Books Bullying Social anxiety

Why can’t you forget and move on? (part 2)

Yesterday I began to write my reasons why I no longer want to hide my past, and how I should answer a writing colleague who wonders why. He deserves an answer; as well as asking me to my face, he wrote the question on his critique of my personal essay: “Why can’t the writer just MOVE ON and forget about all these injustices which are way gone?”

Interestingly, the same man also wrote, “I learned a lot about this social anxiety problem,” and he told us he’d looked up the term.

In the excellent post I mentioned yesterday, Joe Warnimont also wrote:

It’s when we forget to listen to stories of misfortune, the same events happen over and over again.

In writing, we need to consider what readers can gain. The rest of my reasons for writing about my past are for the readers:

  • I want to help readers to understand me and the many others like me. I want to clear up the misconceptions: that we’re stuck up, don’t want to talk, etc.
  • I hope, like my writing colleague, readers will learn about social anxiety, which is much more common than most people think.
  • I hope readers will learn about bullying and what it can do to the one on the receiving end of it.

If my writing could also lead to help for those who are suffering now, that would be the best reason of all.

I didn’t gain anything through all the years I tried to forget what happened. As Angela Brown said in her comment on my post from yesterday:

Forgive, forget, move on. Easier said than done because, in more instances observed, moving on doesn’t come from forgetting, it comes from the growth learned and earned from experiences.

Remembering is much healthier, if done in the right way. I don’t write about the past to perpetuate some feeling of victimhood. I’m not stuck in the past. My essay ends on a positive note with my hopes for the future. Looking back has helped me to look forward to something better.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

10 replies on “Why can’t you forget and move on? (part 2)”

Hi Miriam,

I’m honored to be quoted in two of your posts! What you are writing about is so important, I’m glad my post has giving you a little bit of inspiration.

I clearly will never completely know what it’s like to go through life with social anxiety or the problems you have had in the past, but I just want to say that you are a hell of a lot stronger than anyone without it.

You have a story to tell and the more you speak the more people with similar situations will begin to speak up as well. I am not all that educated in social anxiety so I look forward to reading more from you.

I am however familiar with bullying. I never got bullied in the past (so I guess I’m fortunate in that respect), but I’ve been supporting the movement to try and prevent things like this in schools (and elsewhere).

Many thanks for this post and I encourage you to keep writing about your struggles, as people need to here about them. You’ve got a supporter over here.


I’m humbled to be mentioned in your post, Miriam 🙂

I’ve had a chance to learn a little more and more, about social anxiety, as I’ve read what you share.

I grew up with a certain amount of bullying. Although it did not result in a social anxiety for me, it did build a defense mechanism that can sometimes be very healthy and sometimes not-so-much as it can make me appear standoffish.

Sometimes, it is the testimony of overcoming that can help someone else with a situation they are enduring, Just as you share your testimony, someone may be helped in more ways than you’ll ever know.

It’s so true that we sometimes need to look back and try to make sense of our past before we can move forward. Forgetting didn’t work for me. Reading about other peoples’ experiences made me feel I was not alone and helped give me the strength I needed to re-visit my past and set it down on paper.

I wish you well with writing about your past. It will, no doubt, not be easy, but worth it in the end by enriching your own life, deepening understanding, raising the awareness of important issues for those who haven’t experienced anything similar, and, importantly, helping others. I look forward to reading it.

Hi Miriam, I agree with you that remembering is healthier. Sometimes when someone says that they have ‘forgotten’ the truth can be that it’s just buried beneath other things and will eventually ‘leak’ out in some way. Remembering and if possible, forgiving, can be a sign of growth much more than simply trying to forget (not that trying to forget is simple!). I’m glad that looking back has helped you to look forward positively!

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