It was over. It was time to move on. The regrets had been overwhelming. In fact, the debilitating shame was the only thing powerful enough to force my hand and mandate my need for behavioral change. The stigma, the embarrassment, the broken promises, the trust I crushed under my clumsy heel like an insignificant ant – all of it accumulated into a malignant mass that had to be cut out of my soul for my very survival. And I did just that. I changed for the only reason anyone ever makes significant change. Pain. I was drowning in pain.
But even the deepest, most fundamental change was not enough for her. The trillions of sincere apologies. The remorse. The repentance. The reparations. None of it was enough. It was never enough.
Time had passed. No new transgressions emerged. By all accounts, he seemed as though he would make it this time. After years and decades of ignoring my pleas, he finally heard something. A different voice, the creaking floorboards under the weight of approaching doom, or the whimpering sounds of my broken heart.
He changed. The chaos subsided, but the trauma lingered. It seemed nothing could ever heal the wounds. I never wanted nor needed his incessant apologies. His pathetic pleas for forgiveness were like nails on the chalkboard of our innocent youth.
Had he been sorry in time, he would have stopped.
Now, his sorrow came too late. I couldn’t absorb his regret. I needed him to do the impossible and share my pain. Remorse is ill equipped to shoulder a burden – the burden of the truth that would surely bury us both.
It will never be enough. There will never be enough time to allow me to move on. It will never be over.
If you relate to his story, please check out our SHOUT Sobriety program for people in early recovery. If her story resonates, please learn more about Echoes of Recovery for the loved ones of alcoholics. If you’re in pain, but you’re not ready for joining our groups yet, please read our new book, soberevolution: Evolve into Sobriety and Recover Your Alcoholic Marriage