Dear Doug & Rebecca,
I’m 40 with a wonderful family and fulfilling career. Occasionally I am consumed with regret for past behavior. In middle school, there was a boy who was different (a disability, thick glasses, blue-collar in a neighborhood of professionals). The students were not kind to this boy. Neither was I. I never engaged in any active teasing, but I ignored him as much as possible. We used to “spray for cooties,” and every time I had to touch something he had touched, I “sprayed”! I think I felt so out of place myself that I thought if I associated with him at all I would also be targeted.
I deeply regret being such a little horror. Would there be any utility in writing this man a letter to apologize? I see no reason to go into the specifics, except as they apply to me — my own insecurities, etc., led me to be awful.
Is an apology worth attempting, years later? Or does it just bring back painful memories for the recipient while the sender gets relief from the guilt?
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