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#1
Old 03-27-2010, 12:30 PM
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Stories About Getting or Giving Apologies Years Later

Some of the recent threads about high school reunions, classmates.com, etc., got me thinking about some of the people I've known back in my high school and college days. We've all had run-ins with jerks (or have been the jerk) at school or old jobs, and then you don't see or hear from them for years.

Have you ever been contacted (maybe at a HS reunion or something) by someone from your past, and received an apology for how they treated you? Or have you ever contacted someone to apologize for how you treated them? If so, how did it make you feel to be apologized to, or what prompted you to feel the need to apologize to them? Did you get a sense of relief in apologizing or being apologized to?

You see it in the movies and on TV sometimes, I was just wondering how often it really happens?

Last edited by Shark Sandwich; 03-27-2010 at 12:33 PM.
#2
Old 03-27-2010, 01:02 PM
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A friend and I apologized to each other for a rather bizarre "break up" when we were 18 or so. We never really dated officially, but we did have an on-again off-again physical relationship. Neither of us ever brought up actually dating. Anyways, some personal stuff in his life and the way he dealt with it at the time (cutting) freaked me out, and I got angry one evening and left. The closeness just ended there, although we remained friends and continued to hang out in the same group of friends, etc. We are still in contact today.

A couple of years ago a group of us met up in a pub, and somehow it came up in conversation between the two of us, and we both kind of apologized, me for handling it badly and him for dealing with his issues in such a destructive way. Turns out we both felt really badly about that night, but I guess we both felt that pursuing it would have completely driven us apart, and in the end, just being friends really was the better path for both of us.

Sorry, that reads kind of awkwardly but I don't want to go into details. In the end, it was probably beer that prompted the apologies!
#3
Old 03-27-2010, 01:15 PM
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A long time ago a female friend and I fell out, and I couldn't understand why or what the problem was. Tried all the usual options for peace, repair or reconciliation, no joy.

Got a written apology ten years later, in which she explained in factual terms how it all appeared from her point of view, why she did what she did, and why she felt apologetic now.

I thought she was a great person when we were friends, I felt the same way about her throughout the intervening years, and likewise when I received her apology. My opinion of her never changed. It was actually very interesting to hear her account, and to see how sometimes a lot of harmless and innocent ingredients can come together in such a way as to create something divisive and unpleasant.

The way I see it, no-one wakes up in the morning and decides to go and treat someone else badly or behave terribly. Everyone's doing the best they can with the cards they get dealt, and everyone's actions and decisions make perfect sense to them at the time. Some people learn good strategies that tend to get good results most of the time, some don't. In this particular case, she just chose to get worried about something instead of talking to me about it, and if she had chosen to communicate then the problem would never have arisen. But that's just the decision that seemed to work best for her at the time.

It wasn't nice for me, but life isn't a catalogue where you order what you want. Her apology was a long time coming, but at least it came, and her explanation shed a lot of light on the darkness. I think she learned a lot from it too.

These days we're still in touch, just about, but we live very different lives in different parts of the world. She's still a great, wonderful person. She just made a bad choice at the time that burned up a really good and happy friendship that I felt had plenty of value.

Lesson? Try talking instead of guessing and assuming. At least try this option once, before pressing the Destruct button. It might save a lot of unnecessary hurt.
#4
Old 03-27-2010, 02:26 PM
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About fifteen years ago, I wound up serving on a committee with my first girlfriend. On the last day the committee met, I walked her back to her office, and took the opportunity to apologize for being a jerk twenty years before. She accepted the apology gracefully, saying, "You were a seventeen year old boy - it sort of comes with the territory."
#5
Old 03-27-2010, 02:26 PM
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There was this dude I was good friends with up until we were 12. We were in the "gifted and talented" program at school together, and Boy Scouts as well. In the seventh grade, I decided I didn't want to be a "nerd" anymore, I wanted to be "cool" instead. So I adopted a "stoner" or "rocker" look (this was the early '80s), and decided this friend was too much of a dweeb to hang out with anymore. I cut off contact with him, started treating him like shit in public, made fun of him all the time, etc. And, of course, I didn't have the balls to tell him why.

After junior high school, his family moved away. Once I got into high school, and started to grow up a little bit, I realized what an asshole I'd been, and started feeling remorseful for the way I'd acted... but it was too late.

We're now 38 years old. Just a couple of months ago, I was going through some old pictures and came across one of this guy. It occurred to me I could look him up on Facebook, so I did so, and found him. I wrote him, apologizing for being a complete dickhead when we were kids. Much to my surprise and pleasure, he accepted my apology.

We've done some catching up with what's been going on in the last 26 years, but obviously we aren't going to become good friends again. I can't help but wonder how things might have turned out if I hadn't been such a shit at 12 years old.
#6
Old 03-27-2010, 02:29 PM
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I GOT APOLOGIES AT MY HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

I was picked on A LOT in grade school. I finally got a peer group with friends at the end of 10th grade.
I went to the reunion "The class of 1971 turns 50" in 2003.
Three different people, 2 guys and a woman, came up to me and apologized to me for their bullying in grade school.
It felt good.

12-step recovery programs talk about becoming willing to, and then making amends.
I have done my share of this, too. Making amends are CHANGES rather than apologies.
Think of amendments to the Constitution. Changes.
It has been a healing journey for me.

David
#7
Old 03-27-2010, 03:34 PM
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I had my best friend drop me at age 17 without any explanation whatsoever. This was very painful to me, like a death. He was still loosely associated with my social circle for several years thereafter, and I kept running into him at parties and he would ignore me and it was all awkward.

So I wrote him an e-mail (this is six years after he dropped me) telling him I cared about him. And he spit back so much vitriol it was really shocking. I'm pretty sure he is the only person who has ever truly hated me, and I still have no idea why. My best guess is that he perceived my severe depression at the time as some kind of personal rejection, and also he hated the guy I was dating. This still bothers me, but it bothers me less now because our conversation revealed to me that he has a lot of irrational perceptions about what happened that year. It also bothers me less because I'm not seventeen years old any more.

Interestingly, I was shortly thereafter contacted by a high school former best friend who *I* dropped with no explanation, and I promptly apologized to her for not talking to her first. We'd been close since the fourth grade until a series of tragedies in her life turned her into a really difficult person to be around, always complaining, lying, and doing passive-aggressive shit for attention. She was one of those people who refused to change her situation or her attitude. I told her I had recently had a friend drop me without explanation and if I had known how bad it hurt I would never have done that to her. She said, ''Don't worry, I figured it was you and not me.'' And of course I was thinking, ''No, it was definitely you, but I at least owed you an explanation for why your friendship wasn't worth my time,'' but instead I just thanked her for her understanding and left it at that. At the time we spoke, her father had been imprisoned for the murder of her stepsister, so I didn't feel it was necessary to detail the ways she had failed as a friend.

In my experience, apologies that come long after the damage is done are worthless. I've had people hurt me deeply and by the time they realized it, it didn't matter anymore because I'd already made peace with it and moved on. At that point they are more for the person apologizing than the one being apologized to.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 03-27-2010 at 03:38 PM.
#8
Old 03-27-2010, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivesmarch4th View Post
I had my best friend drop me at age 17 without any explanation whatsoever. This was very painful to me, like a death.[...] I'm pretty sure he is the only person who has ever truly hated me, and I still have no idea why. My best guess is that he perceived my severe depression at the time as some kind of personal rejection, and also he hated the guy I was dating.
That's sad. Do you think that maybe it was because he had feelings other than friendship towards you that obviously weren't reciprocated? This seems like the most obvious explanation to me.
#9
Old 03-27-2010, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by olivesmarch4th View Post
until a series of tragedies in her life turned her into a really difficult person to be around, always complaining, lying, and doing passive-aggressive shit for attention.
Quote:
so I didn't feel it was necessary to detail the ways she had failed as a friend.
Erm. I have to say, I think you're the one who failed as a friend here. Not that I blame you, because when you're 17 you kind of feel entitled to quite a few things, including friends that don't have personal tragedies that make them difficult to be around.

Really though, if your father had murdered your sister, and whatever else crap had happened that was tragic and you posted on here about your friend that wouldn't talk to you anymore because of your dead sister angst, you have to know everyone would talk about what a douche your friend was for showing a total lack of support for your crap situation.

Anyhoo,

A few years ago I was contacted by an ex who apologized for being a dick when we were dating. Then he told me he was recently married, (4 months) and having marital trouble with his wife and did I want to get together.

Uhhh, well, nice to know that a) you're still a dick and b) you're someone else's problem.

Last edited by alice_in_wonderland; 03-27-2010 at 04:07 PM.
#10
Old 03-27-2010, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by alice_in_wonderland View Post
Erm. I have to say, I think you're the one who failed as a friend here. Not that I blame you, because when you're 17 you kind of feel entitled to quite a few things, including friends that don't have personal tragedies that make them difficult to be around.

Really though, if your father had murdered your sister, and whatever else crap had happened that was tragic and you posted on here about your friend that wouldn't talk to you anymore because of your dead sister angst, you have to know everyone would talk about what a douche your friend was for showing a total lack of support for your crap situation.
You're making too many assumptions. Her stepsister was murdered in 7th grade, and I showed her unwavering and unconditional support until we were juniors in high school. I suffered her lying and betrayals for years before I made the decision not to be her friend any more. Second, you're assuming I didn't have hellacious shit of my own to deal with. If anything it should have been a time where we supported each other through our mutual pain, but she chose instead to screech about how horrible and awful her life was and how she didn't want to hear about our problems because they couldn't even begin to compare to her awful, horrible life. She had an excuse for every one of her problems, even the ones completely within her power to change, and she envied me so much that she made my life a living hell. She needed psychological help, for sure, and I hope she got it, but it wasn't my responsibility to fix her, nor was it my responsibility to subject myself to her passive aggressive bullshit for the rest of my life.

I know all too well what it's like to have friends drop you because of personal tragedies, which is why I apologized to her for not providing an explanation for ending our friendship. But nothing is ever going to make me regret ending the friendship. I may have dropped the ball with my other buddy due to my own life drama, but not with her. She's lucky I supported her as long as I did.
#11
Old 03-27-2010, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by olivesmarch4th View Post
You're making too many assumptions. Her stepsister was murdered in 7th grade, and I showed her unwavering and unconditional support until we were juniors in high school. I suffered her lying and betrayals for years before I made the decision not to be her friend any more. Second, you're assuming I didn't have hellacious shit of my own to deal with. If anything it should have been a time where we supported each other through our mutual pain, but she chose instead to screech about how horrible and awful her life was and how she didn't want to hear about our problems because they couldn't even begin to compare to her awful, horrible life. She had an excuse for every one of her problems, even the ones completely within her power to change, and she envied me so much that she made my life a living hell. She needed psychological help, for sure, and I hope she got it, but it wasn't my responsibility to fix her, nor was it my responsibility to subject myself to her passive aggressive bullshit for the rest of my life.

I know all too well what it's like to have friends drop you because of personal tragedies, which is why I apologized to her for not providing an explanation for ending our friendship. But nothing is ever going to make me regret ending the friendship. I may have dropped the ball with my other buddy due to my own life drama, but not with her. She's lucky I supported her as long as I did.
Ok. You were there and I was not. I've just found that these things tend to have two sides and I'm sure her memory of what was going on doesn't jibe with yours.

However, if you're happy with the way things worked out, thats great. I'm just wondering if you really felt that she was totally wrong and you were totally right, why you'd bother to apologize at all - I wonder what you hoped to get out of it.

FWIW, I find these after-the-fact apologies tend to be rather self-serving.
#12
Old 03-27-2010, 05:13 PM
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I had a toxic friendship with a brother and sister. Yes, for a while I had a crush on the brother, but for the most part it was friendship.
She borrowed money from me, twice. Never paid it back. He told me later, she'd never paid any of her friends back and had severed many friendships over money.
I wrote it off to experience and we all remained friends.

Then he borrowed money too... never paid it back. He moved about 800 miles away, I moved 2000 miles away. We bother left stuff behind. We both had storage units. He asked if we could consolidate them and he'd pay half. Since I no longer trusted him, I said no.

His sister somehow talked the storage place into doing it anyway. I ended up paying for both of us for 6 months. When I went to pick up my stuff. I was livid. I dumped all of his stuff in her yard, and left.

For years after I got hang up calls from her.

Ten years later, I got a call form my accountant asking if it was alright to give the brother my number. He was in recovery and wanted to make amends.
I said sure.

I never heard from him.

She found out from a mutual friend I was getting married in the city where she lived, called to be invited to my wedding, but never showed up.

So, while I got half-assed apologies, they didn't make me feel any better and I'm still out $8000.

Last edited by picunurse; 03-27-2010 at 05:15 PM.
#13
Old 03-27-2010, 05:21 PM
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A while back I got the opportunity to apologise to my first long-term girlfriend for how I ended things.

I had treated her abominably, as only a selfish, naive, full-of-himself 21-year-old idiot could. Though I walked out of her life, she continued to be a friend of my family's, and I saw her again, ten years on, at my sister's place - she now happily married with kids. I had recently had my heart ripped out and stomped on, and felt a keen empathy towards what I'd put her through, all those years back.

My apology was natural, unforced, abject, and utterly genuine, and she accepted it with a kindness and good grace that I didn't deserve. I'm sure it was more significant to me than it was to her - self serving if you like - but I'm still glad I got that opportunity.
#14
Old 03-27-2010, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by katmandu
That's sad. Do you think that maybe it was because he had feelings other than friendship towards you that obviously weren't reciprocated? This seems like the most obvious explanation to me.
That would make perfect sense if he weren't gayer than a picnic basket.

As best I can understand what happened is this: I moved out of my house when I was 17 to escape an abusive and neglectful home life. First I had to deal with the court system and legal emancipation, then I had to get a full time job on top of school and all my other extra-curricular activities. Then a social worker revealed a family secret I had told her and because I had just run away from home, almost everyone in my family assumed I was lying for revenge and suddenly I had cops showing up at my door and social services were involved and it was a complete nightmare. I went into a deep depression and lost a lot of friends since all drama made me too much of a ''downer.''

I met a complete dumbass of a man who was willing to listen to my sob story for hours and tell me how wonderful I was. All of my friends hated this guy, and he was openly hostile to my male friend, but the guy was hot and I was lonely so I made the choice to be with him at the expense of further alienating my friends. It wasn't a conscious choice, I just felt like I needed an ally. And this is a guy who cooked me a steak dinner and heated water on the stove for a bath when the cold water ran out. I'd never been given that kind of attention before.

So I guess the moment of truth was high school graduation. My friend drove down to see me on this day, but I didn't realize he was there for me because at that point all of my friends routinely visited with the aunt I was living with. I had such a low opinion of myself and distinterest in my life in general that it never occurred to me my friends were there to see me. And frankly, I didn't really care what other people wanted at that time. My life was a mess and I was just trying to make it from day to day without killing myself.

But in my defense--there were also enormous misunderstandings. A lot of my friends assumed I was with my boyfriend when most of the time I was at work until 11pm at night and then doing homework until 2 or 3am. I just didn't have time for a social life. It's not like I always had a choice on whether or not to be there.

Apparently I was too miserable on my graduation night to go back and party so I spent the night at my boyfriend's house. And according to those in the know, that was viewed as some kind of ultimate betrayal on my friend's part and he stopped having any interest in my life whatsoever. But he didn't tell me that he was feeling left out, he just stopped talking to me altogether. He isn't the only one who stopped talking to me, just the most painful one. Even friends that I have now kept their distance during that time because they said my personality really changed, a lot.

So yeah, I was completely absent and nonexistent as a friend that year, because I was working full-time, going to school full-time, and committed to a ton of other extra-curriculars, and when I wasn't doing that I was completely depressed and wanted to die. What I most needed was for people to give me some space and what I got instead was people talking behind my back because I wasn't interested in partying. It's hard for me to defend myself because I don't remember so much of that year. I don't know how I behaved because I don't remember.

So maybe my miserable friend with the murdered sister was just overwhelmed like I was, and maybe that's why she wasn't a good friend. I thought about it and that, alice-in-wonderland, is why I apologized. I might have been impossible to be around that year, but I couldn't help it, and maybe neither could she.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 03-27-2010 at 05:52 PM.
#15
Old 03-27-2010, 05:49 PM
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I received an apology from an abusive ex-boyfriend, about ten years after the fact - he tracked me down through the Internet, before social networking sites made that common. I felt pretty freaked out, to be honest. He said he'd been doing a lot of work on himself and wanted to apologize for how he'd treated me, but I felt like if he'd had any true concept of how I felt, he'd have known I never wanted to hear from him again.

The apology felt like it had much more to do with him than me.
#16
Old 03-29-2010, 09:57 AM
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I apologized to my Mother a while back and it has brought us closer. I was a pain in the ass teenager and not my Mom's favorite. I was doing some soul work on myself and decided to make things right with people I had wronged in my life. My Mom was on the list... Like in, "My name Is Earl".

When she came to visit I just told her I was sorry for x,y and z. She put her hand on mine and said you are already forgiven. After that our relationship got a lot better and as I whittled down my list I felt better!

To forgive myself I had to be forgiven for the wrongs I had done. What they did to me was between them and their higher power but I wanted to clean up my side of the street. If they never clean up theirs is none of my business. Today I am much quicker to say I'm sorry and mean it. I am sometimes wrong and say or do the wrong things but I make an effort to apologize and free myself.

If you ever want to do some soul work take a piece of paper and write on top 'resentment list'. Write the persons name and why you resent them. Then write out where were you 'selfish', 'self seeking', 'dishonest' and 'afraid'. Only writing out any that may apply. It was a real eye opener to me that with most of the people I had a resentment against (I had also hurt) them in some way. I just blocked it out by blaming them.
#17
Old 03-29-2010, 10:35 AM
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When I was a teenage boy, I had a friend who I, for some reason, wished to impress. I wasn't attracted to her, I wasn't trying to get into her pants, I just felt compelled to make up lies about myself when talking to her. She just affected me that way for reasons I never did understand and still don't.

She went overseas and we lost touch, and whenever I remembered her I felt ashamed of myself for talking such complete bollocks to her.

She found me on Facebook a while back, 21 years since I last had any contact with her. So after catching up a little, I wrote a great big explanation/apology. She accepted it gracefully and said that she'd thought I was probably bullshitting at the time, but it didn't worry her either way, and she enjoyed my company anyway.

We're still in touch, meet up for meals occasionally, and so on. We get along fine, and have the same kind of friendship we did back then, except now I'm honest. It felt good to apologise, I'm glad I got the chance.
#18
Old 03-29-2010, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuzu's Petals View Post
I received an apology from an abusive ex-boyfriend, about ten years after the fact - he tracked me down through the Internet, before social networking sites made that common. I felt pretty freaked out, to be honest. He said he'd been doing a lot of work on himself and wanted to apologize for how he'd treated me, but I felt like if he'd had any true concept of how I felt, he'd have known I never wanted to hear from him again.

The apology felt like it had much more to do with him than me.
A very wise man once told me, "Sometimes the best amends you can make to someone is to leave them alone."
#19
Old 03-29-2010, 11:21 AM
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I was in college, in a long-distance relationship that had started in high school. It was the start of my sophomore year, and I was deeply unhappy with the relationship; it felt like I was putting in most of the effort. I rarely saw my boyfriend during the school year because he was a long distance away, so I felt like letters and (rare) off-hours phone calls were important. (This was before most people even knew what E-mail was, and in fact a couple years later I would get E-mail as part of my campus job, which was vaguely impressive to my friends yet useless as they didn't have it.)

I had felt vaguely neglected for part of the previous year, and this new school year wasn't starting off much better. He was almost never in when I tried to call. I felt like I did most of the letter writing. When I did speak with him, though, he was apologetic and sweet, but still felt distant emotionally.

I talked with friends about it, because I cared about him, and we had been friends first, but I was starting to doubt my "stand by your man" tendencies. Finally I gave up on it. Long-distance relationships are brutal normally, but this was really tearing me up.

I wanted to tell him in person, but I found out he wouldn't be going back to our hometown the whole semester, even visiting his roommate's parents (who were pretty near the college he attended) during a break or two. I wrote a breakup letter. I was not happy with him. There was a lot of grief in me, but I let out some anger and resentment too.

Some time later (might have been weeks or a few months, I no longer remember), I got a letter in response. He admitted he'd been "neglecting" me for quite a while to spur me to break up with him. He said it was a misguided attempt to make me feel better by being the one to do it, because he knew I loved him, and he didn't want to hurt me by a breakup, and he later realized he hurt me by leaving me hang on for so long.

This did not help me. At this point, I would deeply have preferred to have been left alone, and I was a mix of angry and contemptful about the letter, but did nothing to communicate with him.

A few years later, I had gotten past this and wanted to let him know that I was OK, and I understood. I called his parents and spoke with his mom, told her my reasons for wanting to contact him, and got his number. I called him and told him why I was getting in contact, that I was past all of that, and was sorry for how I handled my end of things.

He then came out to me as gay. He had been raised in a very strict Catholic fashion, and had desperately pushed down any conflicting feelings from a very young age, to the point where he was in pretty much total denial. I was a very good friend, and he loved dearly me in that way, and hung onto that for as long as he could delude himself. When he set about trying to get me to break it off, he was still in deep denial about it, but with me away and him finding out more about life and himself while away at college, he realized he didn't really love me like that. We were both very emotional on the phone with each other at that point, and I told him that the loss of him as a boyfriend would have hurt, but I would have understood if he told me he was gay. He said he couldn't even understand it at that point, that it took a little longer for him to realize that he really was gay and wasn't letting himself admit/realize it.

We had both changed a lot in that time, and so we had some further contact but not much, and I'm glad for the chance to very amicably end that drama-filled part of my life. I'd welcome further contact from him, but we both moved on and I'm good with that.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 03-29-2010 at 11:21 AM.
#20
Old 03-29-2010, 12:37 PM
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I worked in a Victorian House Museum for a while. One day we received a package in the mail. It contained an old doll dress and an anonymous letter.

The letter was from a woman explaining that she had stolen the dress from the museum 20 years ago, as a child, when her class had come to visit and security wasn't as good. She had felt terrible about it ever since. She was now going through AA and wanted to make it right so she was mailing the dress back.

We displayed the dress prominently in the nursery so that if she ever decided to come back, she could see that the dress was back where it was supposed to be.
#21
Old 03-29-2010, 12:46 PM
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There's an ex-classmate of mine who is mutual friends with several of my friends on Facebook. Back when we were in high school, he & I messed around a little - nothing major, we were both 15 and experimenting. I was new, and AFAIK, he decided to tell people that he had gone "all the way" with me when school started. This haunted me my whole high school career.

I have thought that maybe he did it because I dropped him - I was a pretty socially awkward 15 year old who hadn't dated a lot, and I probably didn't handle it very gracefully. I've thought about contacting him to see why he spread this rumor and to see if he would apologize - maybe I should apologize too. But I don't know that anything would be gained by it now.
#22
Old 03-29-2010, 01:38 PM
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Some of these stories are pretty epic. Mine is not so much so.

I moved to a new town when I was 15, and had just started high school. I didn't have much of a problem making friends, but there was this one guy who was always hassling me. Every day he threatened to beat me up, and he was usually with a couple of his tough guy friends. He made two of my three years of high school total hell.

A few years later, when I was in college, I was hanging out at a bar with a friend, an older guy. The bully guy happened to be there as well. He came up to me and apologized profusely for his behavior. His explanation was that he was usually stoned in school, and usually upset because his mother was dying of cancer. In fact, the friend I was with was the undertaker who buried the bully's mother.

I accepted the apology and we spent the next few hours buying each other beers.
#23
Old 03-29-2010, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alice_in_wonderland View Post

A few years ago I was contacted by an ex who apologized for being a dick when we were dating. Then he told me he was recently married, (4 months) and having marital trouble with his wife and did I want to get together.

Uhhh, well, nice to know that a) you're still a dick and b) you're someone else's problem.
OMG. I contacted an ex a few years ago, and I apologized to him, well, basically for being young and foolish but definitely doing some things to hurt him. In turn it turned out he felt he needed to apologize to me! We both made up, moved on, etc.

All done, right? What a pretty package. Of course not.

He continued contacting me and I responded. I felt a little uncomfortable with it, since he was my EX and there was a reason he was that way, but I figured it was just me - after all, lots of people remain friends with their exes.

Then he mentioned a couple of times about how he and his wife have had LOTS of tough times BUT how they are oh-so-happy now. More than three times, and I started to get a weird vibe from it.

Then he started hinting that sometimes he was in my town, and did we want to meet? I put the kibosh on that and told him frankly I wasn't interested.

For a while I had him friended on my LJ but I began to realize he was reading every entry - meaning all the way back to 2005, which is when I started writing it. I dropped him from my f-list soon after.

Then it got really weird. I have stories published on a certain site under a slightly different name. He found them and presumably read them. That doesn't bother me, they are on an open forum and that's fair. But then he up and wrote me about one of the stories and started asking me some accusatory questions about it!

Dude, not only do you cyber-stalk me, which I know I can't do shit about, (because I never so much as mentioned that site to him or that I write or anything - he just googled all of the names I have gone by on the 'Net until he found something) but you actually let me know you are cyber-stalking me? Not bright.

That and a few other things caused me to evaluate our relationship. Was it providing anything good to my life? Did I even want to talk to him? Did I want all of this drama?

I decided no, and blocked him from my e-mail. And I haven't talked to him since.

And that is the story of my apology.
#24
Old 03-29-2010, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorYorick View Post
A very wise man once told me, "Sometimes the best amends you can make to someone is to leave them alone."
The way I did it is, his blog is open to everyone and he has a very unusual last name. I found it one day, and left a message on one of his posts with my e-mail addy and said he could write me if he wanted. I then let him make the next move, and only then I apologized.

And yes, I know that everything he did could have been construed as innocent. I never really let him get to a truly creepy point, if he was going there. However I just thought it would be better if it would be nipped in the bud.
#25
Old 03-29-2010, 07:47 PM
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I had a friend who (I believe) was suffering from untreated post partum depression go absolutely insane on me and threaten me with violence for some transgression she was convinced that I had committed (I hadn't). I had to call the police to get her off my property. I had one abusive phone call from her weeks later, and bizarrely a Christmas card the following year with a picture of her daughter in it, but no other contact.

Ten years later she tracked me down on the internet and sent me a message apologising, taking the entire blame on herself. She said she knew I hadn't done what she'd accused me of, that even if I had she'd been utterly out of line in how she reacted, and that she'd felt guilty for it every day since. She begged my forgiveness. I gave it, but didn't resume our friendship - I prefer to keep her as a non-hostile acquaintence. It did feel good to know she was sorry, and that she recognised both that I hadn't done what I was accused of and that she'd been completely out of line in her reaction.

On the flip side, I stumbled across the website of a high school friend I'd had a falling out with years earlier, and contacted her to apologise for being a jerk (that time, it was entirely my fault). She accepted my apology and now we're good friends again.
#26
Old 03-29-2010, 07:52 PM
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I don't know if apology is the right word but my first true love expressed sorrow for the pain she caused when she left me. It was 30 years ago and it meant a lot to me. After all these years there is still a strong bond between us.
#27
Old 03-29-2010, 08:26 PM
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You can read my earlier thread for a few more details if you really want.

Basically, my brother showed a few signs of being gay very young. I was pretty young at the time too, but I was (and am) capable of being a merciless bastard. So I taunted him a lot for being feminine, girly, gay, whatever.

Interestingly, as an adult, he is none of these things. Well, other than gay. Basically just a dude that's very athletic, laid-back, with a nearly identical sense of humor to me, but he just happens to prefer the company of men.

Once we were both in our teens I realized, "Holy God, it might be true. What an asshole I am. I need to STFU immediately; tormenting my brother about what he is is like 10x worse than taunting him about something he isn't.

Recently he just came out and I kinda felt like shit. I apologized sincerely about the past taunting when he told me. He just shrugged it off - "no big deal, I've heard it all" - which might either be good or bad. Time will tell. I really hope I wasn't as bad as I remember. He seems fine with it so that's good.
#28
Old 03-29-2010, 08:55 PM
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I ran into an old friend of my sister's that used to be mean to me when we were teenagers and she took me aside and apologized profusely.

It was actually kind of nice, considering that her bullying was pretty mild as such things go and I wasn't damaged by it -- I had pretty much forgotten about until I ran into Kim that day.
#29
Old 03-30-2010, 11:56 AM
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Saw the subject line and figured "I have something to contribute!" Saw the OP and thought "it's just like that too!" Read the thread and I though "and I'm not alone!"

Basically similar to above, picked on at school. Flash forward 20 years to the reunion, having several people come up to me to apologize for dickish behaviour after the fact, and I'm touched by their apology and accept it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alice_in_wonderland View Post
FWIW, I find these after-the-fact apologies tend to be rather self-serving.
Could very well be, but I wholeheartedly appreciated their apology. Doesn't do much to erase what happened to me in high school, but the fact that they actually came up to me to apologize at the reunion meant a lot to me, even though it really accomplishes nothing.
#30
Old 03-30-2010, 11:59 AM
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(Meant to include in previous post)

I'm curious now why we always hear from those who were bullied, but seldom from those who were the bully in high school. Was talking with some friends earlier (tough guy types, at least as adults) and they mentioned that they were bullied as kids too, and also wonder why we never run into adults that were the bullies back then.

(Yes, my previous post mentioned that peopel apologized to me for bullying me, but I was a special case, *everyone* bullied on me in high school! No word of a lie, one of the main bullies I remember was on the Reach for the Top team (Canadian equivalent of Quiz bowl), on the chess team and was student council president. I'm so geeky my bullies were nerds!)
#31
Old 03-30-2010, 01:01 PM
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I've given two of these kinds of apologies and in hindsight I don't think I needed to do so either time. But in brief, they went like this:

In college I apologized to an ex-girlfriend for being mean during high school. I say I didn't need to apologize because while some of my friends went out of their way to be mean to her, I didn't do that. I'd laugh when it was funny, which it often was, but that's not the same thing. And she was a remarkably annoying person. What I would have liked to have said is that her own behavior contributed to a lot of that stuff, but which was true, but she never would have gotten the message. Oh well.

Some years later I apologized to my dad for being kind of a jerk at holiday gatherings when I was younger. I wanted to acknowledge own up to it. I say I didn't need to apologize because, for one thing, everybody's a jerk sometimes from 13 to 15, it's part of how you figure out your own views. Two, I was not that bad. And three, my parents really did not handle it well when I decided that religion was not for me. I consider it one of their few real failures in parenting. They pretty much ignored the whole thing for years and tried to force me to go along with it. It looks stupider in hindsight because they later admitted they weren't religious at all, so they were trying to make me go along with something they didn't believe in either. I think they did it because they felt they'd be dropping the ball and disappointing their own parents. I'm sure they were better than many parents in that situation but they've never acknowledged how hard they made that for me.

I did receive one of these apologies once. When I was 13 a good friend not only dropped me, he (and a few friends) went out of his way to make my life hell for the whole school year, or maybe longer. I didn't get a reason, it just happened and it didn't go away for a long time. So in addition to not having any friends for a while, the people who I thought were my friends were tormenting me. It was bad. We went to different high schools. Sometime in our senior year (I think), I wound up at his school to see a play and we ran into each other afterward. That night he sent me an email saying it was good to see me and that he was sorry about everything that happened. I appreciated it. I don't remember if he gave me an explanation. We talked every once in a while about getting together and jamming, but we never did get around to it.
#32
Old 03-30-2010, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdn View Post
The bully guy happened to be there as well. He came up to me and apologized profusely for his behavior. His explanation was that he was usually stoned in school, and usually upset because his mother was dying of cancer. In fact, the friend I was with was the undertaker who buried the bully's mother.
Both of those sentences sound like something out of a novel. Weird stuff!!
#33
Old 03-30-2010, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Shark Sandwich View Post
Or have you ever contacted someone to apologize for how you treated them? If so, how did it make you feel to be apologized to, or what prompted you to feel the need to apologize to them? Did you get a sense of relief in apologizing or being apologized to?
I've apologized to a girl in high school I knew, I believe I did it at the end of senior year. I didn't do anything to her, but she was always considered since she joined our class in the 8th grade as the "weird one". She had memorized elvish and could fluently write in it, and actually she wrote beautiful poems (in English class and not in Elvish, though I did catch her sometimes writing them on the chalkboard in elvish during lunch hours) in 9th grade, and was a huge classics geek. She was always teased and picked on by others in our Latin class (because she was so far ahead of the rest of us that she was considered the Teacher's pet- they'd discuss various themes and poems and works, while the rest of us slaved away just to try to translate the Aeneid). But yeah, in 12 grade, I went up to her and apologized for never sticking up for her and for also thinking she was weird back in the day. I realized she was actually a pretty cool person over the final year, though just REALLY passionate about the Classics, but that's cool. And so I said sorry for not making it easier and for adding to the hard times in school.

It was kind of a relief to get that off my chest when I told her, and she actually smiled and accepted my apology. And though we were never super close friends, she became a good friend of mine through college, and we still catch up time to time to just say hello and reminisce about old times.

I've also had an apology given to me by my first ex-gf for all the stuff she'd put me through at the end of our relationship/afterwards, but I don't really want to talk about that one. It was very odd, and about well 4 years later down the road from all the events, and I remember thinking, "Man, this would have been so nice to hear 1-2 years after these events when I was hung up on them." At that point, I was okay with the situation, and had moved on. So I felt like the apology was more for her than for me. So I did the nice thing accepted it and told her not to worry about it, I had already forgiven her and moved on. We're still good friends to this day now and the apology has grown on me. It was nice of her to do, and a big step for her to admit she made some mistakes.
So I think it was a good thing and it's only brought us a better friendship.
#34
Old 04-10-2010, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
In college I apologized to an ex-girlfriend for being mean during high school. I say I didn't need to apologize because while some of my friends went out of their way to be mean to her, I didn't do that. I'd laugh when it was funny, which it often was, but that's not the same thing. And she was a remarkably annoying person. What I would have liked to have said is that her own behavior contributed to a lot of that stuff, but which was true, but she never would have gotten the message. Oh well.
In my experience bystanders either doing nothing or laughing along with bully hurt just as much as the bullying. After all you're 'powerless' to make it stop so you're sort of hoping for someone to say, "Hey, that's not cool." That apology was probably necessary.
#35
Old 04-10-2010, 11:37 AM
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Listen to the first segment of this story: http://thestory.org/archive/the_stor...emies.mp3/view
#36
Old 04-11-2010, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
I was in college, in a long-distance relationship that had started in high school. It was the start of my sophomore year, and I was deeply unhappy with the relationship; it felt like I was putting in most of the effort...[snip]
My God, except for the ex-coming-out-as-gay part, I had the exact same experience. I was really angry at my ex for a very long time over the pain he'd put me through under the pretext of not hurting me, until sometime shortly after I graduated college, when I realized that we'd both been young and dumb. I was finally able to forgive him and move on.
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