Sometimes All It Takes is “I’m Sorry”

I’ve been thinking lots about my cousin lately.

He lives in the same town as I do now.

And yet, I havent really seen him since my wedding day.

Next week is my 5 year wedding anniversary.

5 years since I have spoken to my cousin.

Long story short, he was my husband’s best friend ..they grew up together like brothers. My cousin’s worlds collided when my husband and I got together and there was general tension between us all. Prior to our wedding, my cousin’s attitude was getting more sour- so much so that because of a fight he had with his girlfriend, he didn’t attend our joint bachelor/ bachelorette party. At our wedding, he got drunk and took his girlfriend and they made their way into our bridal/ groom suite. I walked in on them having sex on my veil.

They were pretty drunk.

What came next was shouting, cursing, tears and things that were done and said that are hard to take back.

He was such an important person in my life.. it’s so hard to stop talking to someone you love.

Feelings build… tensions mount.

I mean, how could I not have been hurt?

All I remember were tears.

And pain.

And then it was over.

This blur of emotions.

He was my best friend.

He was my husband’s best friend.

And just like that, he was no one.

He never apologized.

Never.

And I think that hurt me the most.

Time is supposed to heal all wounds.

And yet, here we are, 5 years later… alone. without one another.

One of my favorite singers/ song writers is Gary Barlow.

He has a song out now with Robbie Williams called “Shame”

It’s about their relationship, and how they stopped speaking for years…

The words got me thinking about my cousin.

Well there’s three version of this story, mine, and yours and then the truth.
And we can put it down to circumstance our childhood then our youth.
Out of sentimental gain I wanted you to feel my pain,
But it came back return to sender.

I read your mind and tried to call,
My tears could fill the Albert hall.
Is this the sound of sweet surrender?

What a shame we never listened.
I told you through the television.
And all that went away was the price we paid.
People spend a life time this way.
Oh what a shame.

So I got busy throwing everybody underneath the bus.
Oh, and with your poster 30 foot high at the back of Toy-R-Us.
I wrote a letter in my mind but the words were so unkind about a man I can’t remember.

I don’t recall the reasons why.
I must have meant them at the time.
Is this the sound of sweet surrender?

What a shame we never listened.

I told you through the television.
And all that went away was the price we paid.
People spend a life time this way and that’s how they stay.

Words come easy when they’re true.
Words come easy when they’re true.

So I got busy throwing everybody underneath the bus.
Oh, and with your poster 30 foot high at the back of Toy-R-Us.
Now we can put it down to circumstance our childhood then our youth.

What a shame we never listened
I told you through the television
And all that went away was the price we paid
People spend a lifetime this way
And that’s how they stay
Oh what a shame.
People spend a lifetime this way
Oh what a shame
Such a shame, what a shame

***

And every time I hear it… I think of him

Today, I drove past his house and I saw that he was sitting outside smoking a cigarette.

I had the girls in the car with me, but when I got home I asked my sister-in-law to watch them.

I needed to speak to him.

And so I drove.

My heart beating a million beats a moment, my palms sweaty.

I havent felt like this in years.

I walked up to his house, and he was outside. He was surprised to see me.

I asked him if he had a moment to talk.

He hesitated, but said yes.

He had a version of the story that was so far from my truth.

I had a version of my own story that was unlike his.

He says we hurt him.

I never knew his side.

I don’t think that in my mind there was another version.

And so I apologized to him.

Something I never thought I would do.

I was the bride with the tears in her eyes.

I told him that in his version of the story I sounded like a monster, and in my version he sounded like one.

I hugged him and told him that I hoped we could be friends again one day.

He looked so visibly shaken.

This is a man who is a tough cookie.

We ended things saying, it would take time… but we would try to mend our relationship.

I wonder how my husband will feel when I tell him.

He hasn’t had a real, true friend since his falling out with my cousin.

I think that generally mens egos are so big that neither of them will admit that they were wrong.

I hope I’m wrong.

All I know is that it feels good to let go of bullshit fights and years of pain.

Even if you never do get that “Sorry” that you are looking for, it feels good to be the one who says it.

It feels good to let go of anger.

Is there anyone you want to forgive?

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10 thoughts on “Sometimes All It Takes is “I’m Sorry”

  1. Mara

    My brother in law and his wife were people that we did not talk to for two years. We invited them to our wedding, my brother in law came, my sister in law was a no show. Not suprising since she told us two weeks before the wedding she wasn’t going to let her kids be in our wedding. I can’t remember exactly what we were fighting about…it seems like it was a lot of little things that built up and exploded. We eventually made up, but we had to be the ones to say sorry first, then they later apologized. It is not easy to swallow your bitter feelings and take the first step. You are brave to have talked to him. I made my husband go and talk to his brother, I was too nervous. Plus, sometimes when I’m mad I throw things 😉

    Reply
  2. Maya Hanley

    Wow, this is powerful stuff. Saying sorry and forgiveness are the things that help to make us human. I know the feeling you have, of missing someone who you feel hurt you and then reaching out. I had a falling out with my best friend and we didn’t speak for over a year. Eventually, she contacted me. I had never been so hurt in my life and I was devastated to lose her. We were both in the wrong and both going through really hard times when it happened so we were able to forgive each other for what happened and move on. I still sometimes feel a residual worry about it but now we are talking again and I am so grateful for that. I missed the birth of her first child because of it. That child has the name I would have called my daughter if I had been able to have children – Angelina. It meant so much to me when she asked if she could have my baby name but I wasn’t there for the birth and felt a pain about that which I hope never to feel again. So, yes I understand what you are going through. It takes time but it will work if you are all willing to truly forgive each other. Keep us posted and thanks for being so open about this.

    Reply
  3. KJ and the Kids

    Way to go girl ! I think there are always 2 sides to every story and I try to always look at theirs. It helps me not honk and flip the bird at a lot of assholes some days 🙂
    I’m so glad that you were able to heal that “moment” in your life.
    I hope that things jump back to the way that they were. One nice thing about guys…they do tend to get over things when it’s time to get over them. 🙂
    Good luck !

    Reply
  4. Monica

    The way you feel about your beloved grandmother is exactly the way I feel about my Mom. She died last June and I miss her every minute. Last night my Dad shows up at a family gathering holding hands with the woman my Mom hated. She and this woman (once a good friend) had a falling out some years earlier. I avoided her but part of me wanted to go up and scream at both of them. I remember some of the awful things she did and said to my mom and it feels so disloyal of my Dad to bring HER to family event as his girlfriend.

    Reply
  5. Vodka and Ground Beef

    Nice job saying sorry. I support this.

    So many people need to apologize to me for various things – I’m going to forward them this post, in the hopes that they get the “subtle hint.” I’ll let you know how that goes.

    Reply
  6. Nellie

    Wow, what an amazing post – one we should all read since it speaks to each of our hearts!

    I hate holding on to anger and any past or present hurts because it makes me feel sick to my stomach and turns me into a person I don’t like – I lenjoy being that happy, positive, ever-loving person so when I feel anything negative it’s as if all the good in me has disappeared. It’s not to say that I won’t hold a grudge because I most certainly can and have. I need to learn to be okay with knowing that I’m always going to be the one who forgives first, who says sorry first because the bitterness of being the opposite stops me from growing mentally and emotionally.

    Reply
  7. Katy

    in the past few months my family was living with my aunt and my grandmother and in those months, SHIT hit the fan, I was told that it was my fault my grandmother didnt have a careeer that she worked hard for, that I was worthless, and to make it worse they wouldnt care if they ever saw my 4 yr old son again (what did he do) All of it ended with a physical fight between my aunt and I. A person who was angry with me for reasons unknown. So what did I do? I moved 375 miles away from the only home I had so that I could be at peace with myself, and could continue a healthy environment for my family. I hope one day, that possibly the two fo them could find their own happiness before I am able to let them back into my life, but for the time being I think i have to do what is right for me. to each his own. Im glad that you and your cousin could get things back on a solid path. One day I will be ready to apologize, but that will only come in due time. Because for now, I am honestly hurt to the point where It hurts to even think about it.

    Reply
  8. eva

    Wow that is truly amazing, the strength you had (HAVE) to go and make up like that..
    it is so true that holding onto the guilt and anger is far worse though..
    saying sorry is truly just the beginning and I hope he gets there too

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Let’s Party like it’s 1999 « Gemini Girl

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