My experience with a former wife was similar. When I was a couple of months sober, I felt really bad. I has awakened to how badly I had treated those who loved me. and I was experiencing a great deal of remorse and guilt.
One day, I was sitting in a meeting where they were talking about amends and got the idea that I should make amends to my former wife, having no idea what I was making amends for or even what the word meant. So driven by my guilty conscience and a selfish need to feel better, I went over to her house, knocked on the door and gave her a the same bunch of mumbly, sorry-ass #### that she's been hearing for ten years. I didn't know that I didn't have any right to expect her to ever even want to talk to me again, much less believe me. She looked at me and said "You're right. You're a sorry son-of-a-bitch. Now get out of here!" As she slammed the door I knew that she was right.
Fast forward about eight months later. I had gotten a good sponsor and had written inventory, and this time I knew what I was making amends for. And this time I called before I went and asked if it was OK if I came and could we discuss how I could make right the wrongs I done. And I was already free, I wasn't going there to get free.
So I went over there and asked her basically the same question-"Would you like to tell me how I harmed you?" She talked for a good half hour and I watched her get free.
So no, amends are not all about me. They are for you. I used up my whole life on me and nearly killed me.
john boy wrote:Today I brought up step 9 as the topic. Once again I heard..."this is about me and not about the person to whom I am making amends". I am not aware of where our literature suggests this...Anyone know where this is suggested?
For this alcoholic it took many years to understand this step as I do today (along with the other eleven). My conceptual skills were virtually non-existent at age 39. When I recently practiced this step again with my former wife and her husband (individually) I was overwhelmed with emotions...the healing emotion that occurs as I practice these steps.
I was able to attempt to share with them how I perceived the feelings I created by my behavior...I asked my former wife to tell me what it was like to be married to me. To my children's step-father, I thanked him for raisng my children as if they were his.
For myself, when I was asked how did I make you feel? I felt the healing begin.