The great story I can define my past as, also implies a flip side that doesn’t serve me. How can I keep one and let go of the other?

I do homework from “How to change your past”. The assignment is to sum up my past in one sentence and, in a way, I want my past to define me. This is profound and important work.

When I think about my past, I get angry, first and foremost.
When I think about my past, I also become incredibly proud of myself and my inner strength.
When I think about my past, I also get deeply sad.

Yes, I have become a strong and independent woman, someone who can make decisions for herself, someone who trusts I can make things happen and that I always find reasonable solutions.

Experiences in my past have shaped how my brain is wired, which makes me deeply empathetic, brave on behalf of others, so I chose to use my abilities to make the world a better place for as many people as I can.

All this I would not have been and done without everything I have experienced and been exposed to for larger parts of my life.

But behind the learning and the story of strength and independence are my experiences that I am not worth attention and care from anyone else but myself and that I cannot trust anyone. That people are mostly egocentric. I am on my own.

So that teaches me that I am lonely and alone and I feel disconnected.

My brain experienced if I ask for help, I will not get it, so I do not ask for help since being rejected is humiliating, dangerous and worse than finding solutions to survive. Moreover, I might get the opposite of help and be exposed to danger.

So the learning is that I can not ask others for help because it can lead to dangerous situations for me.

All this leads to, yes, I trust myself and what I can achieve, but I also feel alone and sad and abandoned. I have no belief that anyone can really love me and be there for me over time – so what good is it to be good at mastering? What good is it to be great at resilience and pulling through, when I don’t have the most important skills – to feel connected? We humans have a deep need to belong to a herd, and that’s something I do not have.

I have this idea that since I have never learned that someone can actually take care of me, that it is possible to trust something and connect, I am not “broken” as something that can “be fixed.” For me, you can only be “broken” if something was there to break and destroy.

How do I repair or “see” something I do not know what is, if I am to shape my life from the future?

I know that neurotransmitters in my brain have built a large number of synapses with neurotransmitters that fire at the slightest stimulus of something similar to previous experiences and therefore maintain the learning, thoughts, feelings, actions I have as the truth. I also know the brain is plastic and it is possible to change old neural pathways with new ones over time. So, I trust it can be done.

I do not want the past to totally infiltrate and shape my present in this way, so I see that I need someone other than my brain going in a loop to look inside my brain with/for me.

What I want for myself is to get to the point where I can shift this deep feeling of loneliness, and that I am not worth taking care of, into “connection and trust” . I want to want to be able to stretch out towards other people and into the world with confidence and calmness.

Phew! Are you still with me?

So my question is:

How can I continue to see myself as a strong, independent woman who is able and knows how to master and solve most things on her own, and at the same time be vulnerable, trust, ask for help, etc. when the reason for the first part is the second part didn’t work?

How can I create and see myself from the future when I don’t know what “connected” looks like? That feels like learning a language without knowing the letters.

Thank you so much! I am curious about this process.