Readers' Submissions

Apologies – and Forgiveness

  • Written by Ishiro
  • June 19th, 2014
  • 7 min read




Sometimes I wonder if apology cuts it for some of the wrongs we have done. Just lately, possibly because I am coming to the end of the line – and there will be one hell of a bump when we hit the buffer stops – I go through thoughts of the need to say "sorry" to a number of people who surely deserve to be told that. The problem lies in determining the reasons for wanting to say that word – is it merely to make oneself feel better – or is it an honest desire to tell certain people that you are genuinely sorry for causing grief? Where do you start to address this and how do you prioritize the people you would like to convey that message that you are sorry? Is it better to let sleeping dogs lie?

Almost all of this involves Thailand – directly or by analogy – so a good place for me to start would be thinking of Natalise. There are times when I look at our situation and I think that I don't owe her an apology at all – it was she who wanted the separation – not me – I probably would still be with her today if she had not insisted that she wanted to be on her own with the kids. When it came to the crunch, I moved out to save her the trouble of finding another place to live – and a dialogue went on between us for almost two months, with me asking her, almost on a daily basis, to reconcile. That was never in her plan to reconcile – and I realized that we were going nowhere. She had a good job, so I went back to Thailand to try and understand why things were as they were – and what would be the next move for me in life. Even supposing that others would see I was the aggrieved party, there would never be an apology forthcoming from Natalise – it is not in her nature to say "sorry" or to make a formal apology. I don't think that is in the basic make-up of most Thais.

So, I do not expect an apology from Natalise – however, I do believe that I owe one to her – and I would dearly love to have her forgiveness for my going back to Thailand and unintentionally becoming involved with somebody over there so quickly. They say it is easier to fall for somebody in a vulnerable state – and, for that reason alone, one should never allow that to happen because you do not see things in a logical fashion when vulnerable and hurt. You tend to look at your new "prospect" as an "Angel Of Mercy". I do not feel good about allowing this to happen – but it cannot be undone, so we paper over it and try to forget as we move on with life. This was a long time ago but it is still fresh in memory for me – I wonder if Natalise thinks about it still. Friends have hinted to me that it was always in her agenda – but I'm not a person who holds grudges and I prefer to think that we just grew apart – let's face it, there was a considerable age difference.

Apology to my first wife for my putting work first and then leaving her for another person is probably too long ago now to even bring the matter up – and I guess there is not much to apologize for, as we were both as guilty for creating the situation that led to it all happening. All I can remember was working – sometimes three jobs – and she worked for the same newspaper company as I had done previously. I got her the job. Unless you have done it, you probably cannot imagine what it is like to work three jobs – a full-time day job, then play music all night – and, on days off, driving a taxi. That was before music became a full-time job. We hardly ever saw each other, so it is little wonder that things fell apart. We were never really suited as I was devoted to playing music and she was tone-deaf, so there wasn't a lot in common at all. I think it was lust that brought us together and a magic spell cast by her mother and that black cat of hers. We did have two kids – a girl and a boy – and my son is into heavy metal – so we have a fair bit in common there. He's also into computers. My daughter and I do not speak – haven't since 2001 when she rejected Natalise. She probably saw the inheritance flying out of the window. I have apologized to my kids – and my son is OK with everything. My daughter has never responded, even though I have written to her three times. What more is there I can do? It doesn't bother me any more – and I'm not sure that it ever did after what she did to Nat.

I have nothing to apologize for to my second wife – if anything, she should apologize to me for for threatening legal action and taking a chunk out of the proceeds from the sale of that last house – after I signed the complete property in the mountains over to her for a nominal fee of one dollar. I had no stomach for a legal battle and I think lawyers are parasites who take advantage of the vulnerable – so I paid her out for much less than she wanted before I went off to Thailand. We've spoken by telephone a couple of times on my return trips to Oz – but there is a definite coolness between us and that suits me just fine.

Lee, in Chiang Mai, is the person whom I need to apologize to, for failing to be able to follow through with plans we were making for the future. If I had her forgiveness, it would mean more to me than anything else that went before. I always regarded her as my Mia and she always called me her Sarmee – even though we weren't officially married – but I felt more married to Lee than to anyone else from the past – except perhaps Natalise. That's not strange, because I loved Lee far more than I had love remaining for Natalise after I was told that Natalise was playing the field even before we separated. Was it true? I don't know – but it probably was. I will repeat something that I said a long time back in one of my other subs: "Do not make promises to anyone unless you are absolutely certain that you are capable of keeping those promises" – not only are you deceiving the person you claim to love – but you are damaging your own credibility in the eyes of others and in lowering your own self-esteem. Then there is the cause for her and her family to lose "face" with relatives, neighbors and business proprietors, who had given generous discounts on celebratory meals in the hope of being able to host a wedding breakfast.

Can I forgive myself? No – I feel a degree of shame that will remain with me, even if I get forgiveness from Lee. She deserved better than I gave – and knowing that will haunt me until the end. Our friend Phet, who wrote a series of submissions on "The Broken Man Is Repaired", has been inspirational with his writings and I admire his tenacity in overcoming difficult odds. He has found a new work interest in his profession – and good luck and my best wishes go to him always. Sometimes I wish I had a concrete area of interest or job that I could focus on to take my thoughts away from issues of the heart. Those days are gone for me – and, unfortunately, I am hard-wired to think and write in terms of relationships, songs, people and places that once were, and still are, important to the point that they all occupy a very large part of life. That goes with the territory of being a musician and thinking in poetic terms. It can be creative – but sometimes it is destructive and almost impossible to escape from. It begs the question – "Do I really want to escape from it?" No – not at all – it is better to feel emotion than to deny feelings that are so important – along with those people and places attached to those feelings.

In past times I was a student of the works of Emily Dickinson, whose writings I admire immensely and who used the word "evanescent" more than once in her poetry – but I am grateful that I have no evanescence in any of my past. Perhaps it would make life easier if I did – but people tell me I have a photographic memory and I am happy with the way it is.