Social Networking and Issue Resolution

(Writing from August 3, 2011.)
Below is a Facebook message conversation between the high school boyfriend who dumped me, and then beat me up in a moment of sudden, jealous rage months after we’d both moved on to dating other people.
I pressed assault and battery charges. He got a little fine and some community service, and I was left with a permanently damaged finger.
He kept trying to friend request me on MySpace and then later, on Facebook, as if nothing had happened. I finally confronted him about this because the last time we communicated it was via prosecuting attorney.
We resolved our issues because he apologized for his behavior. I’m surprisingly forgiving for a Scorpio, if a person will simply apologize for making a mistake. I’m human. I make mistakes too. I get it. Just be sorry, please. I need to hear the words, and we’re good.
I don’t understand why apologizing is so hard for some people?
Facebook Message Inbox — August 3, 2011

“Hi Tawni,

Long time since I last saw you. I regret my behavior on that aspect of early life. I often thought about how you were doing and honestly hoped you found your niche in life. As I can see you have: handsome men in your life and you are still a fun-loving person. I have carved out something of my life as well. I’m still a smart ass, but with two beautiful, smart daughters who are very creative and loving. I hope to hear from you, and once again, sorry for all that is bad between us, and hope you can accept me as a friend.

Respectfully with a smile,

Facebook Message Inbox — August 3, 2011

“Hi Aaron,

Thank you. The word “sorry” is really important to me. All I ever wanted from you was an apology for the permanently-crooked finger of mine that you broke during your rage in the Holden High School parking lot. The finger still turns to one side and won’t bend properly. Because of this, the tendons feel tight and it aches much of the time. I would like to have it surgically corrected, but lack the funds and vacation/recovery time to ever make it happen. The odd angle of the finger also made it harder for me to form chords to play guitar when I was in bands.

My parents were not the most caring/selfless people in the world at the time, and I had definitely worn out my welcome via typical teenage rebellion. So despite the fact that the Holden police told me, “Yep. It’s definitely broken. You need to have it set by a doctor,” my folks told me to skip going to the hospital. This is why it healed in the wrong position (kinked sideways).

My parents’ lack of concern for my bones is not your fault, but the breaking of my finger was, because it was broken as I attempted to defend myself from your fists swinging at my face.

My point is not to whine about a twisted ring finger, or my parents. I have the life perspective to know that in the grand scheme of things, a mildly bent finger is ultimately not that big of a deal, and my parents and I have a much better relationship these days.

I share these things to let you know that because of this physical reminder, I have been forced to think about what caused this minor deformity (your anger) ever since the incident, which has made it harder to put it behind me or forgive and forget than something impermanent.

(Another example: When my biological father beat the shit out of me at 15 and chipped off a chunk of my left front tooth, it created a similar lifetime reminder. I am still waiting for his apology. We haven’t spoken in years.)

While I am a forgiving person, you have never actually apologized until now, and honestly, that’s all I was waiting for. So please know that I appreciate your kind, thoughtful words and hold no continued resentment toward you. We were kids, and I’m old enough to realize that kids do stupid things. I know I did my share of stupid things. I only hope that as I age, I do less stupid things. I think that’s the most any of us can hope for, really. Wisdom and serenity would be great, but mostly, we just hope to do less stupid things as we get older.

Congratulations on your beautiful daughters, and for holding on to your inner smart ass. Life is so much easier with a sense of humor, isn’t it?

Your friend,