15 years later...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 6:33 AM GMT
    so, i'm not trying to shift blame or be mired in the past; however, this life (and how we react to it to become who we are) is a series of causes and effects.

    with that in mind:

    my first boyfriend... i mean, my FIRST boyfriend... has found me on facebook. this person caused so much hurt and angst that it took years to move past some of the ways he affected me and my family. in reacting to scenarios with him over the course of almost 3 years i developed all sorts of self-esteem challenges. this was my first relationship, and it ended up setting the tone for all the others that came after (which opened me up to the quagmires that they brought with them).

    now he wants to atone.

    there is part of me that really wants to reach out and say, "that is a different time and place. i've not been mad at you for a long time. you've had an open door to friendship for years." when he made a few specific comments it was as if the final cogs had fallen into place, and suddenly my clockwork innards were tinkering past each other properly. all i ever wanted was for him to be nice to me. and now he is.

    but my mom and sister are furious. and they have very good reason. they watched a decline that was pretty near fatal several times.

    so then... am i right to just say "it's okay," or is my family right to say "fuck him!" or is there a blance between these somewhere?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 6:41 AM GMT


    ...what the Tanker said...and how nice for you to be in driver's seat!

    Can't say what you should do..but I'd probably wait a good loooonnngggg time to make up your mind.

    Bill says yep...take your time...he did.


    -Doug
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jun 30, 2009 6:45 AM GMT
    Past boyfriends who have done me wrong, must stay in the past.
    No exceptions.
    People don't change.
    Today, they have the exact same qualities that they had when you broke up with them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 6:46 AM GMT
    Fool me ONCE....SHAME ON YOU!....Fool me TWICE! SHAME ON ME!
    Forgive and be ever mindful of the lesson you learned.....DE-friend him on Facebook and move on with life.icon_cool.gif Have a Nice Day!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 7:26 AM GMT
    I wonder if you, Jack, don't recognize the strength of character and intelligence that lies within you. We live in the same city, have never met, but from your posts here and your blog, I get the sense that you are much stronger than you give yourself credit. I think in your soul you know that you are not the same person you were 15 years ago. I think you know that while there may be residual effects from that 1st (the 1st never really goes away), you are in command of what will and will not come into your kingdom. He can't do anything to you that you won't allow now. See what he has to say, doesn't mean you are going to put a ring on his finger or vice versa. At most, considering what has happened with him (and it sounds like this guy was a true ass then), I say hear him out. While he is getting somethings off his chest, it may do you well to listen to get completely beyond it. I understand your family's concerns and passion about this. Been there. But ultimately, the choice is yours. Listen to your soul. I say soul because I am a firm believer that the soul is always right when the heart and the mind are in sinc. If you are wavering a lot, I say it would be a no go, but if your soul is giving you a definitive answer, do it. This guy has no power here that you don't give him. Good luck! and keep us posted. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 2:23 PM GMT
    Dont give him a second chance to mess you up....without a large upfront cash security deposit for good behavior.... and I mean large! ... icon_wink.gif
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 30, 2009 2:29 PM GMT
    I would not give him a second chance. Tell him you have moved on, suggest he do the same and then block him.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 2:51 PM GMT
    I guess (depending on the exact nature of his crime) I would consider listening to what the guy has to say. If he is truly sorry and repentant, that might be nice for you to hear. To err is human - to forgive is divine - I've heard. You could decide to forgive him - and it might be good - for YOU. You might feel better in your life from this point forward if you could forgive him. A brilliant priest whom I liked and respected very much once advised me (in a similar situation as yours) to "Forgive them - for yourself - but you need not ever be subjected to them again.........let them go." I followed this advice - and I feel better. I hope this priest's advice might work for you, Jack. The key is to take the course of action that will make YOU feel better - from this point on.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 3:09 PM GMT
    So you arent sure if you should be mad or forgiving unless we tell you which one to be? Come on man. What do YOU want to do.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 30, 2009 3:30 PM GMT
    Jack,
    Well glad to hear you are in a position to reflect on the past and make decisions about your (now, or if there is) a future with this first gentleman
    as a friend.

    Make your decision on how to best deal with him on the totality of all...
    everything you are considering.... the hurt, the behaviors of the past (and think about them) and the person you are now and want to be. Think about how that hurt has helped mold the Jack we know and appreciate today.
    Also consider the positives this man bestowed upon you (if any).

    Your a good man, a matured man... a guy many would like to get to know. You know it. Make your decisions about this man based on who you are now, not the kid who got hurt and no attitude. If you treat him
    with the respect you should have received, but didn't... you will appreciate you and no doubt he will too. We both know you are a man of integrity.
    I'm confident you'll do whats right.

    icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 3:33 PM GMT
    i've decided to forgive but not forget. i think that's a reasonable balance. and no, i'd never go back to him. even if that were his intent, which i don't think it is, he's been living with his current boyfriend for several years.
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    Jun 30, 2009 3:40 PM GMT


    well this complexions things better....perhaps, as we mentioned to another RJer, you taught him something!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    Jun 30, 2009 3:46 PM GMT
    I would look at it as a compliment that after 15 years you made enough of an impression on him in the past that he sought you out and touched bases on FACEBOOK. So, look at that as a positive in terms of your own self-confidence. Maybe 15 years ago the timing just wasn't right -- it happens. Just don't have any expectations if you decide to meet up with him. You survived the last 15 years without him, and you can survive the next 15 too. I've had this happen to me before and when they finally came back around I was surprised to find that I really was soooooo over him. Oh what a feeling!! :-)
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Jun 30, 2009 3:52 PM GMT
    dancerjack, you made the right decision.

    I'm glad you opted not to forget. Those who forgive and forget run the high risk and succumbing to the same perilous relationships.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 7:18 PM GMT
    I agree with much as what has been said, including the seemingly contradictory statements.
    I think the issue has less to do with what is the proper or improper way of dealing with the situation. This is entirely based on your feelings and attitude about both what happened in the past, how much you have or haven't reconciled it, whether you are ready (or even if you ever will be) depending on the severity of the egregious nature of the past events.
    Events that happen when you are young and still impressionable have deep, profound and sometimes hidden or long suppressed deleterious effects. These effects, as you are already well aware, affect you in your daily life in small, subtle ways. Although, overall, I think that the forgive but don't forget is the most emotionally productive approach, that doesn't mean it applies in all cases.
    If you decide to listen to him or have any communication at all, remember that while his intentions may be good, that you must first consider yourself. You must be in a mindset that you can truly say "I don't care or will not be affected by what he has to say." You shouldn't go with a "I'm strong enough to deal with it now." The reason to avoid the later is that it's a clear indication that there are still buttons he can push that, even if inadvertent, can leave you reliving a painful memory, and set you back on your own life's journey.
    While it may be admirable for him to want to atone, remorse, no matter how deeply felt will not repair the irreparable.
    You are a strong man, but only you can determine if no harm will come to you in this. You have my support in that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 7:41 PM GMT
    The same thing has happened to me on Face Fucker with two old flamingos.

    My attitude is always open. Once I figure out what isn't working I just have to be able to think that if I can change then so can other people. This is a selfish thought too, because the inverse is that if other people cannot change then neither can I. I have done so much work to be less like Alexis Carrington and more like Miss Ellie that I just have to be able to keep alive some hope that this kind of change works.

    Both of these guys got hotter and crazier with age. It didn't take too long for the reason why I ran for my life to come rushing back to me. No drama was necessary, I stopped writing to them and they stopped writing back.

    To be honest, I found this experience confirming and comforting. I am 45 and neither one of these guys can break my heart anymore (new people are doing that these days).

    Terry
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 7:47 PM GMT
    A similar situation happened on Facebook (which is why facebook creeps me out) with a former friend who felt the need to apologize for poor treatment when I came out. She needed to apologize and was hoping for a reunion of sorts. I accepted her apology and wished her well.

    My life has been great without her and I do not wish her anything but joy and happiness. I am glad she was able to apologize but I do not need to rekindle that friendship. Forgive, Yes. Forget, No.

    Good luck
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 8:30 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidso, i'm not trying to shift blame or be mired in the past; however, this life (and how we react to it to become who we are) is a series of causes and effects.

    with that in mind:

    my first boyfriend... i mean, my FIRST boyfriend... has found me on facebook. this person caused so much hurt and angst that it took years to move past some of the ways he affected me and my family. in reacting to scenarios with him over the course of almost 3 years i developed all sorts of self-esteem challenges. this was my first relationship, and it ended up setting the tone for all the others that came after (which opened me up to the quagmires that they brought with them).

    now he wants to atone.

    there is part of me that really wants to reach out and say, "that is a different time and place. i've not been mad at you for a long time. you've had an open door to friendship for years." when he made a few specific comments it was as if the final cogs had fallen into place, and suddenly my clockwork innards were tinkering past each other properly. all i ever wanted was for him to be nice to me. and now he is.

    but my mom and sister are furious. and they have very good reason. they watched a decline that was pretty near fatal several times.

    so then... am i right to just say "it's okay," or is my family right to say "fuck him!" or is there a blance between these somewhere?


    they say- to forgive is divine. sometimes we hold on to things and let them fester not realizing that the person who we have the grudge against isn't even thinking of us. we are therefore the one doing harm to ourself. If it helps you to find closure and to finally put that aspect of your life to rest, I say go for it. But at the end of the day only you can make that decision for yourself.

    You may not want to pick up where you left off, but sometimes the act of forgiving someone is more beneficial to yourself than to the other person.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 8:37 PM GMT
    I say forgive and then let it go. The key to being happy is moving forward and that's what your doing. When you look back...guess what?


    You'll turn to salt...or more bitter....so keep on walking!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 8:37 PM GMT
    That you posted about this on here somehow says (to li'l ol' me, anyway) that you aren't ready yet.

    More time. More space.

    Other's ideas on forgiveness are spot on as well. But that should be dialog with yourself, for yourself.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2009 9:10 PM GMT
    You can choose to forgive them as you see fit, but that does not obligate you to give them the solace they are seeking in your forgiveness.
    Facebook has a nasty habit of helping you be located and contacted by people from your past that you have nothing to say to anymore.

    One of my ex girlfriends found my FB profile and tried for weeks to "add" me before I finally just decided to block her (ignoring apparently wasn't doing the trick). It's not that there was any bad blood between us, but after 13 years there is nothing that we have in common (her profile informed me of this) and I have nothing to say to her, nor do I want to share my life as it is now with her.

    In summary, only you can decide if you want to forgive the difficulties your ex BF caused int he past, but regardless of this, you can also choose whether or not to let them back into your life.
  • baldone

    Posts: 826

    Jul 01, 2009 12:51 AM GMT
    the true class thing to do is exactly what you have done, forgive the dude, but let him know that you will never forget what he did.....closes door for you and lets him know just how he hurt you and your family.....
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jul 01, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
    Forgive, and not forget is probably the best route. No need to trigger a fight 15 years in the making, but at the same time- you are a human and should be treated as such.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 01, 2009 1:16 AM GMT
    I think you're both 'right' in a sense. As someone who has seen family members and friends time and time again go back to people who have hurt them, and being the one to pick up the pieces, you eventually have to say enough is enough and just block these people from your life.

    On the other hand, you have the right to allow someone back into your life. I suppose the questions is - what do you want/hope to achieve out of letting him back into your life?

    It took me a long time to learn from some of my mistakes, and now Im definately in a position to let my past be my past. If I were in your position, I'd probably message him on Facebook to say "Hi, hope you're life is going great, so is mine" and leave it at that.