Quite recently I was contacted by a person who offered apologies for “.. behaviours..” Do not get me wrong. I am sure that most people think this was a noble action…one of the 12 step program items I’m sure. Yet the wording of the apology was what made me step back and take a second look. The wording clearly apologized if I felt offended by anything in the past relationship. Again I stress, the wording. Instead of apologizing for anything they may have done to cause me to feel offended (if I ever was in the first place – which is reading quite a bit into this), they were apologizing for my feelings of offense?
In the past this person has initiated countless written email attacks at me based on my being a woman. Or grasped a perceived slight, responding with accusations, bold faced lies and generally being dishonourable. Very early on I realized the passive-aggressiveness of this relationship was well developed. My response was that if I was sent anything I found insulting, I would disregard that item and move on to the issue at hand. This did not work. All it did was initiate another response whereby this person continually tried to engage me in hostile emails. If I was busy at work and could not respond right way to an email, countless others would be sent. Each progressively more aggressive than the next accusing me of ignoring or being petty.
Fast forward to the apology email. After a long history of insults and two faced behaviour I decided to opt for caution. When I questioned this person about the wording – well lets just say that they replied true to form and launched into personal attack mode again.
My response to this? Do I forgive them for their constant manipulative behaviour and their lies about me? Sure. But that doesn’t mean:
- that I allow them to continue this
- forget how they reacted in the past
- fell back into their pattern of abuse
- I have to let them into my life.
Again – do not take my quiet composure as meekness or my not volitile response as acceptance.
I will forgive – but I will never forget your actions. Obviously others have allowed you back and you see this situation the same. It is not. Nor should you think of my lack of response as meekness or acceptance. Niether should you think I will allow you to do this to anyone else around me.