Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Making amends vs reconciliation

About two months ago, I finally met my daughter, after not having seen her for 6 years. Regretfully, this meeting was in a public place, on which she had insisted. It was an uncomfortable meeting for her, and also for some people around us. I was just glad to see her again. My continued reconciliation efforts had finally paid off.

To a large extent, the conversation was about accountability and responsibility for our deteriorated relationship since my divorce from her mother in 2010. Although she apologised for her behaviour before and after the divorce, she blames me for not making amends sooner. She concluded that I haven’t changed since 2010, which I partly took as a compliment on my “exterior”. My “interior” has changed a lot since my 2013/14 burnout.

About 2-3 weeks ago, I unblocked a contact whom I had blocked for 2 years. Recently, she noticed this and has been sending her apologies to me. She wants to make amends with me. Apparently, she has no clue how deeply her lies have hurt me. I just read her messages and decided not to respond. Making amends does not require 2 people; just 1.

Interestingly, I am in a reciprocal situation with my daughter. I want a reconciliation with her but she is not willing to accommodate my efforts. By using reverse psychology and projection, she puts the blame on me. Fortunately, a friend explained this tactic to me in August 2012. It has been one of my most fruitful conversations (hat tip to ER!).

I’m still struggling with my accountability and responsibility towards my daughter. Apart from one (1) intentional and blatant insult, I have no recollection of any other wrongdoings. What I do recall is saying “I Love You” each night at her bedside, before she dozed off to sleep.

It would be easy for me to blame someone for the parental alienation. Blaming others would imply that I would still not have come full circle in processing my grief (eg, Kübler-Ross model). It took me quite some time but I have accepted the situation as it is. Now, I’m looking forward (prospective) rather than back (retrospective).

The difference between making amends and a reconciliation lies in accountability and responsibility.

Making amends is a 1-way street, like expressing apologies. A reconciliation is a 2-way street, which requires mutual accountability and responsibility. I’ve tried making amends since 2010.

Today, I’m only interested in a reconciliation.

You Dropped a Bomb on Me (1982) by The Gap Band

artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

You were the girl that changed my world

You were the girl for me

You lit the fuse, I stand accused

You were the first for me

But you turned me out, baby

Note: all bold and italic markings by LO unless stated otherwise

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