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July 15, 2012


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I had a friend of twenty years who hurt me bad during a difficult time in my life. I was devastated and I swore I would never forgive her, but I did. One day I realized I had to forgive her, but I too never forgot the incident. We see each other occasionally in social settings. I am fine, I can ask her about her life, and be truely interested when she tells me about her children ( kids I have known since they were babies) but she is extremely uncomfortable in my presence. She never apologized and I wonder sometimes, why she was ever my friend. Forgetting, no I will never forget, but I work hard to not let change me as a person.
I do believe, someday these girls will mature and understand what they did (whatever it was) was cruel. And hopefully they will learn from it.


As an avid reader, it was obvious that SB's often-included-in-posts friend had gone missing during what is sure to be one of the toughest times in your daughter's life. That breaks my heart for the two of you. And while I clearly don't know the details of the situation, learning that the apologies were not heartfelt... that's just sad. One day those girls will realize what they have done and (hopefully) kick themselves for it. SB, however, will have known all along and be far past it by the time the rest of the group catches up.

Deborah J

I understand your issues with this completely. My daughter went through a serious time medically last year, as I've shared before.
Things were said, things were done...sometimes cruelly, sometimes unmeaningly selfish, as teenagers can be.
Friendships were broken irrevocably, and some were patched up.

My daughter and I called it stepping up.
Some stepped up, some stepped out...and some fell over their own feet.

My daughter is better at the forgiving than me. When your child is going through something HARD it's not easy to see silly immature teenagers make it worse.

gary rith

OR instead of forgiving you can make a voodoo doll, stick it with pins, make some sacred and profane oaths to dark spirits, and hope they suffer tremendous and profound diseases and ailments! ;)
(OK, I have done this in reference to the meth dealer who lived on my street, and holy cats, he really did suffer and die! But I think we can blame the meth for that..... ahem)
a) I agree--forgiving does mean you forget and
b) I remember apologizing to a long lost friend last winter over something I did at 14 to him----he was like forget it, you were an awesome friend! He forgave and forgot and was sweet and gracious THEN and NOW. Wow.

Cassi Renee

I think it's harder for parents to forgive --it is so hard to see someone you've sworn to protect get hurt.

You are so right about apologies --in the incident my daughter went through last year, one apology was real, the other was barely there and without any real meaning. She's still friends with the girl who apologized and meant it.


When I was a little older than SB is now, my best friend hurt me so much that we did not speak for nearly two decades. I had broken up with a few boyfriends before that and several (well, relatively speaking!) since, but I don't think any other break-up has ever hurt me as much as losing my closest friend did. I learned recently that she was so embarrassed by how she'd treated me that she wanted to pretend that I didn't exist -- she couldn't separate seeing me from feeling ashamed and angry at herself because of how she'd treated me. But I didn't know that for years, and for a long time I really grieved the loss of our friendship.

I wonder if SB's friend(s) feel similarly (that they are so ashamed that they haven't been able to be honest with themselves yet?) I hope that it doesn't take decades for to apologize sincerely for the pain that they caused SB.


I am a firm believer that when we hold onto the wrong that someone else has done to us, we allow that person (or persons in this case) a space that they do not deserve. The young women involved in this situation, those with integrity, will know the damage they have caused. For them, they understand the damage can never be undone, so they will hopefully try to be better people in the future. For those who don't get it, SB doesn't want them in her life.

Both you and SB, of course, know this and I see in SB a powerful, young woman who has been lucky enough to have you as a mom.

Karen (formerly kcinnova)

I agree 100% with your statements over what makes a true apology.

I'm still ashamed over something stupid I did in 5th grade. I'm the one who did wrong, who deflected blame. By never apologizing, I have hobbled myself to an event and a guilty feeling that continues to randomly pop up from my subconsciousness.
All this to say: the one who waits too long (or until too late!) to truly apologize is the one who ultimately hurts herself. I irreparably damaged a friendship at the age of eleven because of a convincing lie. I've had to live with that knowledge for the past 35 years.

It may take more time and maturity for the girls [in the situation you reference] to acknowledge their guilt in a healthy way and to ask for forgiveness from SB (and you and anyone else they hurt in the process).
I hope that they don't put it off too long. (I did. I lost track of the person I hurt, and to my knowledge she is no longer alive. I will continue to live with guilt for the rest of my life.)

To forgive and forget... that just sets us up again for a repeat experience (with that individual or someone else). I believe in the healing power of forgiveness, both the asking for and the granting of forgiveness. Forgive and learn and move on -- that makes much more sense to me. The learning and moving on creates a space for healing those hurts.

I very much hope that SB's hurts heal as quickly as her body has been healing this spring and summer. Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy emotions.

The girl I hurt back in 5th grade... I think she eventually forgave; I know she learned and moved on. The person who hurt her (that would be me) is the one still stuck in place.

Green Girl in Wisconsin

So true that an apology has to be from the heart--also true that most people SB's age are not emotionally mature enough to appreciate that fact, nor are they fully capable of understanding their behavior's impact. Having been there (that age), I can say forgiving and forgetting will happen over time and these old wounds will heal.

Busy Bee Suz

Your points on a correct apology are dead on....and I agree, moving forward is so much easier than forgetting.
Glad you are both doing well.

mom taxi julie

I'm one that has to learn to really think about what I'm saying too. I know I've said hurtful things a few times in my life and I think back on them with shame.

I hope SB is able to find some new friends when she goes to school. I know they won't replace the old but you can never have too many friends.

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