My last year has been full of death in multiple forms of different kinds of relationship connections and levels of influence over my life. I’ve had family die, cut connections with dysfunctional family, been fucked over by friends, hurt by lovers. I’m currently in the process of rethinking my approaches to life and my views of myself as to how those who have passed and just how all of those things have influenced my life and who I perceive I am. I have a view of death that it is a passing and while there is sadness, it is part of what happens to everyone.
While thinking these thoughts, I am somehow managing to see my interactions in a much more healthy manner, when I avoided contemplating those times at all. I have very little memory of my life before high school and not much of it. Most of it sucked and there were a lot of people who felt the fat, weird kid was a fair target for their frustrations and self loathing.
When I got sober at 23, AA was instrumental in setting my path. However, AA didn’t fully work for me as a non-Christian and I stopped going to meetings after a year. (I’ve managed to stay sober to this date, no worries) I stopped because I couldn’t take the religious bent anymore and there were pieces that didn’t work for me. Mainly, it has to do with forgiveness.
My path doesn’t require you forgive people for hurting you. I don’t believe you have to forgive someone to heal from their hurt. I don’t necessarily think you have to get revenge, but what you do have to do is learn from it. Learn how it happened and what you can do to avoid that cycle and then manage to successfully prevent from being in that situation again. Learn to avoid allowing people like that in your life in the future. Learn to not touch the hot stove.
There is a step to that AA did help me in reaching, though. It has to do with accepting that you can’t control the actions and emotions of others and have NO responsibility for them. This is the step that is the hardest. Especially regarding those who have removed from my life this year. There’s nothing I could have done to prevent those people from hurting me in the ways they did. However, I look at what they did, how it made me feel, what I can do to avoid doing it to others, and then take that forward.
I don’t believe that you can have some sort of grace delivered by some distant authority that absolves you of responsibility for your actions. I am not a supporter of how Bank of America or HSBC were dealt with. I believe that you are responsible for your actions and have to face the consequences of said actions. There is no escaping responsibility, that is for Priests in confessions with people that need someone to come between them and their God and a way to feel better about yourself, when it does nothing to fix the harm you’ve caused.