It had been an eventful decade since I last talked to an old college flame. I guess old is the term you use when something is a decade old. You always wonder how old loved ones are doing and what their life has become. When we became reconnected on LinkedIn, it was with trepidation because all these years later I was still hurt. Women are often hurt like this over and over again particularly if they don't find the love of their life early on. I commented that "I often reflect on the past but I don't dwell." This was me passively saying - I have not forgotten but you don't affect me the way you used to and it hurt. What came next, I could not have anticipated.
I want to apologize for my actions as a younger person-I don't think I treated you as well as you treated me, and in fact, looking back, my actions were generally shady, unnecessary, and disrespectful. I think I was probably caught up in trying to ensure that I could never be accused of being a chump or "whipped" or whatever juvenile term you want to assign to that behavior. Nonetheless, it always made me place a wedge into our relationship, and keep you at arms-length. I want you to know that that there was nothing wrong with you, and that the problem was with me. Hopefully, I didn't bring about the development of any issues that you've carried around since, but if I did, I want to sincerely apologize. At this point in my life, I aim to make my internal values align with my external "expressed" values, so I can be a good model for my daughters. As to whether or not I am successful at that remains to be seen. I hope that you're not just mentally well, but that you are thriving, and that you are able to pursue all of the things that you wish to in this life.
Here's the thing - clearly he too had been thinking about his impact on me. He wasn't hurt the way that I was. He was "caught up" but not devastated. Like many men of my past, he offered an apology which I suppose is what one would consider "closure". But it's never really closed. I know that if I saw him today, everything would come rushing back. The only closure is a relationship made right. All the men I loved, I still love...I have never hated one. I just wanted them to make things right.
For many years after this relationship and probably still today, I was broken and I tried to understand what I did wrong. I left thinking I was not good enough and that I didn't deserve the love that I was seeking. I moved past it as well as I knew how into more failed relationships with the same pattern. What is left today is still that sting which makes a message like what he sent bring tears to my eyes and I recall the pain and hurt and the layers of effort that were met with arm length wedges.
There is no way to undo the pain caused from relationships like these even after an eventful decade. Having a man acknowledge his role in that hole I have inside of me at least confirms that it was not me. The apology is everything, yet it is nothing.
Ms. Bhakti Mary
I am an optimistic, positive, generous and driven author who is passionate about self-improvement.
The essence of who you are does not lie in the past. What matters is what you are willing to do NOW. You are the presence.