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How to Forget Bad Childhood Memories and Reclaim Your Life

Science practitioners interested in interdisciplinary studies such as sociology, history, psychology, education



Each of us has had some unpleasant experiences as we get older. In the case of some, these experiences can be overwhelming. The unpleasant experience is inevitable, but can its long-lasting psychological effects be minimized?


"Childhood is a happy time," everyone said. But my experience is different. My childhood was spent in the fear of my father and his strict discipline rather than happiness. He was the headmaster of the school. He was terrified there, but as a son of the headmaster, he used to inflict more discipline on me so that I would not feel relieved. I didn't even have the wisdom to look up at them. His gaze was so sharp that even one of his sharp glances made me cringe. For the past several years, I have lived in another city for education and employment. Even the father has become weak with age. But the effect of their behavior on my mind is still there. I stumble when the senior comes forward. I lose my self-confidence, "says Atul.

"Memories of school are said to be fantastic. But I don't think so. This is because the math teacher kept comparing me to my older sister. She always came first. I was general in the study. So she always teased me. learn something from her. Everyone laughed at me. I used to cry a lot inside. But I could not express it, nor could I express it anywhere. Today those teachers are not alive. But today, even though I am a mother of two daughters, I still suffer the consequences of what they have done to me. I constantly have negative thoughts about myself. The thought that such a state of mind will affect girls also makes me uncomfortable, "says Amrita.

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Unpleasant childhood experiences affect our personality

There are many currents in psychology about what and how unpleasant childhood experiences affect our personality. Recent psychologists say that while bitter childhood experiences have a negative effect on personality, they are not irreversible. Our personality is fluid. It changes with new experiences. Freezing personality with childhood experiences is a devaluation of human ability and development. In the case of Atul and Amrita too, it can be said that the root of their current discomfort lies in their belief that the mental effects of childhood experiences on us are permanent. He has been forced by circumstances and cannot be changed now. He feels that the events of his childhood were so intense that he had no choice but to act as he did in those circumstances. If you think objectively, you will know that even in that situation, there are many other options available to them. If there were other boys in Atul's place, they would have chosen a different option. If one had turned a blind eye to the strict discipline of the father, one would have found another way to gain the favor of the father, while another would have rebelled by challenging the discipline of the father. Not all of them would have lost their confidence like Atul. If there were other girls in Amrita's place, they would have behaved differently than Amrita. One would have told the parents without thinking like Amrita, one would have gone ahead and complained to the headmaster, one would have fired the stubbornly and removed the top number like a sister, while another would have established a different identity by mastering another skill. Not every one of them would have cultivated negative feelings about himself like Amrita. This meant that the response from Atul and Amrita was not inevitable. That choice was not imposed on them by circumstances but was chosen by them. If both of them realize this, they will take responsibility for their own discomfort. They will acknowledge that their discomfort is not caused by childhood events but that they are involved in sharing it, and that they have the option of not sharing their discomfort.


Why distressing memories are difficult to ‘erase’

They are constantly reviewing the events of their childhood. Therefore, uncomfortable feelings are constantly lingering in their minds. When seniors appear in front of Atul, he sees his father in his place and his self-confidence is eroded by the uneasiness in his mind. Amrita also remembers the math teacher's remarks while thinking about herself and negative thoughts are awakened. This means that Atul and Amrita maintain their discomfort due to the frequent revision of those experiences rather than actual experiences. This discomfort is not inevitable and they may even choose to avoid it. If they accept it, they will be able to get out of the current turmoil. Freedom to change the meaning - We have the freedom to change the meaning of the events of our childhood. Atul can choose to mean that his confidence has been eroded by his father's behavior, that he has become more resilient, and that no matter how tough the officer maybe, he will be able to face them successfully because he has gone through this experience. Amrita can choose to mean that the teacher's behavior brings negative thoughts to her mind, meaning that I am more aware of the effect that teacher's jokes have on my mind, and if my daughters have to face such situations, I understand what they feel and I give them strong support.

Atul and Amrita not only review the events of their childhood but also tell themselves over and over again how they affected their minds. Therefore, instead of reducing the discomfort, one is encouraged to feel more uncomfortable and act accordingly. In order to reduce the discomfort, both of them should try to stop the recurring traumatic events of their childhood. They have to convince themselves that it is possible to change it as it is done.

Atul and Amruta's case

Atul and Amrita should note that the manner in which their father and teacher treated them was not deliberate or intentional. So they are unaware that their behavior is having a bad effect on the person in front of them. On the contrary, they may feel that we are doing them a favor. Atul's father may think that I am doing this to give Atul a good turn, or Amrita's teachers may think that if she is shown her shortcomings, she will give up her full will and study hard. If they had known that this was a bad thing, they would not have done it. Their shortcoming was not knowing the consequences. Accepting them along with these shortcomings will also reduce the negative feelings and discomfort that Atul and Amrita have towards them.


Psychologist Albert Ellis says, "There are moments in life when you decide that I'm going to take responsibility for my problems. Don't blame other people or situations for that.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Yogesh prakash sawant

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