Making Amends

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Since I last posted, I have been in a frenzy of ’looking back’ and ’reminiscing’ to the times spent out West from 1996-1998. The mistakes made, chances not taken. Love lost, people hurt. Took the left fork in the road when the right would have been the better one, relatively speaking.

Shortly after I posted, I decided for my own curiousity to see if S was still working at the same job. To my surprise, he had very recently (in the past month) joined another organization in a much more prestigious position. Why I even mention this is of such little consequence, I am infinitely more impressed with men who have big intellect and love me big rather than those who can buy me whatever my heart desires. I knew him as a 20 something guy who was all-around generous with everyone and treated everyone with respect. My idea of the ’ideal’ future husband was so badly skewed from my twisted upbringing that I completely backed away from not one but TWO amazing guys that would have loved me to the moon and back for the rest of my life.

An essential part of recovery is making amends to those we’ve harmed. It’s suggested in our ’Big Book’ that wherever possible, amends should always be made in person. Logistically, that’s not always possible, right? My mom passed away in 2009 so I talk to her in my dreams and I try to make living amends-live in a way that is radically different from the one I used to that she had to witness, suffer through right along with me, and hope that’s good enough. I made several attempts to meet up with a childhood friend, as there were many amends that needed to be made in that regard. She wasn’t keen on it, so I texted what I thought was an open-hearted confession and acknowledgement of how my selfishness and behaviour had both hurt and caused embarrassment to her on many occasions. What I wasn’t expecting was to receive no response in return. As in, no acknowledgement WHATSOEVER of what I wrote.

Thing is, we don’t make amends to absolve ourselves or to have the other person accept our apology, ever.

Sometimes, things we’ve done are beyond forgiveable. Either that or all that needs to happen is for the words to be said, the other person to listen, and game over. Most of us aren’t built to accept that sequence of events. We teach kids that when someone apologizes to them, their part is to say ” I forgive you”. I don’t know about you, but when I have gotten up the courage to openly admit all the shitty, selfish things I have done and said, I really am hoping the other person will welcome me with open arms.

That’s my ego talking.

So naturally, I have thought and thought (and thought some more), written pages and pages and made a playlist to help me reflect, written and revised and finally came out with what I think captures the heart and truth of how I want to make my amends to S.

Although I can very easily call his office, I don’t have his direct line, and considering that the last time I attempted to make contact with him (15 years ago), he essentially told me that talking to me was the last thing he wanted to do. I can mail them, and he could open it, realize who it came from, and destroy it after reading 3 lines. After all, we all have autonomy in how we deal with who we deem as those who ’have hurt us’. My dad wrote me a letter once. I allowed my mom to open it and read it. There was even a cheque for a substantial amount of money inside. I wasn’t interested in opening myself to that pain again, and when cleaning out my mom’s drawers after her death, I found the letter. I ripped it up as quick as I possibly could. But I digress.

Truth is that deep down I have this unrealistic fantasy of sorts that he’ll want to talk to me and all of a sudden I’ll be 25, he’ll be 22, and life can be redone, he’ll drive out to where I live, we’ll meet for a coffee…the truth is that it has been 25 years since I have seen him. In a city over 4,000km away.

I can’t change the past, much as I wish I could. I had many chances to act on my feelings then but didn’t and that will always be MY loss. I will always love you, S.

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