In Reply to: Re: Apology and Forgiveness posted by Story Teller on September 23, 2007 at 16:50:37:
This story reminds me of why it's important to be methodical or "step wise" when seeking forgiveness. The 8th & 9th steps of the AA/Alanon program are as follows:
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
It's critical that I'm willing to make an apology, but not that I actually make a direct amends to every person I've harmed. When deciding ib whether to make a direct amends, the phrase "except when to do so would injure them or others," means I've studied the matter and counseled with more experienced people about the advisability of opening old wounds or disclosing something that could cause more harm than good.
As I posted in the article below, there are indirect ways of making amends. Seeking forgiveness is about what I need and want, and this may be totally unrelated to what the injured party needs and wants.
I believe that the insane crap we did in the cult is exactly like the stuff that drunks and addicts do when they're under the influence and desperate to satisfy their addictive cravings.
We followed the teachings of a self-confessed alcoholic, for crying out loud. Even if we aren't all addicts, we were certainly a bunch of codependent enablers. My personal experience has been that people who enable drunks are often sicker in mind and spirit than the person who sucks on the bottle and creates havoc for everyone around him.