Past people may pop up from time to time...
It may be tempting to rekindle those relationships and only remember the good times.
Was it hard to stay in it?
Why did you leave in the first place?
Would they not still be in your life if it had been meant to last?
Was there more hyper-criticism on every one of your unique traits than uplifting and loving guidance?
Leaving is often a last resort and not an off-the-cuff decision, well-meaning people may make that last resort decision out of self-protection... Why did you leave? You must have already tried boundaries? Or did you deem the situation so dismal because you were not heard at the time?
Do not let past history dictate whether something is healthy for you at this point in your life or not. Look at every angle before you backtrack.
If they only remember who you were in the past, will they be accepting of the ways in which you have changed? This is another question before you rekindle. They are going to have to get to know you again from scratch, and some people might not like it.
Will the understand that you have actual boundaries now? Will they respect your lifestyle? Will they understand you?
It's also important to consider that it may be more painful trying to put broken pieces back together than to just leave it be (in relationships with a long history).
It is never easy to fully let go, but being on the fence is actually worse.
For the sugar-coated manipulators who have no shame in ambushing you in spaces where you're naturally going to be more receptive because of the nature of that place:
Tricking or sneaking their way back in and applying subtle pressure is not a sign of a healthy approach to rekindle when there was a decision to distance... Not everyone from the past is going to go about it in a sneaky manner, but definitely note that if that was the case.
Backing you into a corner is not an approach used by everyone, but some people do this.
If saying no to something or someone brings out hatred or attacks on things that they know are important to you, that door should stay shut. The past people who try to sneak through and distract your focus on what matters to you: what is their goal other than punishing you?
Is it ever a good idea to try to ambush someone who has chosen to distance from you years later and expect a positive outcome?
Anyone who thinks that forgiveness is at the expense of safety does not really have enough traumatic experiences in their life to speak about this topic.
Mutual understanding, rather than shame, wins the game.
It's about the health of a relationship, not ownership. Ask yourself if it's going to bring more health and peace into your life or if it's going to bring chaos.