I feel ya. This is bold and I have thoughts about it. I was thinking of writing about this topic, I’m glad you did first.
Let me share with you what it’s being in your lover’s shoes. I have a partner that I’ve had an on-again off-again relationship with for 20 years. Loved him dearly, but I always found him emotionally unavailable despite loving him dearly. We had really good times together, but he’d check out of our relationship before letting me know he was gone. Having been abused and understanding people, I figured he had unresolved issues stemming from his childhood. I asked him about it years ago and he wouldn’t acknowledge it.
Fast forward 15 years later, and one day out of the blue, he messaged me to confess some things about his childhood, his anger issues, and his feeling regret about the damage he’s caused. He was able to come to terms with all the women he’d hurt, all the children’s lives he’d destroyed because of his behavior but he stopped short of getting professional help. I suggested to him he may suffer from depression and BPD, but he wasn’t having any of it. The thing I appreciate the most from him was him letting me know it wasn’t me. I wasn’t the problem. I didn’t do anything wrong.
I needed to hear that from him because he’d done so much damage to me emotionally. What we forget about is that with every touch, every kiss, every word, and every act of intimacy we leave remnants of ourselves. Sometimes we leave good memories, sometimes we leave bad ones, but we leave something when we move on. When we don’t leave things the right way, it bothers us. My ex was bothered by how he treated the women in his life and he felt he needed to clear the air. I’m not sure how many of us he reached out to, but I feel blessed he talked to me. We had a long conversation and I found peace from his apology. His responses answered so many questions for me, and I was able to forgive him. He wanted forgiveness.
If your past continues to bother you, perhaps you may want to reach out to your former lovers and apologize if you know you did some things that could have possibly wounded a lover or friend. You don’t have to go into your clinical diagnosis, you can just make it about the behavior, reflection, and letting the person know you’re genuinely sorry. I think it’s coming up because you want a resolution before moving on. It’s okay to forgive yourself, but I think at some point you’ll want to clear the air with those who may have been offended or injured by you previously. One of the worst things that we can do is assume people are okay and they’ve forgotten about what you’ve said and/or what you’ve done after you both have moved on.
Emotional baggage is worse than physical abuse in my opinion. The scars from someone’s emotional don’t heal like physical scars. Do what’s best for you, but remember nothing happens in a vacuum. You may move on, but the relationship may have someone stuck.