Forgive and forget – but can I really forgive an asshole?
I have always lived to believe that there is good in everybody. So how can I, a girl living by this philosophy, a girl attempting to see the good in everyone, outright categorize someone an asshole?
I must clarify that maybe these men suck with women, maybe these men are manipulative, and maybe these men have no idea what we want, but maybe they have a reason for acting this way. Maybe they don’t even realize what they’re doing, maybe they can’t stand the thought of being tied down. But all in all, at the end of the day, to the naked eye – this reads as asshole.
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An update on my journey: I talked to Cedro. I want to keep this brief because I am making an attempt to “forget” at the moment.
The Cedro situation continued to be awful. He came to a mutual friends party, knowing I was there, and texted me while we were in the same space: “You look beautiful, I want to talk to you but I don’t know how you will react” and “It’s overwhelming to see you, but I’m so glad to see you”. Trust me, I wasn’t having it. And the more he drank the more persistent he became, “Are you having a good time?” “How will you get home” and on and on. Additionally, he proceeded to stare at me whenever we were in the same room. When I finally looked back at him all he could do was stare at me longer and then smile. I knew the game; in the past I would have looked him in the eyes and melted. That smile is intoxicating. But “is” became “was” and I realized there was nothing intoxicating in sight (except for the keg). Smile at me all you want, I still can’t stand you.
The following day he kept calling, texting, practically begging me to talk to him. He was willing to drive nearly 40 minutes out of the way to come see me at my house. Mind you – he put up a good hard fight when I asked him for that same ride the day before Thanksgiving last year because I had no one else to come pick me up from my Boston apartment. Suddenly the drive was worth it. But I kept saying no. I really felt that I had nothing left to say.
Eventually, after telling him there was nothing he could say to make me forgive him, after telling him I wanted nothing to do with him, after he persisted and persisted, I gave in and answered the phone.
I will spare you the teary choking details, but it was one of the more depressing phone calls I have ever experienced and I will admit – there is some good in Cedro.
I can’t say he has been forgiven, but he spent nearly 2 hours on the phone apologizing profusely, telling me how wonderful I am (and who doesn’t want to hear that!). Initially I didn’t buy into it. How could I? He had given me every reason not to trust him. I let myself say a thousand words I had been holding back from him, a thousand words that had built up over the past year. I called him out on every reason he hurt me. I wanted him to know, to understand, the hold he had on me and how much he had broken me down. Ultimately his apologies began to sound more genuine and when I asked why he didn’t bother to apologize earlier, why he waited until I was home to tell me everything he wanted to tell me, he admitted that it wasn’t until now, until the days between when I saw him in the restaurant and the night I saw him at the party, that he realized how much he had actually hurt me. He knew he was being a dick before, but he had no idea how I was effected.
I’d like to believe it’s true. Because I’d like to see the good in Cedro.
No, I haven’t forgiven him. I’m just not ready for that yet. I’m still bitter. I’m still feeling a loss. But I’m trying to forget. I believe if I can forget what he put me through, if I can forget all the waiting, all the tears, then maybe I can see him in a new light. Maybe I can forgive him.
Since talking to him I have felt a new sense of relief. It’s over now, it’s done. I got my apology. I got my closure. What else can I ask or even hope for? My strong feeling of anger and hatred towards him has dissipated. I’ve moved on to sadness. They say you go through five stages of grief with depression and sadness being stage number four. If I can apply that to my life, if I’m experiencing stage number four, that means it’s only a matter of time until I reach the fifth stage: acceptance.
The problem I’m currently facing is that I cannot forget why I was inspired to get rid of the asshole. I cannot look at my life and say “Hey, I’m okay. I was overreacting. I can date whoever I want. I’ll be okay.” Because it’s not okay. The time and the effort and the pain are not okay. I can’t forget entirely. I’d like to forget the pain, but not the lesson.
This all seems much easier said than done.