Life Advice



Ask Amy: Guilt about distance leads to more distance

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Now I’m 42. I’ve retained contact with only three individuals from my past, but I realized after the pandemic started (when my mind gained even more clarity) that even these very minimal connections were fraught with jealousy (theirs, not mine), and one individual was constantly angry.

I stopped reaching out to her because I couldn’t handle so much negativity, and then she got angry at me for not returning her text messages.

I realize that I need to completely sever myself from my past.

I see that the relationships I’ve created up until now are ALL connected to my past energy of feeling unworthy and needing affirmation from an outside source.

I no longer have this need.

I know I sound delusional, but I’m feeling sad to say goodbye to my past (as horrible as it may be) because it’s like a death, even though I know it will be a freeing experience.


I guess I’m really writing to you because I needed to hear myself say it.

– Ready to Shed my Skin

Dear Ready to Shed: I think it’s natural to mourn the passing of your previous identity. Shedding skin (as you put it) can be painful and destabilizing.

Watch a butterfly emerge from a cocoon some time. Before the liberation, comes the discomfort.


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