So….recently I have been in the situation of someone close to me using my past against me. Let me explain. I have quite the colorful past. I have been in and out of jail, I was a drug addict for 8 years, I gave my child to my family to raise because I couldn’t be a mom due to my choices. These are not things that I am proud of…but it’s a big part of my past.

The Past

In 2014 I went into rehab and fought to change my life. I came out of rehab a better person. A person with strength, ambition, and a determination to live a better life. I have made countless apologies, have worked hard to make a life for myself, and have fought to prove to those I love that I am different now than I was then. I have tried so hard, so when a person that I love dearly recently tried to use my past against me…it hurt.

This person, for reasons of privacy I will call them Person X, is someone that I love dearly. I have jumped through hoops to try to make things right with Person X. And Person X had told me many times that they have forgiven me and are proud of the person I have become. I think that is why when Person X uses my past against me it hurts so much.

You see, when I was using drugs, I wasn’t present in life. I was oblivious to everything around me. I lived in a fog that I created, a fog where I didn’t feel anything. A lot happened during that time, both to me and to others. Looking back now, I really have no clue as to everything that happened to anyone while I was using. While I know what I remember, I am not sure how much may have been real or drug induced. What really happened to anyone during any situation is beyond me. I may have been there physically, but I wasn’t there mentally.

I have tried to explain this, and maybe that’s the problem, I can’t explain it properly. Maybe it’s one of those things that you never truly understand unless you have been through it. I don’t know how to make someone else understand it.

The Present

A few years ago, Person X told me that some things happened during that time. I have apologized to Person X for not being “present” and preventing those things from happening. I tried to help Person X, but they didn’t want the help that I offered. Now, Person X is coming at me with this stuff, and when I re-iterated the fact that I don’t know what really happened because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind at that time, Person X is using it against me. They are fighting to make me feel bad for something that I cannot change nor can I control. And I feel lost and angry.

The Future

We have a choice when it comes to guilt. We can let it take control, or we can let it go. Neither is an easy choice. In my case, I have the choice of bending to the will of someone else and doing what they want, or I can walk away. Both carry risk. I guess ultimately it comes down to what is most important to me. Honestly, right now, I’m still not sure how to proceed. I know that whatever I do, there will be hurt on both sides.

Join in my conversation. How do you handle situations where someone is working hard to make you feel guilty? What words of advice do you have for someone who is going through that situation?

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