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I killed Mr. Johnson when I was 11-years old
December 14, 2006
11:10 am
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lovetocrochet
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Matteo,

While I agree with your first paragraph to Chicho, from there I think your comments to me are off-base. I never said saying "I'm sorry" is enough.

Making amends is MUCH more than just apologizing. Amending means you make it RIGHT. You pay restitution. You offer to turn yourself in. You find a way to pay back what you did wrong. Chico could still write a letter to the judge that sentenced the one man and let him know he'd made it all up and then be willing to bear whatever consequences the judge thinks is appropriate for that.

I would think given how many times I tell people here talk is cheap and anyone can say they're sorry you'd know that I don't believe that's the case. If I felt "I'm sorry" was all that was needed to make it all okay I'd still be in an abusive marriage and I'd still be letting myself get kicked around by my bio-family. If "I'm sorry" was enough, I wouldn't have felt the need to go into a 12-step program and get help for eating disorders so that I could be a better wife and mother.

I also never said someone would ever feel good about doing a misdeed after making amends. If that were true then the I wouldn't continue to be haunted by the images of the two people I injured bleeding and lying in the road from turning in front of their motorcycle last spring on a daily basis.

I have made amends to them. I paid a fine and pled guilty to careless driving causing bodily injury. I offered to pay restitution as part of my plea agreement, I was even willing to go to jail if that's what the judge decided.

But if you think I'm skipping around going la la la, oh don't I feel good about what I did, well then I don't know what to say to you. Nothing I can repeat here that's for sure.

I sure as hell won't wish for your past to torture you in return either. I wouldn't wish that on another human being like you just did to me. I hope you're proud of yourself.

December 14, 2006
11:22 am
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Notsure
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This is a support site. We are not supposed to pass judgments.

Well I support the fact that you are finally becomming "clean" and support the fact that you need counselling as you certainly were a nasty piece of work when you were younger and at that age (14) you certainly knew the consequences of your action.

The "punishment" you meted out certainly FAR FAR exceeded the any transgression that the guy committed.

I strongly suggest that you go to therapy and also have the balls to write a letter of clarification to that man's family as both his wife and his kids deserve it.

What you have done All because the guy acted like a jerk.

December 14, 2006
11:48 am
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gracenotes
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Agreed, its not about having your past torture you at all. To me, amends include saying I am sorry, letting the other person know exactly what you did, letting the other person know that this will never happen again, and, if possible, what good your are going to do for this person, for others, for yourself. Amends are more a verb, not just winching words. good letter of amends who contain all of these components.

It is really about doing something for the other person, but it is also about clearing one's own conscience. The point is not whether the other person accepts the apology or even what the other person does with that information. What the other person does is their decision, something you have no control over. It is their path, their decision.

The person I most wanted to apologize to in my life never accepted my apology, I don't think ever heard me or saw me for who I really am, but I did all I could do to apologize and then I had to let it be, and I was transformed to be a better person and worked on myself so nothing like this would ever happen again. In reality, I never did anything horrible outside of unkind word spoken, being disrespectful, and overdoing my communication with this person when it was not wanted. And, this person acted in abusive ways towards me. But, it was harmful to the other person because of their past history. Harm is harm. It has truly been one of my deepest growth experiences, just reaching this point of making my amends, honoring this person's request for no further contact. And, that probably has been the healthiest outcome possible. I have become a better, kinder, healthier, more productive person and more because of this event in my life.

These ideas of perpetual suffering --no, I don't believe that at all. We are human beings, we make mistakes, we deal with other non-perfect human beings. It is really about amends and forgiveness and becoming a better person because of what happened, and perhaps helping others bevcause of what was experienced.

I am reminded of a local story of a gang-relating killing where a kid killed another kid. The father of the kid who was killed decided to befriend the killer of his son in prison and try to find some common ground, forgiveness, and meaning in this event. On the surface, these two had nothing in common, but they became friends. As a result, besides the deep reconcilitation and healing that took place, they got to know each other, and, I believe, the father started some organization to help others in similar circumstances.

December 14, 2006
12:37 pm
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turnabout
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Chicobrisbane,

Did you feel as a child and adolescent that you had a very thin thread of control over your life and that these vengeful acts were necessary to keep anyone else from wresting that little bit away from you?

Matteo's words regarding the true purpose of an apology stirred some thoughts in me about how many of us spend much of our lives trying to exert control over things external to us and refusing to accept control over ourselves.

Many of us here are codep, and that's what has brought us here. This problem with control is a matter very familiar with us, and, really, it's the source of everything troubling us no matter how we label ourselves and our issues, if you ask me.

Vengence is a matter of trying to reassert control over circumstances when one feels it has been taken from them. And apologizing is a matter of resigning that effort and surrendering its consequences to the one wronged by it.

The jacuzzi guy "stole" your control over the situation by physically putting you over the fence. If you were small for your age, I bet you had a real complex from this sort of thing happening more than once ... being underestimated and disregarded like that ... which made you feel the need to overcompensate, being even tougher and meaner in craftier ways than your average 14 year old. So, with vengence you "stole" the control right back. The consequences of him running you out of the jacuzzi could have been left at that (there were other options, of course, but we'll leave it there for now.), but that would have made you feel like he had control over your circumstances, so you decided to take that control back by whatever means necessary, so that the consequences of what he did would turn out unfavorably for him. He was already a bully. That legacy was the consequence of his own actions, but you took it a step further and made him look even worse than he was, something that I guess has followed his reputation to this day.

What if you surrendered your control over those consequences? If you spoke up, it would be a surrender of your control over that part of his reputation and a beginning for asserting your responsibiliby what you can rightfully control ... your choices. It would be a restoration of the truth, which is a healing force for everyone.

December 14, 2006
1:20 pm
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(((lovetocrochet))) (((gracenotes)))

I agree.

December 14, 2006
1:30 pm
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Oh my god.

Notsure...the tone of your reply was extremely harsh. This man has come here for support, he's finally realised that the stuff he did in his youth was wrong and its catching up on him now...I really don't think your harsh tone is going to do any good here.

Love to crochet...your suggestion of this man going to the people he hurt and apologising is quite dangerous...who knows what could happen if he does this. I think the more pressing thing for chico to do would be to get therapy first, when he's feeling strong and ready and has accepted his mistakes, then with the help of some sort of professional mediator he could possible do what you suggest...but I think to suggest tht he just contacts these people out of the blue and just apologise to them, is quite...unrealistic. Although I think your heart is in the right place.

Matteo...you wrote " I hope not and I hope that the past will torture you"
to lovetocrochet...am I understanding that correctly? Did you really say you hoped that the past would torture someone?

And your views on saying sorry when you make mistakes...well, have you never hurt anyone in your whole entire life at all matteo? And if you have...are you prepared to spend the rest of your life beating yourself up over it?

Lets not forget one thing here...Chico was a teenager and young adult when this happened...I'm not saying it wasn't wrong and I'm not he didn't hurt people...I'm just saying he was young, obviously immature, obviously lacking in empathy or compassion for some reason which will probably only be realised through intensive therapy...but now its catching up on him, and it must feel very scary and very sickening....so be a little more gentle here...none of us here can afford to cast the first stone.

Rev.

December 14, 2006
3:04 pm
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lovetocrochet
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Good point Rev. Yes you are right it could be dangerous... Chico even mentioned being fearful of them doing something. I can both understand and respect that.

Even 12-step groups acknowledge amends must only be done so long as nobody gets hurt, and yes there does need to be a period of sorting things out and making sure these things are done in the right place at the right time. Thank you for pointing those things out better than I was able.

December 14, 2006
3:09 pm
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lovetocrochet
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Thank you also for sticking up for me. I found Matteo's comments to be pretty hurtful... I've already dealt with the "I hope you suffer for the rest of your life" crap from my family of origin (sometimes wished on me for merely existing and not turning out like they wanted) to LAST me my entire life.

But I digress.

December 14, 2006
4:15 pm
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lollipop3
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Rev....good point.

Being a 12 Step-er myself, I knew exactly what love meant when she suggested making amends...it didn't even occur to me that someone else might take that too literally and think that it means just calling out of the blue to say "hey I'm sorry" without any forethought or preparation.

Thank you for pointing that out.

Love,
Lolli

December 14, 2006
5:17 pm
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gracenotes
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lollipop,

Thanks for the ((( ))) I was thinking about my post on and off this morming. I really wrote from the heart and was very healing. Thanks for acknowledging ((( )))
rev.

Words of wisdom...much appreciateed.

Oh yes, too, one always has to be careful of amends. My No Contact person who I made amends to was actually sick and tired of my apologizing (because it was more than once, a lot more than once, I guess I was still expecting a response at that time) and it did anger the other party. But I think maybe one apology would have been one too many anyway.

And, I was thinking there was one thing I would never tell this person because it would be hurtful and it would serve no good purpose, would truly stir the kettle up again. In that piece it was best to just let it be, just forgive myself, I stopped doing what I was doing, I know I learned from the situation, and I think I have found closure with this person.

December 14, 2006
5:52 pm
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bevdee
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Hey Chicobrisbane,

First off, I want to say that I am not your judge or jury. This is what I surmise from what you posted about Mr. Johnson - I believe he was dying when you saw him. Because you were angry at him, you turned away from him and because he died, you feel it was your fault. Is this correct? It's possible that even if you went away to call for help, he would have passed away before help could come.

Feelings of guilt and actual responsibility are two different matters. To me? it seems you have assumed guilt and/or responsibility for the situations you described, the ones that weigh the most heavily on your mind.

You mentioned the way minds work sometimes - deflecting anger at an exxternal source (your nephew). This is common, and I believe it speaks well of you that the anger you feel toward him as a trigger is recognised by you and is disturbing to you.

I was thinking about this today- I know about that" I'll show you" attitude. I have these inclinations, and I think alot of people do. Mine comes from a feeling of fear, helplessness, and anger. Needing to be right. That's the "don't f**k with me, cause here's what I can do" syndrome.

If you had any of those feelings as a little boy- helplessness, fear, anger, can you think of any situations those feelings might have arisen from?

I believe feelings of guilt are not necessarily indicative of actual responsibility. Some of us feel responsible for all kinds of things that are simply not our problem. But I also know that carrying around repressed emotions - guilt and fear -can cause more anger.

Maybe working those 12 steps, or talking to a counselor, alot of introspection would help you discern the difference. From there you might be able to make a desicion on how to move forward, with confession or making amends. Keep coming here, too. Something form another post might jump out at you and make all the difference. That's what happened with me.

See ya later, Chicobrisbane

December 14, 2006
9:25 pm
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lollipop3
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Gracenotes,

Yes, you are right in that making amends is not always best. The steps suggest making amends when to do so would not cause further harm to yourself or others. Depending on the situation, making amends should be thought through very carefully.

Love,
Lolli

December 15, 2006
5:50 am
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chicobrisbane
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Turnabout:

You seem to understand my motives and the causes thereof quite well. At least at that time when I was young and looked even younger then other boys my age. You see these boys could pick on me physically and emotionally with little consiequence. But an adult could only do it emotionally so I didn't fear that threat of potential physical harm from them that I did with other 14 year old boys whom towered a foot above me and outweighed me by 30+ pounds. But the emotional distress I felt from adults who challenged me (my age) and or hindred my free will could send me into a psychotic frenzy that only took place in my head. They never saw it on my face, in the tone of my voice, or anything that would let then know just how potentionally lethal their current actions where. And when they chose to ignore my warning or in most cases, stopped laughing after I'd said it, I'd calmly walk away and begin the process of plotting and planning my revenge sometime within days, sometimes more then a year later. And you are right! - There were no boundries to what I'd do but to me at that age, it was simply quid pro quo.

My dignity and self respect in exchange for their way of life. I didn't really care what I did to seek this revenge just as long as the end result would be to change the course of their life from that point so that it would never be what it was before our interaction. They took my dignity and self respect and in turn I took control and re-wrote the direction that their life would travel in forever. It would never be the same! Some went from citizen of the year to convicted criminal, or rich to poor, married to divorced, homeowner to homless, employed to unemployed, happy to sad. Whatever you where before you messed with me, you where going to be the opposit by the time I was done with you. At 32, I was beaten in the parking lot of a shopping center by a man and didn't learn until after he was caught that it was someone from an incident that took place 16 years earlier. The man beat me for a good 2 minutes and I didn't even recognize him. When I was 16 he called the police on me and some friends for drinking beer in the park across the street. So I used my scanner to capture a cordless phone conversation he was having with his girlfriend about taking his wife out for valentines day. He told his girlfriend that a friend was going to page him about an emergency at work and that he'd drop his wife off at the house and then come and pick her up so they could go out. So I waited until he and his wife left for dinner and then called his house and played the conversation between him and his girlfriend onto their answering machine. Of course they where divorced, sold the house, child support, alimony, etc. - So I guess he's the only one who's actually got revenge back. The odd thing is that when this guy broke my nose and 2 ribs, I had no desire to get revenge, I was just happy that he didn't kill me. I even said at his trial what I did when I was 16 and that I was only here testifying because I was under a subpoena even though I refused to press charges once I realized who he was. But the D.A. went after him anyway but the jury aquitted him in the end. It's a strange world.....

December 15, 2006
11:31 am
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mj
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Are you proud of how powerful you were to alter people's lifes?

December 15, 2006
12:58 pm
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on my way
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chico,

Sometimes as a child it is hard to know what to do. Some children are treated as if their opinions are not worth much, so they don't speak up or out as much as others, it then becomes a self-esteem issue. And sometimes friends take the place of parents in regard to validation, thus peer pressure. Maybe this is what happened to you then, I don't know for sure. It is so important to have family support growing up, maybe as a child you had unrealistic expectations of a cousin that was someone you felt close too.

Could be alot of reasons....but if you can forgive yourself, you might be able to get on with your life NOW.

Sorry for your pain, I hope what everyone has offered here helps you to find your truth.

December 15, 2006
3:08 pm
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on my way
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chico..also menat to add that it sounds to me (and I could be wrong) that you had no adults that you trusted in your life to protect you. So you took matters into your own hands?

December 15, 2006
6:35 pm
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gracenotes
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chico,

That's what I have been wondering all through all the things you posted... who were your caretakers, parents, whomever when you were growing up? Was there anyone you looked up to? I get the impression from what you have written so far that you were very much on your own and had little or no support or much caring at all.

December 15, 2006
11:17 pm
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Anonymous
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Are you a troll? Did you just make this story up to get a rise out of people here?

If you aren't, that sucks.

What a horrible place to be in. I am scared for you.

I would not asking to trade lives with you one bit.

December 16, 2006
6:01 am
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chicobrisbane
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I haven't done anything like this since I was about 17. So for 23-24 years I thought I was leading what I considered to be a "normal" life. As far as my up bringing, Mr. Dad was not the "Let's too the ball around in the front yard" kind of dad. He was 40 when I was born so by the time I was 10, My dad was a 50 year old man while my other friends dad's where in the late 20's early 30's. I was often asked if my parents where my grandparents. But they didn't mistreat me in any way.

Chico

December 16, 2006
7:45 am
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bevdee
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Morning!

Artist girl, did you see that last thread by the site coordinator? Gentle feedback?

December 16, 2006
2:02 pm
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Anonymous
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bevdee,

When I asked if chico was a troll this is what I meant:

"In Internet terminology, a troll is a person who enters an established community such as an online discussion forum and intentionally tries to cause disruption, often in the form of posting messages that are off-topic, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others. The troll differs from the Snert in that it is the troll's intention to cause disruption to the community and not necessarily insult or offend, as is the intention of the Snert."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....rnet_troll

I haven't found the post by the site cordinator.

I am just saying the story sounds so intensely terrible to be a part of that it almost makes me wonder if it is made up to cause an uprise with a bunch of people who are trying to sort out their codependency issues. All I know if Chico is for real and not trying to egg people on, I would really, really not want to be in Chico's position because I think that is a terrible place to be mentally.

OK...that aside...I have been a little short fused with my own situation. So Chico...I am sorry if I was not gentle enough.

I guess I will just have to trust that everyone is being truthful or ignore it when I am thinking that someone is "trolling".

December 16, 2006
5:10 pm
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artist girl,

Thank you for your post. I had never heard the new term you introduced in it- snert.

Bevdee

December 16, 2006
6:15 pm
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gracenotes
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Well, its hard to know whether Chico is a troll or not (I had that thought a while ago), but, regardless of yes or no, this has brought out for me the ability to respond non-judgmentally to a situation that has all the potential to arouse judgment, and look beyond the surface. Also, it is made me think on the topic of integrity in my actions as well as to post some things along the line of forgiveness and amends. This has been a learning experience, but I have really said all I want to say on this thread.

I think, Chico, if you are truly motivated to make changes in your life, this site can be one of many tools to get you there. Suggestions have been made for other things, and they are all good suggestions. It is truly up to you what you choose to give your attention to.

December 16, 2006
9:36 pm
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You know, I just read this post, the first post by chico and I thought this guy was not for real. I thought he was a TROLL, too!!

I did not read any other posts except for the last one by artist girl but I agree with her. The story smacks of fiction. It doesn't sound real to me.

Just my humble opinion.

bonita

December 17, 2006
11:55 am
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chicobrisbane
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Well I'm not familiar with a snert or a troll until now and came upon this sight in a google search. I had some important questions about repressed guilt and someone who might be in the know about my using comapany paid benifts for psyshological services. I've been given some wonderful insight and useful information. I know many cannot comprehend the possibility that a person can be so horrible especially as a child and teenager but I was. Why it has taken so long for me to realize it I have no idea. Will the gult and self loathing ever go away or even fade a little, I also do not know. But what I do know is that I am not a troll or a snert and that seems to be all that I'm sure of these days. The Holidy's should be just pee-chee this year.

Take care and God Bless all of you.

Charles B. (Monrovia, Ca.)

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