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Post Info TOPIC: making amends to those family members no longer alive


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making amends to those family members no longer alive
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Hello Everyone,

 

I have a few questions about amends. I have written before about this matter, particularly about making financial amends for debts I incurred well-over 40 years ago. I did contact all the people I could, with one person who replied to my email saying it was good to hear from me and not to sweat the $7 concert ticket I failed to pay for since his brother, whom I bought the ticket from, has long since forgotten about it.

 

The other person, I sent an email to never responded. He must have thought I was out of my mind for reaching out to him after all this time (40 + years) about $20 I borrowed and never repaid.

 

I was able to contact my former teacher/basketball coach. I sent him a letter apologizing for my poor conduct, letting the team down etc. I received a very nice letter from him in the post the other day. He wrote that he has no ill-will towards me and hoped I had not been thinking of this stuff all these past 40 years. The truth is, I had been thinking a lot about what happened. There was a tournament I did not show up to and failed to notify anyone, leaving the coach and my teammates in the lurch. He gave me his email and encouraged me to write back to tell him about what I have been doing all these years.

 

I have the urge to explain how my life went a bit sideways in my last year of high school. In the fall of 1980, my father told me it was decided I was going to live my grandmother (his mother) at her house on the other side of town. Why? It was something about reducing the family stress in the house. My two older brtoher living at home were in  university, and my younger brother and sister were also living at home. I recall vividly still to this day what happened as my dad was taking me to his mothers house where I was to live, and to attend a high school near her home. As we were drving I screamed and burst into tears that I dont want to leave, leave my friend...and why was it me? I grabbed the steering wheel and yanked it to pull the car to the side of the road which freaked my dad out. I jumped out of the car and ran to a hospital across the street to call a friend, who came and picked me up, and I lived with his family for two weeks. During that time, I still attended school, though in a daze. My father who was a teacher at another high school would pass on messages to the guidance counsellor at my school, pleading for me to come home. I guess this was arounf the time when I bailed on my coach and team mates by blowing off the tournament we were scheduled to participate in. Only two months later, it was decided I move in with my mother in the apartment she just rented since she and my dad had now separated. I remember the day so well I moved in: the evening of December 24th. So my last year of high school was a mess and I did not care by the end of the year if I passed my course or not.

 

Now I am still obsessing over mistake I have made in the past with family members. I treated my younger sister and brother quite badly when we were younger and living together. My younger brother when I have seen him in the last 18 years, once in 2017, and before that, 2001, accused me of my anger and violent tendencies. In 2000 the story he recalled about me was in the presence of a friend, throwing a basketball in the face of my brother which shocked his friend. Then when I met my brother in 2017, he again brought up the issue of what an angry SOB I was in high school, and the story now was I kicked him in the stomach for no reason in front of his friend. He asked why I never attended either of our parents funerals and my answer was, well we did not see eye to eye on most things. He countered that you were not easy as a son to raise. Before I left town, I sent him an email again apologizing for any harm I caused.

 

My younger sister passed away a few years ago. According to my sister-in-law, I terrorized my younger brother and sister in high school, which led to my parents deciding to ship me off across town to live with my grandmother. Yes, I did not treat my younger sister well. There was a lot of emotional abuse, but nothing really violent, but we did fight. But that is my take on it. According to my younger brother and sister-in-law, my terrorizing must mean I beat them badly constantly, which was not true. I tried to explain, and it is no justification, that I got my fair share of abuse from my two older brothers. So how do I make an amend to my sister?

 

My sister-in-law whom I last saw in 2000, her husband (my eldest brother) not since 1986. During the past year I had been asking my sister-in-law for any infromation she could give me about what happened to our family, since she was dating my brother throughout high school, and had some insights into our family life. I asked her since no one in my family, including my parents would ever talk about it.

 

My sister-in-law over the past year was quite supportive and helped me a lot in my battles with my mental health troubles. I discussed the problems I had in my youth with two friends: a former colleague, and an American Catholic priest who lives nearby. Whenever I told them about my story, their response was, It doesnt make sense...something seems to be missing from the story. So in Janauary I called my sister-in-law to see if she could shed any more light on the situation. This time she was not so sympathetic, saying that I was terrorizing my two younger siblings, so it was no wonder my parents wanted me out of the house. During the past year she recalled a memory she had of me at a high school dance, where she asked me to dance and remembered how shy I was...Now in the story she told me in January was she could smell beer on my breath She then brought up stories about my following my sister home and my mother having to call the police on me...After getting off the phone with her I felt like a piece of %$#@. I began to think that it might have been better off if my parents never had me, or if they had just shipped me off to some reform school for deliquents when I was 12 or 13. I am angry at my sister-in-law about this. What should I do?

 

BZ

 



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MIP Old Timer

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Hey BZ, ... good to hear from you ...

Steps 8 and 9 are a bitch, pardon my candor ... the soul searching we go through really points to the real person we've been ... these steps are necessary to point out to us where we need to change ... and making 'amends' is the action that gets the ball rolling so to speak ...

I was in a similar position as you described, My Mom died without, or before, I could make amends to her ... my sponsor had me write out an amends to her and go visit her grave-site and simply talk to her as if she were there and listening to me ... he told me to pray to my higher power for forgiveness for my short-comings ... then burn the 'amends paper' and leave the ashes behind ...

Once I did that, I felt the weight of the world lifted off my back ...

It sounds as if your amends with the 'living' is going well ... (I had a sponsor once that said his amends included going to the IRS to admit he cheated on his taxes ... he said he owed over $10k and wanted to set the record straight ... so he paid them ... )(It gave him 'peace of mind' in order to be successful in the AA program ...)


Great job, keep it up,
Pappy



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'Those who leave everything in God's hand will eventually see God's hand in everything.'



MIP Old Timer

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Welcome to the forum, BZ. Seems like you have some weighty issues on your mind.

Keep in mind that you have made progress in recovery. What you did to others is in the past. You wouldn't behave the same way today. Don't be too hard on yourself about yesteryear. Focus on today.

Thanks for sharing.

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First, deal with the things that might kill you.

 



Member

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Dear Pythonpappy and Tanin,

 

Thanks so much for your helpful replies.

 

BigZen



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