Feel like my past will haunt me/someone out to get me

This post has been thanked 2 times. 1 October 2020 - 14:19

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Hi all,

Not sure if this is an OCD/anxiety characteristic, as I haven’t seen many people discuss it, but it haunts me almost every day in some way or another.

The problem is that I constantly feel like someone is out to get me, or that something that happened in the past will come back to haunt me. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and done things that I feel guilty about/ruminate over, but I worry so much about these situations even if it’s not necessarily about a personal wrongdoing on my part.

For example, I constantly worry that a past partner will call me up to tell me they have AIDS or some other infectious condition. Anytime I get a random phone call my heart drops. Or, I will worry that someone I’ve had disagreements in the past will suddenly come after me, my family/loved ones, etc. or try to ruin my character online. I worry about things I’ve said or done or posted online in the past and feel like someone will try to destroy my career or hurt me in some way.

Part of me feels like I need to just delete all social media, but this also feels like avoidance which I know is part of my OCD coping. I also know I would somehow feel like I’m guilty and people would be suspicious of my actions like I have something to hide. I constantly feel like I am keeping secrets/hiding past wrongdoings but at the same time if I’d done anything to hurt my partner/family/etc. I would’ve told them outright. I also just feel like if anyone found out about my past mistakes, people I’ve slept with, dumb things I’ve done whilst drunk, things I’ve said, etc. they would never love me again.

Can anyone relate/does anyone have experiences similar to this? Have you any advice? 

Thanks in advance, Nellie xx

This post has been thanked 1 time. 6 October 2020 - 13:11

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Hi Nellie, I don’t have a ocd diagnosis, in the process of seeking help, but I do get these similar fears and rumination as you. I have recently deleted social media for fears of people discovering my intrusive thoughts and calling me out and ‘cancelling my me, and because I became very stressed out about conveying an online persona. I also get fears about things from my past, like getting extremely worried I’d unintentional assaulted someone when drunk. Among other stuff similar to what you are expressing. Even though it’s technically acting out in compulsion, I’ve started to avoid social media, more so because it’s designed to get a response out of you, even if that response is anxiety, so it’s not the best for those of us who are more inclined to anxiousness. I’ve found the best way of coping with these kind of fears is just to accept that it could happen, you can’t control it, nothing has happened so far so just keep calm and carry on. It helps to realise that worrying is a compulsion, and worrying won’t change anything so you need to let it go!  

Hope you’re doing okay.



6 October 2020 - 15:24

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Hi there, and welcome to the forums both. I too have made lots of mistakes in my life. We don't get to 65 without at least a few mistakes. This forum is great, because we are all anonymous. To be honest, on facebook I use a pen name, that way no one is gonna try and sue me through some greedy solicitor. I've been bankrupt twice. And don't have any houses of my own. Where I used to work, everyone was blaming each other. I retired due to ill health. I guess they all ultimately destroyed each other, and the place shut down. They got through three managers whilst I was there, and staff turnover was horrendous for the people we were there to look after. To be honest, I moved home and got away from them. They were horrible people. Looking back, they weren't happy, so involved they were with being judgemental. I look at life with a more positive outlook now, and try to see the good in those around me. A positive way of looking at life, shrinks the problems down so they don't take over. I'm not wealthy, but have absorbing hobbies, using second hand equipment to keep the costs down. People who truly love us, will love us regardless of what material things we have. I share my gift of music with anyone who will listen, but I'm not so good at it to risk anyone being jealous of me. Love of money won't bring you happiness, but a positive, sunny way of thinking goes a long way towards being happy. Try to live just for today, this minute, the past is gone, the future out of reach. Amen!


15 October 2020 - 7:56

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I have similar thoughts about stupid stuff I've done in the past.

But, regret is pretty useless.

We need to forgive ourselves, and be ready to forgive others.

All we can do is to learn the lesson and let it be.

Most of the daft stuff we may have done is not that important, and often we have been as much sinned against as sinning.

15 October 2020 - 8:13

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You said, "they would never love me again".

Thought you may appreciate this sonnet from William Shakespeare....

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wand'ring bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me prov'd,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.




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