A friend of mine posted a link the other day to the definition of a non-apology. It’s pretty good. Here it is:
Does any of that sound familiar to you? It sure does to me.
My ex still occasionally dons a pathetic tone and musters a, “I’m really sorry for the way everything turned out.” Yes, I’m quite sure he is. I’m certain he is sorry that I’m alive, that I have custody, that I’m not wasting away over here, that the kids still don’t want to spend time with him, that he’s living in a camp trailer. He still denies that he stole from me, beat all of us mercilessly, or any of the horrors and neglect that he subjected us to, so it isn’t any of that that he is sorry for. As far as he’s concerned, that never happened.
About three years before my parents died, I heard the voice of God tell me to call both of them and apologize. I obeyed, not because I really felt either of them deserved my apology (I wanted one from both of them) but because I love my Lord and will do as He says. He knows better than I.
That began a three-year journey of healing for my dad and me and allowed him to pass with closure for us both. My mom took her hatred to the grave, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I at least tried. I kept her emailed response, “I’m sorry for whatever it is you think I did to you.” Ummm, she and I clearly knew exactly what it was she did to me. But, let’s not say it out loud or admit that she actually recognized it.
I’m over it. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve moved on with my life and buried her hatred with her. I don’t bear that burden.
But, interestingly, those types still pop into our lives, don’t they?
Remember how I told you about Bachelor #2 in my post Online Dating Safety; Part 2? How there were warning signs, but there was something else I just couldn’t put my finger on? Wellllllll……………
He wanted to come down this weekend, Passover/Easter weekend, to visit me. He didn’t have his daughter for the weekend and thought it would be a grand time to see me. Not like I also have kids or anything. I explained that I had to work and it just wouldn’t be a good time. This is my busy season……spring cleanings, move outs, houses coming up for sale, etc.
He responded that he understood but that it was a bummer. And, then, he lit into an entire paragraph of rapid fire questions: I understand about the weekend. It’s a bummer, but I understand. You have to do what you have to do. How do your kids manage during these busy seasons? I have been meaning to ask you about the homeschooling that you provide your children. How do you meet state and federal minimum standards? What curriculum do you use? When I taught in the private school I used a little Abeka and some Bob Jones. I liked the Abeka math, but didn’t care for their history. How do you handle the social aspect for your children? Are they active in a children’s church or youth group? Socially, I want [his daughter] to be interacting with other children.
I had previously told him that I use an eclectic mix. I shared with him that I’ve been home schooling for over 25 years. In that time, I’ve tried a lot of different curricula and found that some companies are just better at certain subjects and weaker in others. I use each company’s strong suit. I don’t commit to any one company. I also told him that I don’t like Abeka’s math. To which he acted confounded because he did like it. He also knows about my adult children’s successes and my younger children’s activities. We discussed all of this.
So, I was immediately offended, seeing how these questions came in the same paragraph as his “understanding” about the weekend and immediately following his resigned, “You have to do what you have to do.”
I waited a few days and decided that I would indeed let him know that I found it all offensive, but I would do it nicely. My response began with pleasantries and then I simply said, “I’m honestly not sure how to answer your questions regarding my home schooling. They’re a bit offensive, to be honest, and I just choose not to be on that end of the home school issue anymore. I was one of those pioneers who couldn’t even take their children out during the day back in the 80’s. Been there, done that. The proof is in the pudding with successful home schooled adults taking their place in society. I no longer feel some of those questions need answered.”
It apparently wasn’t well received.
He responded: I think you and I have a lot in common, however, I do think there is one issue where you and I have a difference of opinion. I have said from the beginning that I am very open, I am not easily offended and what you see is what you get. My philosophy is that I would rather be fully open and honest about myself so at least people know what they are getting and who they are dealing with. Of course, people don’t have to like it, but that is who I am. I DON’T like secrets! I think I am different than most men in that I really do love conversation and am willing to be open and honest about myself and what I am thinking. With that said, I would like to clarify something. My purpose in asking you about your homeschooling was, as mentioned, I am hoping to put [his daughter (he actually already stated that he found a charter school that offers classes at the school because the social interaction is so important to him] in some type of homeschooling. I believe if one has a question, then ask. Who better to ask then someone who has been successfully homeschooling for several years? My motive was to gleam some knowledge and understanding from your years of experience, nothing more. You’ve “been there done that”. I was not asking to be critical by any means. I am just being honest here, so please hear my heart – I am trying to understand from your perspective how my asking you these questions regarding your homeschooling is a “bit offensive.” I certainly didn’t mean to cause you to be deeply hurt or angry over questions that I feel are neutral in and of themselves. For causing you that I am truly sorry. Am I missing something here?
No, I think I’m the one missing something here. We have a difference of opinion because he believes in being open, isn’t easily offended, and would rather be fully open and honest? He doesn’t like secrets. Is he insinuating that I do like secrets? Because I chose not to engage in a second round with him regarding my choices in how I raise and educate my children? That I’m just easily offended? That I’m not open and honest? Hmmmm……..okay. To be clear, I wasn’t deeply hurt, nor was I angry. I was a “bit offended.” Is he exaggerating to make his point?
I looked at that link again. Statements that use the word “sorry” but do not express responsibility for wrongdoing may be meaningful expressions of regret, but such statements can also be used to elicit forgiveness without acknowledging fault.
He’s sorry for causing me to feel the way he is saying I do, but he isn’t sorry for coming off as offensive. In fact, he ends with asking if he’s missing something. He just doesn’t get what my problem is…..after he let me know that he is just an open and honest kind of man, Mr. Nice Guy, and we differ there.
This is coming from a man I have exchanged a half a dozen emails with and met once for an hour. We should all kind of be on our best behavior right now, shouldn’t we? However, if I were to end up with this guy, couldn’t he always remind me that I knew all along what he was really like? He never tried to hide anything or misrepresent himself. I can only imagine how he would act if we were seriously involved, if there was a real problem worthy of serious discussion!
I’ve decided not to respond this time. I’m tapping out and choosing not to engage or be used as narcissistic fodder. If that deeply hurts him or makes him angry, for causing him that I’m truly sorry.
Sorry but not sorry.