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Old Yesterday, 12:54 PM
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I think the point is that there are different ways that people handle their past. As long as it isn't influencing some negative ways you are dealing with the present I see nothing wrong with letting it rest.

I'm a curious person. I always want to know how and why and have a deep interest in human behavior. For me examining the hows and whys of hurtful things in my past with new information I didn't have then has been very beneficial to me. And I have been able to transform a lot of those experiences through understanding. That's been satisfying to me.

I know others may have no interest or motivation to do so and as long as their lives are good I think that's fine.

I'd like to mention that even the things we've laid to rest sometimes don't stay there. Then it might be time to revisit the idea. At work thirty years ago I saw a man break into wrenching sobs out of the blue. When I asked him what was wrong he told me his father had died. Upon further conversation it turns out that his father had died about seventeen years earlier. He was so surprised, said he'd never mourned before.

The man was with us for alcohol rehab and had dealt with his grief by drinking. When the alcohol was removed up popped feelings he didn't even know he had out of the blue. A difficult experience for him and distressing but I thought a really healthy response which would probably free him from unrecognized feelings of depression or sadness.

I know many people manage their feelings by being busy, busy, busy. That certainly can be a benefit to society. There are other ways, too. As long aa they aren't having a negative effect any way a person wants to do it is okay, I think.

But I also think it's important not to project that something which would be miserable to you is also miserable to others. One man's grief is another man's healing.
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Old Yesterday, 06:01 PM
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Now that I have the time to reflect I tend to revisit some painful negative experiences I had as a child and still trying to understand how it's affected me even today. For me it's important to work through what's happened in the past to feel at peace with myself. A work still very much in progress and I believe will take a long time to come to terms with.
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Old Today, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
....I'm talking about how I seem to be talking to a number of people from different walks of my life about how issues of childhood trauma/abuse/early parental loss seem to be coming up for them, when they thought they had it all taken care of and firmly in place, or other trauma early in life that has a reverberating effect. Only now has there been enough time passed to more or less safely process things....
My answer would certainly be "yes", but not because I retired.

When I retired the last two important family figures were still alive. One was my mother, whom I was estranged from for a good number of years; the other her sister, who had lived with us as a widow until I was eight and then remarried and continued living in the same town, and who had been my best friend for most of my life.

One died eight years after retirement began, the other a year later. I had moved abroad, and due to screw-ups (each different) I did not find out about their deaths until two weeks or more after they were dead and buried. This bizarre fact just seemed to strike a huge black Magic Marker through each relationship. In the case of my mother I had no reason to suspect that she would suddenly die. My aunt had been deteriorating mentally, and she was emotionally broken from living a decade in a nursing/"old folks" home, and I had thought that she would die in a year or two. But we corresponded regularly, and it was a strangely long gap without a response which prompted me to call someone I knew personally who worked in that residence.

My reactions at the time were relief that I was free from my mother, though the manner of her death was certainly medically unnecessary and deeply regrettable. I felt hurt that my aunt was dead, but she had changed in the last years and was longing to die, so I also felt relief - something close to happiness even - that at last she was free as she had wanted for so many years.

It is close to twenty years later now. All medical prognoses are I shall be dead myself in a year or two, and I am in considerable daily pain now. I am finding that my own current situation reminds me in many respects of that of both these women. And I find myself" re-living" the circumstances of both their final year or so in my own life, which brings them more to mind than has been usual in the past two decades.

It reminds me of the Jack Yeats painting "Down the Long Road." Ultimately we are all really marching to the same drummer.

Psychological Issues Upon Retirement-yeats-left.jpg

Last edited by kevxu; Today at 06:36 AM..
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