God has an interesting way of giving us what we need. I prayed for The Bulldog's heart to be softened. I don't know what God did to his heart, but he softened my heart.
One night last week I sat down at the computer and typed out an apology. Here is a small portion of the apology:
I feel I must make amends. Our conversation left me with a deep ache that isn’t going away.
I’ve never been good at conveying my feelings gently. Sometimes my passion gets me in trouble. I tend to present the unvarnished truth, and it isn’t always received in the way I intend. I think you and I are very similar in that respect.
I meant no harm, but my words must have seemed threatening. I am sorry. I simply wanted to share with you how God has been touching me, my family, and my friends. I wanted to share my joy with you. I did not intend to force anything on you or imply that you are doing anything wrong. Please forgive me if that is how I sounded...
I want your approval (though I do not need it) because you are important to me. The fact that I can even write this letter is a testament to the work God is doing in me.
I ended the email with a promise of a big hug from me at an upcoming party.
I didn't get a response from The Bulldog. For days I checked email and caller I.D. frequently. Nothing. I almost had a codependent meltdown. Did he read the email and become more angry? Did he see my email and decide not to even open it? Did he receive the email at all? I don't know.
I went to Celebrate Recovery the night before the party. My sponsor as well as others from my step group and small group prayed for me to have strength and wisdom the next night. I left ready to deliver the hug, no matter how he acted.
At the party, The Bulldog was making his rounds. He hugged everyone at our table except for me and my friend. He didn't speak to us or even make eye contact. It seemed intentional, but I don't know if it was.
I decided right then that I was going to find him and get that stupid hug over with, even if he was avoiding me. I had to deliver the hug, just in case he did read the email.
After a little encouragement from my friend, I got up and made my way to The Bulldog. I hugged him and he hugged me back. I asked him how he was doing and he said, "Great! I'm doing great." Then I walked away. It was over. The timing was not right to ask if he got the email. It was time to have fun at the party, so I did.
Now I really don't care what he thinks. I did what was right. I took care of my obligation. How he chooses to react is not my responsibility. HOW HE REACTS IS NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY!
To someone who doesn't have codependent tendencies, this must seem really stupid. I admit, it is really stupid. It is also really real and painful to me. The approval of those I love is more important to me than it should be. However, I'm getting better... Thanks for letting me share.