To: Anyone who I have been unloving to (especially when I was a teenager)
I have recently and often worried about what those who only knew me during my terrible adolescent years must think of me…or even those who have just had a brief encounter with me where I was not a nice or loving person. I am not saying I am perfect now – far from it – but I am at least attempting to improve. I have had this burning desire to apologize to anyone I have ever hurt or may still be holding something against me, but of course, I cannot remember every specific thing, so I hope you will consider this or come talk to me…
First of all, let me just say how truly sorry I am for the hurtful actions and words I used against you. As I look back on my life five plus years ago, when I was a teenager, specifically in high school, I better understand the struggles I went through to get where I am today, but, I am sad to reflect and see that I have hurt those around me in the process through evil words, actions, or inactions.
To be completely open and honest, in high school I struggled with many doubts, fears, and insecurities and did not know who to turn to and ask for help or guidance. I did not feel loved by my parents, by teachers, and especially not by a perfect God. I would struggle with something, make a mistake, and then be constantly tormented with terrible thoughts and fears. I recall countless times where I would think I was not good enough, no one could ever love me especially God, and I failed at life. I fought to find love anywhere, which was, of course, all the wrong places (pardon my use of a cliché). I eventually sunk into a deep depression. No day had meaning. I struggled to find things to want to live for. My doctor, the only one I talked to about this, prescribed medication which made me apathetic toward life rather than hate it (not sure which is worse).
As I look back and reflect on those years, I do not blame anyone for my mistakes. It is not my peers’ fault. It is not God’s fault. It is not my parents fault. It is not my teachers fault. It is not the fault of a “teenage brain”. These factors definitely influenced my situations, but I always had a choice. There is always a choice to do the right thing even if it is not the popular option.
While I can wish all day long that I never made any mistakes and let guilt or shame hurdle me back into depression, it will not change the past. I can learn from my mistakes, attempt to keep others from making the same mistakes, and try to better myself daily. My loving husband told me before we were married and has had to remind me since then…“your experiences made you who you are, shaped you, and what you are is beautiful”.
I would like to ask three things from you. 1) I sincerely ask for your forgiveness for treating you poorly in the past. 2) I ask that you realize that people change and do not hold my past sins against me. And, 3) I ask that you confront me about things that could hinder our relationship.