though before I start that process.
Acknowledging your feelings of vulnerability and weakness is a sign of self-awareness and inner strength. It takes courage to confront and explore your emotions, especially after experiencing trauma. Remember, healing is a journey, and it's okay to feel the way you do right now. You're not alone in this.

It's positive that you have considered seeking therapy with a trauma-informed therapist. Working with someone who understands the complexities of trauma can make a significant difference in your healing process. Waiting for your new insurance before starting therapy is a practical decision. In the meantime, are there any self-care practices or resources that you find helpful in managing your symptoms and emotions?

Exploring self-care activities, such as grounding exercises, mindfulness, journaling, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy, can offer temporary relief and support in managing your symptoms. Taking small steps to care for yourself can be empowering while you wait to begin therapy. Have you found any self-care practices that resonate with you, or are you open to exploring new methods to support your well-being during this waiting period?
 
Yea. I’ve been reading psych books and one in particular has been really helpful in identifying emotions and helping me cope with them. Journaling and mindfulness have been really helpful in challenging thought distortions but sometimes I’m unsure of how to combat them like with thinking the past will repeat itself.

I’m definitely open to suggestions on new methods to help. I find exercises where I can imagine having all my needs met work the best at calming me at least temporarily.
 
Yea. I’ve been reading psych books and one in particular has been really helpful in identifying emotions and helping me cope with them. Journaling and mindfulness have been really helpful in challenging thought distortions but sometimes I’m unsure of how to combat them like with thinking the past will repeat itself.

I’m definitely open to suggestions on new methods to help. I find exercises where I can imagine having all my needs met work the best at calming me at least temporarily.
It's wonderful to hear that reading psychology books has been beneficial for you in identifying emotions and learning coping strategies. Journaling and mindfulness are powerful tools to challenge negative thought patterns and increase self-awareness. Recognizing the thought distortions around the fear of the past repeating itself is a crucial step in addressing them.

When it comes to combatting thoughts related to past experiences, have you tried cognitive reframing techniques? This involves challenging negative beliefs and replacing them with more balanced and realistic thoughts. It can be helpful to examine evidence for and against your fears and consider alternative outcomes or perspectives. Is this something you have explored, or would you be open to trying this approach?

Supporting your well-being with exercises that help you imagine having your needs met is a wonderful self-care practice. It can create a sense of safety and comfort within yourself. Have you considered incorporating visualizations or guided imagery exercises into your routine to further enhance this calming effect? Visualization can be a powerful tool in managing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Would you be interested in exploring this as a new method to cultivate a sense of calm and security during challenging moments?
 
Yea. I’ve tried cognitive reframing. But I have difficulty doing it with past experiences. I’m not sure what realistic thoughts could replace them. Could we walk through that together?

And yea. I do visualizations techniques that are helpful. The effects are short lived sadly.
 
Yea. I’ve tried cognitive reframing. But I have difficulty doing it with past experiences. I’m not sure what realistic thoughts could replace them. Could we walk through that together?

And yea. I do visualizations techniques that are helpful. The effects are short lived sadly.
Of course, we can definitely explore cognitive reframing together. When challenging thoughts related to past experiences, it can be helpful to break down the process into smaller steps. Let's begin by identifying a specific fear or belief about the past repeating itself. What is a typical thought that comes to mind when you are feeling anxious or fearful about a past trauma recurring? Let's examine that thought together.
 
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