Crafting Gentleness

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I was just trying to be nice ...

A couple of weeks ago I decided to send an apology to someone that I was once very much in love with, many moons ago (for a brief period it had, to the best of my knowledge, been mutual). During my end-of-year self-assessment I realised that a communication to her a year ago had probably been stress-related (I was off work with stress shortly after that) or at least stress-influenced and I wanted to apologise if it had in any way offended her or left her feeling disrespected. I also used it as an opportunity to say good luck and goodbye, as I realised that it was long past time for me to draw that chapter to a proper close. I sent the letter care of an employer as I was unsure whether she would still be at the address I had for her. I checked with a number of friends whether they thought it was a good thing to do, and they said it was. Nila said 'meow'. That was good enough for me :)

I got the response by email this morning. It was short but clearly venomous, hissing at me to cease all contact with her and threatening that she would contact my own employer to tell them I was harrassing her if I did not do so. As far as I was aware I had just ceased all contact with her, and respectfully so.

It makes me sad there are some people in this world that maintain a really distorted image of me and then continue to relate to me on that basis. No matter that they are getting it so so wrong, that I was never the person they are making me out to be. That doesn't seem to make a difference. They insist on telling me who I am and what I'm like rather than simply asking me how I am or spending time to find out. I'm no saint, but at least I say what I mean and mean what I say, most of the time, and I endeavour to treat people I know and care about with a bit of respect. I try, and that's something, I suppose.

It's a lesson to learn about helpfulness, I imagine, but I can't think what the lesson might be. I still think it was a good thing to do, an attempt to make peace in a situation where I felt I'd screwed up, so I could move on. Still, it doesn't seem to have been very helpful, at least in the short term. Someone out there that I still care about hates me, and I just made it worse. But at least I've managed to say my goodbye in a manner that I was happy with, although I would have preferred to do it over a cup of coffee.

I was just trying to be nice.

I'm still glad she exists, and I wish her well.


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