Question of the Day

Years ago when I participated in weekly Al-Anon sessions, one of the most important things we discussed was making amends, and that was brought home to me recently when I heard that an old nemesis of mine from childhood expressed a desire to make up to me for all the pain he’d inflicted on me when we were kids. It got me to thinking, and so…

Is there someone in your life you’d like to make amends with?

Believe me, I have a few, and I do it whenever I get the chance.

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29 Comments

Filed under 06_bobby

29 responses to “Question of the Day

  1. I was utterly hopeless in high school, and I crushed on this girl who told me, an uncountable number of times, that she was not attracted to me, and so I played the pining loser in every class we had together–and they were legion–for four years. I haven’t seen her in 20 years, but I’d really like to apologize for being such a shitbird.

  2. No, not really. Those who are on my shit list were put there for very good reason. LOL

    I have a wonderful family and a lot of friends for which I am very thankful. 🙂

  3. David K

    Being in a 12-step program, I have been told over and over again that the steps are in order and I’m a long way from my 9th step, which is where amends are made. I’m actually grateful I don’t have to think about this right now.

    But eeww. Incertus I see myself in your comment. [sarcasm]Thanks[/sarcasm] for that. Now I have to add someone else to my list when the time comes.

  4. Not really. If my best friend while growing up wasn’t dead already, there are a few things I’d like to say to him. Like why I was in denial when we were in college together. But aside from that, the other people with whom I’ve drifted apart are best kept at a distance, in this life at least.

  5. This is a tough one for me because it’s something for which I’m very ashamed. Back when I was young (first year of college) and stupid and just didn’t know any better, I made a casual anti-gay (did I mention I was stupid?) remark to a group of friends, one of whom, as I later found out, was at the time a closeted gay. He has not spoken to me since he came out – over twenty years ago, I guess it is now. I wish I knew where you were now, Stephen, so that I could apologize to you and tell you how very, very sorry I am. And let me take this opportunity to apologize to the entire LGBTQ community for being so unaware (and stupid) as to have ever said such a thing in the first place.

    (On the off chance that he is a reader of this blog, I offer this quote that should tell him who I am: Said during a band trip to St. Pete, FL, 1979 – “Oh, God, it’s green!!” “Don’t touch it, you don’t know where it’s been!”)

  6. Nik E Poo

    Resolution is a good thing*.

    Unlike all you morally upright and naturally wonderful people … I’ve actually done some pretty mean things in my life … but I’m better now. I’ve worked hard to find people I’ve affected … and even had some success with making amends. It was difficult to make that first step … of admitting the offense and then … to commit to making the effort of contacting the person … really made me feel nervous and vulnerable. The first time … I had the whole shaky voice and everything. But all in all its a tremendous relief … and a healing experience.

    *Thats one reason I hate that show Heroes

  7. Doktor Wankenstein

    Incertus — I’ve been there too.

    She was really cute in a cheerleader-y kind of way (thirty years ago in college!), but she’s probably a grandmother by now.

  8. Grandjester

    Nah, fuck them.

    I guess I have some work to do on me OR I am perfectly adjusted!

  9. I’ve done some pretty crappy things, but who hasn’t? It’s failures of courage I’d like to apologize for, things I should have said and didn’t, and effort I didn’t make. Yeah, those bother me.

  10. Halifirien

    I wouldn’t mind having about ten minutes to explain myself to a girl I dated back in high school. I doubt she dwells on any of it, but knowing I later came out of the closet and dropped fundamentalism to become the full-fledged atheist I’d always had inside me… well, it would probably explain a lot about my fucked-up behavior at the time. It’s always kinda nagged at me.

  11. MrMtyzptlk

    I agree with Tata; who hasn’t hurt people in the past. I heard a quote by Maya Angelou – “When you know better, you do better.” I like that.

  12. mamajane

    When I was in high school, I went through a long series of identity crises, and wasted a lot of time and angst trying to fit myself in with different groups. Along the way I hurt some of the greatest friends that I’ve ever been blessed to have. Fortunately, the universe schemed to bring us all back together along the way (as she is wont to do when things are just meant to be), and I’ve been able to make amends. These same awesome individuals that I took for granted so many years ago are now the only people from that period that I’m still in contact with. Now I make sure that I remind them every chance that I get how amazing that they are and how much having them in my life, and in the lives of my children, means to me.

  13. I think I’d like to go back and make amends with myself when I was younger. To tell me I forgive me for the damage I did. Other people, I dunno. Maybe there’s someone I hurt that badly, but I can’t think of anything beyond Stupid Dating Mistakes.

  14. PortlyDyke

    Yes.

    I’m currently in the process of making amends to my parents for not allowing them the space to evolve from the idea that I have about them in my head. I have realized that it’s one of the things that I complained to them about — that they didn’t notice when I shifted and transformed in ways that they had harangued me about.

    So, I’ve recently been sending some long-due apologies and amends to them, as I have observed them changing and growing.

  15. make amends? hell no. fuck those jerks. they deserved it.

  16. pidomon

    Guess I’m lucky I got to get everything on an even keel with my Ma before she passed and Dad and my sisters are on pretty good ground these days. Those are the people I took the most for granted and was the biggest jerk to.

    I wouldn’t mind having the courage to tell one young lady who tearfully admitted her love for me one night and I then treated her like crap how really sorry I am but we are now close and hopefully the actions speak louder than words these days.

  17. I try to keep all my fences in a mended state, so there’s nothing weighing on me. But if someone feels wronged by me, and approaches me, I would be happy to see if we could make it right.

  18. Kym

    I wish I could improve the strained relations I have with the family members I have in Pennsylvania, especially a cousin who was my best friend for a good portion of my life. Religious differences have really gotten in the way to make it that much more difficult.

    I’m just not ready to do it. The whole situation makes me so angry when I think of it.

  19. I remember one girl back in early high school who was the only one who was a bigger loser than me. I used to rag on her more than most simply because I was so twisted up in my own problems that it felt good to torment someone who had it worse than me.

    If there was one thing I could do, I’d go back and apologise completely for helping to make her high school years such a living hell. It’s the only thing in my life I really feel absolutely guilty for.

    M., I’m sorry.

  20. I’m like the Deek, FUCK ‘EM ALL! Of course most of the people I’ve had problems with, (including my fucked up family.) are dead and gone which is kinda what happens to a lot of them when you live in a constant war zone. (Just in case anybody is interested this is my fourth war since I came into this world.) Hell, I wouldn’t give the time of day to any of ’em who are left.

  21. katecontinued

    Like PortlyDyke, I treated my mom like crap when I was a teen and way beyond. Dead Ralph (my dad) set the example of disrespecting her, and we kids followed suit. She annoys the hell out of me still, but I live far from her. I decided 4 years ago I could write letters to her without feeling the irritation a phone call or visit would bring.

    I have written a letter every week for these years and it has helped my heart heal a lot.

  22. Nora

    I’ve had the chance to mend some fences in the past few years and feel better for doing it. In one case, I was the one done to but had a good reason to try to change the relationship. It worked and made someone else very happy as a consequence so I’m glad I swallowed my pride.

  23. Doktor Wankenstein

    I’m surprised there’s not more comments on this subject (one way or the other), and I’m not sure how to feel about that.

    If this were the virtual bar instead, we’d be yelling all over the place.

  24. Over the last ten years or so, I’ve gone to people I’ve treated badly and apologized. I can’t think of a case where they weren’t generously forgiving, so I’m very lucky.

    On the other hand, there have been people in my life I just needed to separate from because they were quite toxic and not good for my mental health, or theirs. I wish them well, and hope they have happy successful lives, but I do that from a distance.

  25. An Anonymous Shaker

    FYI, here are the 12 Steps:

    http://www.aa.org

    THE TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

    1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—
    that our lives had become unmanageable.

    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than
    ourselves could restore us to sanity.

    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our
    lives over to the care of God as we understood
    Him.

    4. Made a searching and fearless moral
    inventory of ourselves.

    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to
    another human being the exact nature of our
    wrongs.

    6. Were entirely ready to have God remove
    all these defects of character.

    7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed,
    and became willing to make amends to them all.

    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever
    possible, except when to do so would
    injure them or others.

    10. Continued to take personal inventory and
    when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

    11. Sought through prayer and meditation to
    improve our conscious contact with God, as we
    understood Him, praying only for knowledge of
    His will for us and the power to carry that out.

    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the
    result of these steps, we tried to carry this message
    to alcoholics, and to practice these principles
    in all our affairs.

  26. I’m glad AA has helped people deal with their illness, but their insistence that AA is the ONE TRUE WAY to treat alcoholism bugs the crap out of me. That and their Catch-22 approach to diagnosing alcoholism. Have you drank alcohol to relax? Ever? You may be an alcoholic!

    I deeply resented being sent to AA meetings during my adventures in the mental health system. I’m not an alcoholic; I’m an atheist; it doesn’t have anything to offer me besides taking up time that I’ll never get back. The resemblance to a religious cult is not exactly subtle.

  27. PortlyDyke

    Moira, I think that most really dedicated 12-steppers would tell you that they disagree with “forced” AA/Al-anon, etc.

    I too, was kind of surprised that there weren’t more responses to this thread, Doc — I do self-inventory pretty frequently (even though I’m a drinker) — my parents are just my “current” project.

    I think I violate my own principles and ethics in little ways a hundred times a day, and cleaning those up really helps me.

  28. PortlyDyke, I work for a company that sells veterinary medical supplies mainly to the food animal industry. We’re a big presence in the beef and dairy cattle markets, and moving into companion animal markets. A previous employer was a timberland management company. Violating my own principles and ethics in little ways. Oh, hell yeah. I think I’ve gotten maybe more than a little numb about it.

  29. And my only experiences with AA were in the context of psychiatric hospitals, which I’m sure has colored my feelings about it. I kept trying to get help with the goddamned things that were making me crazy and they kept wanting to concentrate on my alleged alcohol abuse. That resentment kept bleeding into pretty much everything. It wasn’t exactly a good experience. AA has helped a lot of people, and I’m glad it’s there to help them.

    I get cranky when I feel I’m being preached at. Very possibly a character flaw on my part. :p

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