In college I loved a man who was fun and abusive. I started packing the day he shoved me into a wrought iron fence for walking the dog the wrong way.
Making amends (steps 8 and 9) is about offering a cool glass of water to someone you didn’t Love as well as you could have. Here, I prepared this for you. I know I hurt you, and I see your thirst for redemption. Will you forgive me?
For years following our separation I blamed him for the chaos of our relationship. He was, after all, the one who I walked in on with another woman. He playfully referred to me as “retard.” How much more tan, fit, curly-headed, and available could I be? All for him!
But when I completed my inventory of douchebag3000 I got a little sweaty, because—and this blew my brains apart—it wasn’t all his fault.
My tenacious hold on “us” was born out of my own fearful, dishonest, selfish, and inconsiderate behavior. And no matter how valid my disgust (he abused, he cheated and shoved and name called), the stale resentments grew dry & discontent.
I’m afraid he will leave and I’ll be alone. If I tell him how his behavior makes me feel then he will leave, I have to keep lying—to both of us. I need a man, I want a man, how can I make him fit into the hole in my heart? I don’t care about his needs and about how my neediness is affecting him, it’s all Claire all the time.
After months of apologizing to my family members and friends, months of rebuilding what addiction tore down, I still sensed a thirst from someone in the crowds of my past. I believed I had to apologize for every offense I committed. But I forgot to apologize for the action I never took.
I explained the role I played, as I released him from a union and an image my itchy ideals forced onto him. When we forget our God-given worth we stay suspended, like a Christmas ornament or a crystal hanging in a window, waiting for someone to come admire us so we can smile. I hung there for years, a choice I made over and over again.
Today I am two years sober. I spent October 20th, 2014 shuffling around the house, shaky and sweating. How will I leave my newborn baby boy who just came home from the NICU? What about the girls? Will my body still hurt? Am I brave enough to stop? To cry? To feel? Oxy has dehydrated my mouth and my spirit. Do I really want to ask for a sip of water?