Wednesday, May 27, 2009


"I heard from Old BF today," I said. "He says he needs to have a serious conversation with me some time."

"About what?" Ranger asked. He knows I still hear from Old BF and only minds it when he upsets me.

"He says to make amends for the hurt he caused me."

Ranger considered this a moment. "Sounds like he wants reconciliation."

I laughed a little. "Sounds more like part of a 12-step program."

Honestly, how he phrased it to me sounded very much like what I saw and heard at AlAnon, AA, and NA meetings I attended in college. Now, before you think I've been holding out an addiction past on you, understand that my minor was Substance Abuse Studies as part of my counseling degree.

Old BF comes from an addict household. His mother did all manner of drugs before, during, and after her pregnancy with him. Then, she resented him for being a "difficult" baby. Oh yeah...all kinds of issues there. He has photos of his folks sitting behind a table covered in pot, while strangers regularly tucked he and his sister into bed at night.

So, we had the conversation he wanted.

"I've been thinking a lot about us," Old BF said. "I was such an asshole to you the whole time. It's a wonder you didn't leave me sooner. I lied to you a lot. I was mean a lot, talking to you through my teeth and snarling at you so often."

"Yeah," I said. The talking through his teeth and curling his lip at me (what he called snarling) was a pet peeve of mine. He did it in annoyance and anger, like I was beneath him, and it sent me through the roof. I watch my dad be condescending to my mom, and I just won't tolerate it.

And of course the lying....always lying. That broke my heart.

"I just wanted you to know I'm sorry," he said. "If I could take it all back, I would, but I know I can't. I know you're not coming back. I really am glad that you're happy now."

I was quiet for a bit. "I appreciate that," I said. "I have to wonder, though. What brought this on?"

"I've been going to AA meetings for some time," he said. Ah, there it was. This WAS part of a 12-step thing! We'll leave alone the fact that I know he still drinks now and again....

"What made you decide to do that?"

He took a deep breath. "There's something I haven't told you. I got a DWI last year. I was at Billy's and had a few because I was all upset about losing you. I got lost coming home and got pulled over."

"I see," I said. It was inevitable. He drinks a heck of a lot, and I would see significant impairment in him after three beers. He never needed an excuse to drink, like he was trying to say now. I didn't want chase the bait he'd just hung out there, implying the drinking was somehow my fault, so I changed the subject. "What do you think of the meetings?"

"They're okay," he said. "But those people are a lot more messed up than me. I can still drink. I just can't drive when I do."

And that was about it for the conversation. His phone got turned off a couple of days later. I've gotten a couple of emails from him, but not much else has been said.

It's good to hear he's sorry. I'm not sure if he's sorry for my sake or his. In the past, whenever I've mentioned that he hurt me, he doesn't want to hear it. Is it an attempt at reconciliation? I don't think so. He still calls me by the pet names he's had for me, but still....I don't think so.

Would I reconcile? Hell no. My wounds have become scars. No need to reopen them.


Ronjazz said...

Your instincts are right, Blogget. He's looking to make amends for his own conscience. There's nothing wrong in that, per se. But if it's any more than that...and often it is, from my own family experience with alcoholism...well,just keep your antennae out. He deserves credit for this one step. Past that, well, that's his own agenda.

Angella Lister said...

Sounds like Old BF is in progress, but not nearly there yet. You can't really take a drink now and then and do AA. But maybe as time goes on the message will "take." At least he's in a place where people are saying stuff he needs to hear, even if he can't quite hear it yet. That comment that everyone's a whole lot more messed up than he is is a sure sign that he's not clear on his "unmanageables." I have had some experience with this. You were kind to him, but clear for yourself. Good move.

Blogget Jones said...

I'm all for giving credit where credit is due, so I'm glad for him that he's taken a step in the right direction. And the more he's there, the more he hears the message, and the more it'll start sinking in that those stories are not so different from his own. Hopefully, that will help him more than I ever could!