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I killed Mr. Johnson when I was 11-years old
December 12, 2006
8:08 pm
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gracenotes
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Chico,

I think Chellis is right about this. The fact that you wrote about this here, that you are having memories of this more than before.. I think this really means that you are ready to deal with this. It obvoiusly is bothering you very much.

I wouldn't want to do this alone though. I hope you find a professional to help you out. There are many ways to get help and sometimes it does not have to cost a lot. THere are referral services in the yellow pages that could help you find the right person, if you decide this is the route for you.

The best to you.

December 12, 2006
8:46 pm
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revelation
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Whoa...ok, what a post.

I want to write so much, but don't quite know how to say it. Let me have a think.

Chico, your post was very thought provoking. Firstly, I know that a lot of people have said that by 11, you were old enough to know right from wrong and stuff to that effect. But, there are people who've done much worse things than you, and are much older, and yet, they also chose to leave the guilt on their front lawn too. Obviously, as you pointed out, it was an emotion that was way to heavy for you to carry at the time, so you just didn't. Or at least you thought you didn't. You blocked it out...but I'll bet you've carried it around in your subconscious since that day and its probably effected your life more than you realise. So, now at 42 its come knocking on your door looking for attention.....our wrongdoings have a nasty habit of doing that.

There is a few lessons to be learned for all of us in your story.

There are people on here who have been hurt really badly by some very callous cold damaged people. And I ALWAYS say to them, that those people will eventually reap what they sow, because when you hurt someone, no matter how much you try to block out the guilt, it will eventually come back to haunt you. And that moment, when that wrongdoing comes back, must be absolutely gut-wrenching, so for that, I am truly sorry for you. Controversial as that may sound, I do feel terribly sorry for you. Their must be a storm of emotions going on right now inside of you...and probably because you learned so young to block out those emotions, well its probably really really difficult for you right now to deal with them all....to face up to them all. Its must be crushingly hard. Which is why, I must agree with others here, who have suggested counselling. Go see a person-centred therapist. We all have a dark-side, we all have stuff we are ashamed of, whether that shame is misplaced or completely relevent is not really important, because its the fact that we are keeping it locked away inside us and not taking it out and examining it for what it is, that keeps us damaged, keeps us unhealthy, keeps us negative.

We have all made mistakes in the past, some big mistakes, some small. But whatever the mistake, you are now feeling the shame and remorse for something that happened so many years ago, and something you can do absolutely nothing to fix now. I'm not suggesting for one minute that you just block the guilt out all over again and keep going, because, its going to keep coming back to haunt you until you deal with it, properly in a healthy way and heal...yes heal from it.

I hope that helps.

Rev.

December 12, 2006
9:57 pm
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lovetocrochet
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I apologize for being harsh. I definitely spoke out of turn and out of line after reading others' responses and thinking it over. My words have no excuses. I have no excuses. I jumped the gun and let the words fly before I could sort them out.

I still think you have some pretty big emotional knots to untie that someone who specializes in trauma therapy would best be able to untangle. I can't imagine being in your position and I say this as someone who's made some pretty major mistakes.

The closest I can come is imagining this is like a giant hand crushing your chest and you'd do anything to push it off, but you clearly can't do it alone. We can try, but there's only so much we can do as well, maybe we can get that burden to budge some just by listening but it sounds like this is a pretty deep wound. Of course the choice is up to you but I hope you can explore all your options and at the least not carry this inside any longer.

December 12, 2006
10:51 pm
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chicobrisbane
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I new that I would be villified for me second post but I don't think I would be serving the purpose and spirit of this site if I weren't completely honest with how I feel. I have spent months reading everything I can about my behavior and as far as my nephew goes, I don't "Hate" him I hate what he did by causing these memories to return. He's only 8 and it kills me that its now painful to see him or hear his voice because it takes my right back to my sisters garage which in turn is an instant mental gateway to 1975 and Mr. Johnsons garage. On a lighter note I did speak with him on the way home from work this evening and I couldn't wait for the conversation to end but I did my best to be my usual happy Uncle Chuck because I realize that I shouldn't blame him. I do blame him but at least realize that I shouldn't. This is where I suspect that my entire life I have been a sociopath and never new it. But from what I read of the subject hits really close to home. I refuse to accept responsibility for my actions and can always rationalize why something that I've done is someone elses fault. You know! " Well if they wouldn't have done X, I woulnd't have done Z. I am more concerned about getting over the issue with my nephew first and foremost. Old man Johnson can wait. It's not as if he's going anywhere. My nephew is growing like a weed and Uncle Chuck needs to find a way to stop associating him with Mr. Johnson.

December 12, 2006
10:57 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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Please seek professional help. For you both. I am glad to hear that you care. Please learn to love him like you used to. We can support you here, and we will...BUT, we can't fix this for you hon. It is time to let this out, and take care of it. For you and your nephew wants his Uncle Chuck back. If you can't do it for yourself right now, do it for him. He needs you. DO this for you both. You wil have lots of us right here cheering you on.

Mich

December 12, 2006
11:05 pm
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chicobrisbane
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SCAREDIN MICHIGAN WROTE:

"Are you saying that you feel almost violent towards this child? You are pushing an idea that you may need to try something in-patient here if you are going this crazy over this situation."

NO NEVER! -I don't know how to explain what I'm going through but harming my nephew is not even within the realm of possibility and hope this is that last time I have to address it. IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN! -

But after reviewing my previous post I can see how some might have drawn that conclusion.

December 12, 2006
11:11 pm
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lollipop3
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Chico,

The good news is that if you were truly a sociopath....chances are you wouldn't be posting here looking for support and help and trying to figure out why you feel the way you do. A true sociopath wouldn't care enough to even give it a second thought.

Having said that....

Have you considered talking to a professional about any of this?

December 12, 2006
11:38 pm
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lovetocrochet
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I'm glad you replied with what you have to say...

I do agree that if you were a sociopath you probably wouldn't be here admitting this, let alone having it bother you this way. I think there are other things that can lead people into finding ways to not be accountable.

For example I was raised by people who ALWAYS had to be right, and they were willing to be mean, manipulate, lie, backstab, threaten, and abuse to do it. The actual truth meant very little if anything.

While I loathed that arrogance growing up, lo and behold I inherited it... not on the same level thank God but I still became a real jerk on account of it nonetheless. Learning to be humble is not easy but I certainly prefer it, for many times being wrong means another learning opportunity for growth and change for the better, and in turn I can be a better Mommy and wife. But anyway it goes to show that there are indeed other factors that can contribute to having the rationale that you described.

Do you think there are other things that happened to you as a kid that could also be at play? Yes a lot of kids at age 11 can be little brats but I keep sensing there's more that's unresolved in this for you than just this one incident. Though I could be wrong, I'm just guessing...

I think your wanting to do this so you can be the Uncle Chuck your nephew knows and loves again is very noble and that can be the goal that motivates you to reach out for help to recover. Perhaps you won't be EXACTLY the same Uncle Chuck but maybe that can mean in turn you're a BETTER Uncle Chuck, and in that case everyone would come out on top.

December 12, 2006
11:49 pm
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chicobrisbane
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Well I'm not ruling that (sociopath or at least sociopathic tendancies) out yet until a qualified professional says so. But based on other "horrific" things that I've done in my childhood and adolescents, I definately lacked a normal sence of conscience. I think the Mr. Johnson incident is the one that came back to haunt me because it's the only time one of my vengful acts of retaliation against those who have wronged me where not hurt in any physical way whatsoever.

December 13, 2006
12:37 am
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gracenotes
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chico,

It sounds like you have really had a horrific childhood, Its helpful to talk about what happened back then also. Almost everyone has done things they regret and are not proud of. And, when we are children we do not really have the capacity to make good judgments on our own. Even teenagers, despite what they think, are not fully capable of adult judgment until their 20's.

I am really trying to avoid labels or diagnoses, but if you are going to do any reading about things psychological, maybe learning about trauma and post-traumatic stress would be helpful to your understanding. That may explain this thing that some people are reacting to here -- this sense of lack of empathy or being cut off from parts of yourself, hard to explain though. It also seems like you care very much about your nephew and want to be a good role model to him.

What you are saying about how your nephew brings back bad memories kind of reminds me of what traumatized war veterans might do if they started hearing a car backfiring or fireworks or a gun firing. It could bring back memories of war and they would start to come unglued and start feeling like they are back there again. I think a lot of us here know what it is like to be traumatized. I don't think its helpful to start self-diagnosing yourself either. Having studied psychology, its real easy to start reading about all kinds of problems and see yourself in so many of the diagnoses. You are right, diagnoses need to be left up to the professionals and they are not always right either. But, I really think you are acting and feeling, in many ways, like a tramautized person. Don't know if that helps but I am glad you responded to some of what was said here and didn't get scared away. Its obvious to me you are really looking for answers and this is one place that can be of help.

December 13, 2006
12:37 am
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turnabout
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Hey chico... the example of sociopathic behavior you used (blaming others for your own choices) can be attributed to ... well, to a whole larger range of personalities or emotional disorders than just the sociopath. No need to stop your research there just because it may be the diagnosis you fear. I think all of us tend to study up on one disorder and attempt diagnosing ourselves, perhaps out of fear of what we are or out of desperation to validate what we're going through somehow. The problem is that our perceptions are so distorted by whatever our affliction is that it's nearly if not completely impossible for us to differentiate what we're doing from what is being done to us, and our natural reactions from those spawned by irrational fears.

It's interesting to me that you're blaming your nephew for triggering this memory, but not just because he did something that triggered it and not because he's your nephew, but because he's a BOY.... like you were at the time this happened. It makes me wonder if you might be feeling so harshly towards him because you're projecting your self-blame onto him.

And I noticed you said that you dropped your "guilt a normal kid should’ve felt" right then at the time. That SOUNDS like you denying responsibility, but in order to deny it, one must have some sense of it to begin with. Soooo.... you felt responsible, but decided then and there not to feel that way??? And now you resent your nephew for bringing back what you thought was left behind and making you feel responsible again? Especially after it had been so easily left behind back then... why did he have to go and make it be difficult NOW?? Yeah, that makes sense to me.

But you aren't responsible for Mr. Johnson's death. You may be responsible for not helping when you could have, but not for his death itself, as your title indicates.

Sounds to me like you never really dropped the guilt; You just suppressed it. And it's harder to drop now, b/c adults can be so much less forgiving than children. So now when you face your internal judge and jury, you have difficulty pardoning yourself b/c of all that you now know you COULD have done and maybe SHOULD have done.

December 13, 2006
6:32 am
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chicobrisbane
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The one thing about my childhood, adolescents, and teenage years that I would seek revenge against any adult who "wronged" me. I felt that no adult other then me parents had the right to tell me what to do. When I was 14 we moved into a condo complex which where growing in popularity in the late 70. I was 14 but looked younger (always have) when some man told me to leave because I had to be 14. I told him I was and he picked me up and set me over the fence. I asked for me keys and towel which he didn't throw at me, but tossed when I spacifiaclly asked him to hand them to me. His mistake #1 - I took my key opened the gate and walked right back to the jacuzzi at which point he leaped out of the water and was going to put me over the fence gain. I told him if he did that he'd be so sorry that he'd never forgive himself. I can't type what he told me but just know that it was his mistake #2 - I once again told him that I was 14 even if I didn't look like it and that he could go ask my mom but instead he stepped out of the jacuzzi and I decided to leave rather then be put over the fence. I told on on my way out to enjoy the jacuzzi because it would he wouldn't be using it after tonight. Then I mustered up some tears on the walk back to our condo to tell my mom about the man who showed me his weiner down at the jacuzzi and made me touch it. The police was at my house like real fast. But earlier when the man leaped out of the jacuzzi I saw directly up his shorts and that he was not circumsized. When the police talked to me I played innocents as if I wanted to say something but not in front of my mom. So when they pulled me to the side I told then that there was something wrong with the mans weiner because it didn't have a "top part" is what I think I said. The policeman asked me if I meant the man was not circumcized and I said I didnt know all I know is that it was ugly and came to a point. I'll never forget the look on that mans face when we showed up at his door in the middle of his dinner and the police told him what I had accused him of. He didn't deny that he was at the jacuzzi and that I was there. But the police asked him if he was circumsized and he said no. The police asked him how I would know that if he hadn't showed it to me as I claimed. He was arrested, jailed, allowed to plea to a lesser charge but in the end. Lost his job, house, wife, kids, and for what? - So he could push some kid around because he's an adult. Laugh in my face when I told him that he'd be sorry? - As he sat in the back of that police car crying like a baby, I mouthed the words "I told you you'd be sorry" - I'm pretty sure at that point he was, but it was too late by then. Not even I could help a misguided adult after they've ingored my warning. Back then, screwing with me was like ringing a bell and you'd think an adult would know that you can't un-ring a bell.

It alwasy amazed me how these "adults" looked shocked, bewildered, or whatever when I was done with them. From my perspective they looked rediculous. Like they just pulled a dog by its tail and then sat there wondering why the dog bit them. They where adults, they should've known better. -

This type of vengeful behavior lasted into my late teens, or atleast until adults no longer intimidated me. I am no longer vengful, but would be less then honest if I didn't admit that I can sometimes be spiteful depending on the circumstances. I am leary of utilizing my health insurance from work for fear of psychological services rendered to me getting back to the benefits department of my employer, so I am going to foot the bill on my own unless someone knows here about company paid benefits and when can or cannot be disclosed.

Thanks

December 13, 2006
9:27 am
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lovetocrochet
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I'm pretty sure stuff like that has to stay confidential, there are laws protecting you. It's considered medical and you have to sign a release form for them to even think about looking at it. I work for a govt. contract and even they had to ask me to sign medical release forms when I went through my security clearance to talk to anyone.

Your workplace *might* know you're getting counseling, but beyond that it's truly none of their business. Talk to your insurance and/or HR department to get the details. You can even tell them you're asking for a friend if you want to keep your inquiries from being attached to you, but most HR reps are not in the business of making your personal information public (at least they shouldn't be!).

A workplace is not allowed to discriminate against you for having a psychological condition or for getting help... in fact most of them have employee assistance programs designed to be confidential and if it turns out you have a disorder you may even be covered by disability laws to receive accommodation if it starts interfering with your job. They would rather you be well and functioning by proactively handling the problem, whatever it is, than fall apart and end up having to spend the money and resources to either pay for disability or even replace you.

To be honest I still prefer to suspend my judgment. I remember some of the mean lies and cruel things I did as a kid... but I know I'm not a sociopath. I was just REALLY screwed up from years of abuse and being the child of an alcoholic family, and I too struggled with guilt and remorse that I also suppressed with the memories for a long time.

Thankfully with a lot of help and support I am working through it. It's a long and painful process but it is worth it.

I've recommended this book to others before... it's The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. Very well written and it might help you get some insight on yourself one way or another. It sounds like you're in a position to be honest with exploring what's going on inside you... for all you know it might end up providing reassurance and relief.

BTW, with the jacuzzi incident... you know it's never too late to make amends. Maybe you can talk to an attorney to discern how best to clear that man's name after all these years.

December 13, 2006
9:38 am
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MissNhimnotWantN2
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Wow. Sounds like you were a pretty mean kid. But at least your are addressing this now, and wanting to get some help. I see a counselor, and my employers know, but the counselors are not allowed to discuss anything. I think you'd be safe to purse benefits thru your insurance if it covers counseling. It's your benefit. You pay for it. Use it. You really should.

December 13, 2006
12:05 pm
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gracenotes
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Chico,

That jacuzzi guy sounded like a real jerk. So many kids are mean and I am guessing that you grew up in a home or environment where there was a lot of anger? Just a guess. I work with kids, and I really don't think kids are born mean. I think they learn it from their family and their friends and then there are some kind of payoffs for this behavior and it continues.

I am kind of on the fence about using my HMO benefits for therapy. I went to a therapist recently, and I decided to pay out of pocket. It really had nothing to do with my employer's perception of seeking counseling. I just didn't want any of this on my permanent medical record. I have no idea how private or public that really is. I also wanted to be able to determine how long I saw this therapist, start now, to be able to choose a compatible therapist, and have the option of calling her in the future if I decide there's something else I would like to work on, which I feel free to do. I was also looking for a therapist who specialized in short-term (EMDR)trauma treatment, and I was kind of limited by my HMO on that. I guess this really depends on your financial situation.

December 13, 2006
12:14 pm
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lollipop3
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Chico,

I agree with lovetocrochet that it is never to late to make amends.

As difficult as it may be, clearing that man's name may be a positive step toward relieving some of the guilt you are experiencing.

Lolli

December 13, 2006
8:07 pm
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bevdee
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Chicobrisbane,

I wanted to tell you that it took alot of courage for you to post those posts. It's real hard for me to admit when I feel guilty.

It also took courage for you to come back and post again. I find that very admirable. I might have run away.

Your nephew? Maybe you are just finding it uncomfortable to be around the little guy, because he was there when the guilty memory surfaced? Now he reminds you of your unresolved guilt?

Bevdee

December 13, 2006
9:01 pm
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chicobrisbane
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I've been consumed mostly by the incident regarding Mr. Johnson and in the process, I am wondering what became of the people who's lives I have destroyed by my evil acts of vengence? - I can call it that now because I see thing finally for the way they are and not how I perceived them to be when I was young. Back then it was my perception that these people destroyed their own lives by interfearing with mine.I saw it as them having a choice to do it (mess with me) or not to do it and they simply made the wrong choice and suffered the concequence. As for the Jacuzzi man, he drank himself to death and died about 4 years after the incident. There are at least a dozen people who I've "taught lessons" to between the ages of 10 and 20 and when I think of the things i've done it's like someone else did that. I couldn't have possibly been so calculated and devious, but sadly I was.

As far as my med benefits, I don't even what my employer knowing that I am seeking therapy. It would be career suicide in my line of work and simply cannot that that chance.

December 13, 2006
9:37 pm
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revelation
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Hmmm...but what would be worse, for your employer to know you are seeking therapy for some issues that are bothering you...or for your employer to HAVE to be made aware that you are having a nervous break-down???? The therapy is a preventative measure...if you don't get help, this will consume you, and you won't have any choice but to tell your employer.

I live in Ireland, I would have thought we were a lot more behind than the US (I'm assuming thats where you are from) with regards to the idea of psychotherapy, I would have thought there would be a lot more prejudices and ignorance about seeking therapy here than there are in the US (after all, most of the founding fathers of psychotherapy practices that are common today, were americans). Yet, my employers encouraged me when I said I needed therapy. I'd had miscarriages, I'd been in an extremely toxic unhealthy relationship...they were aware enough to know that if I didn't get help, I'd be of absolutely no use to them as an employee...surely common sense prevails here??? No?

When you feel a cold coming on, you need to take care of yourself, with medicines and hot drinks...well, if you leave this guilt and anger untreated, its going to develop into depression or maybe some other type of mental illness its going to do damage to your health. You can take that to the bank!

Rev.

December 13, 2006
9:43 pm
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bevdee
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Chicobrisbane,

I understand your hesitation to have your insurance pay for your therapy. I kinda got burned on that, too. In my case, the therapy was worth it, but it wasn't confidential.

This last post of yours caused me to think of the 12 steps.

http://proactive-coach.com/12s.....s/list.htm

These are the proactive 12 steps- modified from AA. I did something like this years ago, to apologise to all the people I could remember that I had hurt in my codependency and denial. A couple of teachers I rebuffed when they tried to reach out to me.

Chico, you are so honest when you say - "I think of the things i've done it's like someone else did that. I couldn't have possibly been so calculated and devious, but sadly I was."

You know I am not going to make a list or anything here, but I can tell you, that for as sweet a person as I probably am, I too have had my petty vengeances on folks I believed were responsible for my pain. I don't advertise it, here.

I believe you took a great big major step toward getting help for yourself in posting here. Typing this out brought it out of your self-conscious.

Bevdee

December 13, 2006
11:47 pm
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bevdee
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Chico - SUB conscious- not self-conscious!!

December 13, 2006
11:55 pm
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lovetocrochet
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I would still encourage you to find some way to make amends. Is there any way you can track down the survivors of both Mr. Johnson's family and the man from the jacuzzi incident, and offer amends to them? If you struggle with this idea it might benefit you to work through a support group or once again a therapist.

I'm in a 12-step group and one of the most beneficial parts of it is making those amends. You completely clear your side of the street and your conscience... you know that you have done your part and can move on instead of letting the past continue to torture you.

I'm sorry for your pain and struggles. I hope you find some answers.

December 14, 2006
3:31 am
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chicobrisbane
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What could I possibly say to these people that you make up for the damage I've inflicted? - I would feel as if I'm digging up things they've hoped to have forgotten to make myself feel better. I don't think I'd consider such a thing because to me that would be like showing up in their life again to reopen the wound. I don't think I'll be doing that. I'm sure 2 or 3 would shoot me dead right where I stood if given the chance.

December 14, 2006
10:05 am
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Matteo
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Chicobrisbane ~ for the first time since I was asked to read your thread, I have to agree with you: You cannot possibly say anything to these people to make up for the damage. And if you would apologize to them, it shouldn’t make you feel better about yourself, because it should be about them not about you. You owe them the truth, that’s all. I would expect that they will not like you as a result, to put it mildly. But If I were the wife of that man who was yanked from his home by the police in the middle of his supper, put to jail, and later drowned his sorrow in alcohol until he died, I would want to know that my husband was not a pedophile and I would appreciate to know that a man whom I chose to be my husband and a father of my children, didn’t betray me. If I was his child, I would want to know that my father wasn’t a child molester, no matter how much it would hurt and how much I would hate you in the end. This is what you can do for “those people”; not to make yourself feel better, but to make them feel better.

lovetocrochet ~ “You completely clear your side of the street and your conscience... you know that you have done your part and can move on instead of letting the past continue to torture you.” Are you saying that making amendments completely clears your consciousness and absolves you from the responsibility and guilt from what you did wrong to others so you can move on while they might be suffering the consequences of your deeds maybe for generations to come? Is that that I can do whatever bad to others and then say “I am sorry” and feel good about myself and move on because the past will not torture me, because I apologized? Is it that easy? I hope not and I hope that the past will torture you. That’s the beauty of karma. What you can do is to make something good to people because those good deeds will eventually get back to you as well, but I don’t believe that you can erase the past and happily move on if you really have any consciousness at all.

December 14, 2006
11:06 am
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MissNhimnotWantN2
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Chico- for your own safety, I would write a letter to the wife/family. You'd be putting yourself in danger if you presented yourself to them.

Matteo- I agree with you. But what do you suggest a person do if they have done something horrible to another, and they realize it, and feel guilty about it, and would like to make amends, but know that apologizing would would just bring up more hurt feelings? What if what was done to this person is already known between the two? And just has not been spoken of between the two....and the two have spoken since the person wronged the other.....

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