Have you ever been told that you show “no remorse” for something you have done? Who is to judge exactly how much remorse is enough or too much? What is the limit on remorse?
People judge on mistakes only. We’re supposed to as humans, forgive and move on. The vast majority though do not allow for this. You can admit your mistake. You can do things to change what happened. The truth is, you are NEVER allowed to forget. And anyone that knows what you have done will NEVER let you forget. You can apologize. You can degrade yourself, but honestly nothing is enough to be remorseful enough. I made one mistake and since that time (over a year ago), I’m not proud of what happened and even I surprised myself that I had done that. Yet I have been told constantly that I show no remorse for what I did. Forget the fact that I went into counseling after it happened. I apologized repeatedly. I admitted what I had done. I publicly degraded myself for what I had done. But that same person repeated over and over that no matter what, I showed no remorse for what I had done. So I was left with I’m this evil person that doesn’t deserve to be in society because I got so overwhelmingly angry that I slapped them. I had never done that before in my life, and have not done it since, yet I showed no remorse and still to this day do not. Even the counselor that I saw told me that it was not the best way to handle the situation (and I even admit that) but it was heat of the moment and forgivable. On the other hand, the person that I had done it to called me abusive, evil, not fit for society, caused him to fear for his life, and crossed a line that should never be crossed. For this I was not punished enough. In his eyes, I will never be punished enough. I’ve had multiple friends even tell me that no it’s not right, but we as humans have all done this at least once in our lives. Yet he made it clear that I am “crazy”, I am “toxic”, and I could do it again at any given moment.
Now for a moment I’m going to say this. I’m very intimate with being abused. My mother? Physically, emotionally, mentally abusive. She couldn’t stand not being the center of attention and when I was born, that took all that away from her. She loved everyone else but me. As for me? She didn’t care less what I did as long as she had her child support from my father, I cleaned her house, kept up with her multitudes of cats, and took care of well, everything. Family would drill into my head that she was “sick” and I had to take care of her. I had to see to everything because she was sick. In other words, I grew up at the age of 10. I endured the beatings. I endured being thrown out of her house to be called in as a runaway two hours later. The police knew her well enough that they would ask how I was doing and if I was going home when things cooled down. I would say yes knowing full well that there was a beating due me when I got there. This is the same woman that threw a glass coffee table at me because she learned I had gotten pregnant. When I had been raped at the age of 12, she told everyone I deserved it and it served me right. This lasted until my (would soon to become) husband moved me out of her house when I turned 18. We would marry a month later. I would graduate HS two months after that with our new born daughter in attendance. I tend to get offended by those that tell me I should respect and love my mother. I was the adult by the age of 10. Took care of myself by 11. Learned to be a full adult by 12 including paying bills, cooking for myself (though there was never food in the house), and cleaning up after her and her at times double digit cats. So please don’t insult my intelligence and tell me to love and respect the woman. This same woman who had threatened suicide more times than I care to count or remember, was Baker Acted. She convinced them she was perfectly normal and out in I think 6 hours. A record. Of course, after she was out, my grandfather, my father, and myself were all to blame for making her look bad and she would get even with us for it.
My ex-husband was a drunk. A pill head, a coke head for a time, and various other wonderful things. Abusive was one thing he did very well. Cheating was another thing. I learned later that many of his friends believed we had an open marriage with all the women he had been with when we were married. The truth? If I had so much as thought about another man, I do not even want to imagine the beating I would have gotten. He was smart though. Nothing that could be seen by anyone outside of the house. Except that one time. Yes, he dotted my eye. I had to go to work like that and while everyone at work knew how abusive he was, that was my one safe haven. Constantly called into work so that I could get away from him. That might have been what started my drive to become a workaholic.
It took 7 years for the illusion of our marriage to finally die. I finally had had enough. Oh my mother had him arrested once for one particular nasty beating, but that was more because she hated him and enjoyed him suffering. Twice I had tried to leave and he brought me back both times. Once those 7 years had passed, so ended a 9 yr marriage. While I’m still angry to this day with him, I did forgive him. Didn’t mean the marriage was going to work, but I still forgave him and moved on. I can’t judge if he had true remorse or not. That’s not in my pay grade. Did he have remorse? Probably not, doesn’t seem like it. That’s not for me to judge though. I wish him well, go on with my life.
Yet I still carry the voice of my mother (dead 16 years now) and my ex-husband (separated 12 yrs, divorced now almost 6) telling me what they did daily when they were around me. I’ll never to amount to anything. I’m not good enough for anything. I should just drop dead. I ruined their lives. I have no remorse for ruining their lives. I’m stupid. I’m worthless. I ruin everything I touch. I’m the worst thing on the face of the planet. No one could possibly love me because I’m not worth it.
Now throw on top of that my ex telling me I’m abusive (“you’re exactly like your ex-husband”), and I’m a horrible person because of one action. He once said that he can’t forget the look on my face when he broke it off with me. REALLY? He sucker punched me with it. I don’t think he fully realized that I knew EXACTLY the gravity of my situation. Not only was I losing the man I love, his son I adore, but also my place to live, my job, my schooling, my entire life had just been ripped away from me in that one act. I had no where to go. I had no money to go anywhere (it always went into his house and bills). I had just been taken off of work and moving meant away which meant losing my job. I would have to leave school which I was doing so well at. And among all this I had him telling me how horrible I was, how I didn’t deserve to be around “normal” people. His continued romance with the woman he had disrespected me for. His verbal abuse. His telling me that I ruined his life. Though he had/has buyer’s remorse and claims to still love me and always will. Gotta love duality.
In the end all this has left me with a wish to die. It would solve so much. Though I will admit that I harbor that wish, I’m too much of coward to just do it. I have superb social anxiety. I fully believe that my friends only tolerate me because they know I will always help them out when I can. That outside of being an ATM for them, they don’t give a flying flip. Being around people I don’t know leaves me feeling like they can see all these bad things that I am and want nothing to do with me. I’ve been isolating myself more and more. The only things I do are go to work and sit at home. I do take myself out to eat on occasion and I do go out to run errands, but I don’t talk to anyone nor do I bother anyone. Yes it sucks and is lonely, but in the end it’s for the best for everyone else. As my ex pointed out, for everyone’s safety really. I did it once which means I’ll do it again. Become this violent monster again. So here I am venting my thoughts because honestly, I have nothing else. Maybe one day I will finally find the courage.