Anonymous asked realsocialskills:Hi… I have a suggestion I’d really like to see: a post with more about people asking to borrow your computer and similar issues and why this…
I know the fact that I make visual art with my computer has made it come to seem like an extension of my brain. It’s not difficult to imagine others feeling this way. Most of the people I know have good computer boundaries, but some people may not even know what is and is not a problem. A few years back a friend’s partner asked to look something up on my computer and I said “sure,” unaware myself that they wouldn’t even process the firefox icon as being an internet browser. Fifteen minutes of Internet Explorer browsing later, I was stuck with spyware and general weirdness that resulted in a complete re-install of Windows. I’ll take partial credit for that mess, as I could have hopped over and opened firefox, but at the same time I wonder *how* they could have done all that while trying to look up an address on google maps and checking e-mail.
“I have a good friend in the East, who comes to my shows and says, you sing a lot about the past, you can’t live in the past, you know. I say to him, I can go outside and pick up a rock that’s older than the oldest song you know,
and bring it back in here and drop it on your foot. Now the past didn’t go anywhere, did it? It’s right here, right now.
I always thought that anybody who told me I couldn’t live in the past was trying to get me to forget something that if I remembered it it would get them serious trouble.
Utah Phillips, “The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere”
Just about everyone who has been the victim of abuse, or has lived through something horrible, has been told that they need to stop living in the past. That they need to get over it and move on already, because things are different now.
But the past didn’t go anywhere. It’s still right here, right now. Everything that happened to you, everything they did to you - it all stays happened. And it never stops mattering. Because going through trauma changes things permanently. (and so does every other type of experience, for that matter. But not in the same way).
The past doesn’t have to stop mattering, and you don’t have to pretend that it doesn’t matter anymore. You can build a life, and make good things happen for yourself, even though the past didn’t go anywhere and it never stops mattering.
Even if sometimes you wake up terrified, even if you bear scars, even if you’ve lost a lot of abilities you once treasured, even if you’ve lost your community and everyone you once thought you could count on.
Life is still worth living, and good things are still possible. Even though the past didn’t go anywhere. And acknowledging that the past is still there and that it still matters makes it more possible to rebuild, not less.
Just like you can’t live in a physical abstraction and accepting the reality of your physical body and its limits makes life better, you can’t live in an abstraction of an imaginary theoretical mind that you might have had without the trauma. You have to live as the person you are, and build from there.
And your live is worthwhile, and important, even if some things never heal. The past didn’t go anywhere, but you can keep going.