Second Chances / Amended 8/31/12

How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Today is Friday, August 31st and I am amending this post.  I have forgiven the dear nephew who was the source of so much frustration first time out. I wish I could say we have reconciled or that all is well with him, but both of these events remain in limbo.

I do wish I had never written this, but the post is out and cannot be reeled back in, so I am putting my current and hopefully my usual feelings in front of it: People are more important than things. People I love are more important than my hurt feelings. When I get hurt helping someone, that is part of the experience. I was there to help, not be treated like the Grand PooBah! People in crisis and who are confused by mental illness or drugs to hurtful things, they are not doing them, or meaning to….very often it is the illness or drug talking. That is something I am trying to educate people about and I got caught with my own ignorance showing because I was hurt.

I have hurt others when in the throws of mania or depression. We are all imperfect people. Even if you don’t have an illness like mine…we all hurt each other every day…we need to be reminded to cut each other some slack and do not judge.

Most importantly, do not judge. We are all people, not the Almighty. Frail, imperfect, full of mistakes and missteps. Forgiveness is the most important gift we can give each other. Forgiveness and love.

Bless you all. Thank you for hearing me out this morning and please let what follows be a take back!

“ONE MORE CHANCE. Words that my mother heard, more than once. Words that women debate. Whether you CAN forgive and whether you SHOULD trust. I think of all the judgment from society, friends, and family, the overwhelming consensus seeming to be that you should not grant someone who betrayed (your trust) a second chance. That you should do everything you can to keep the knife out of your back, and to protect your heart and pride. Cowards give second chances. Fools give second chances. And I am no coward, no fool.” ― Emily Giffin

I am up in the middle of the night again for several reasons. One, I had asthma last week and had to be hospitalized. The good news was they put on my discharge papers: bipolar disorder – in remission. Wow! I didn’t know they used that word with a mental disorder. I was asymptomatic in the hospital though in that department. But I am taking a steroid drug, Prednisone to help me breathe, and now I have insomnia. I hope I don’t tip hypo manic. So far so good.

I am a bit sad. Heartbroken really. And I am debating second chances. What do you think? Are you a believer in the old adage… Burned once shame on them? Burned twice…shame on you? Emily Giffin (quote above) would call me a coward and a fool for trusting a younger family member — recently out of treatment for pot smoking — with my car twice.

I was trying to help him find a job. His dad had said he would buy him a car if he got one. That was the story I understood anyway. Otherwise another family member was considering taking care of the issue. I’m good at finding jobs and helped him find a good job. He got the interview. He got the job, but he needed a car for demos and appointments. Because I was newly out of the hospital during his training week, I got tired and let him drive me home from the second day of training, after I picked him up. Then I let him borrow my car to take to the next day of training. I don’t remember putting conditions on the loan. I was really tired.

When I got my car back the passenger side door handle inside was snapped off. I drive a KIA, it was a sturdy part but hard plastic nonetheless.  I asked my new  family friend what had happened and he said the door was locked and his friend could not get it open and broke it.

He borrowed his Grandpa’s car for the last day of training and called me to ask if he could use my car for the weekend to do demos to fulfill his training quota before starting the next week. I said, sorry, I can’t do that. This is the only good car we have and I have to take care of it.

Needless to say he called me back. I was rather impressed. I thought he was using natural-born sales skills on me. He said, “Libby, may I use your car if my friend pays you for the damage to the door?” I told him that would help me, but that more importantly, I didn’t want him driving my car for personal use, or allowing any friends in the car. He understood and agreed. He would only use it for demos. And no one but him would be in the car.

Well I guess you can imagine how it turned out. I did loan it to him for demos. He had one on Friday night. He didn’t return home until midnight and went straight to bed. His Dad found pot in the glove compartment in the morning and empty beer bottles in the back. My car still has residual smoke in it. He didn’t detail it for me before returning it. He didn’t apologize. My asthma cough is back from driving the stinky thing and my heart is broken. He wasn’t allowed to accept the job Monday because he can’t drive.

I wish I could tell this young man these things because I love him. And I know he has great potential. And because he has captured my heart. I can only pray that he comes to the realization sometime soon that the friends he thinks he has are not real friends and that the people who really love him are crazily disguised as his family.

@Copyright Libby Baker Sweiger

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6 thoughts on “Second Chances / Amended 8/31/12

  1. I am so sorry how much pain you are having from this! But I am not in agreeance with the “QUOTER” above! In this like all things we can not go on our feelings or opinions… the answers we need are from God/Yah & we need to seek him to get our true answers!!! LUMBJLUM, Lovely Libby!

  2. Thanks so much for your loving concern, Mare. I always appreciate your comments and perspective! I don’t agree with her conclusions either, but identify strongly with her feelings. I believe in second and third chances for people, but that my answers must be coached with wisdom, not love only. For that kind of answer…you’re right — God would have had a better answer than I!

  3. When I was young I would never have left pot in someones glove compartment, it was much to difficult to come by to just leave laying around somewhere. Anyway, the call is yours Libby, if you were in California and for some reason he got pulled over and your car searched. your car would be impounded as evidence and more than likely sold at auction to cover the ever rising costs to cites for having to process all of the lame stunts the kids are pulling today. If it was 130 years ago and you loaned him your horse you could probably shoot him for that business.

    • It was a very serious thing, bit my car came through relatively unscathed. I have forgiven him as the Lord teaches. There is no more I will do until and if he come to me for help and them I have some great resources. But I know now I cannot help him on my own.

  4. Itis amazing that we try to give our children and our loved ones children the best benefit of the doubt and always try to think the best of them even when they have clearly shown themselves unworthy time and time again. Bless you Libby for being the kind and trusting soul… it seems you were twice harmed by your good intentions; even more wounded when there was no acknowledgement of the harm done to you by the very person who did your level best to help and put on the right track.
    I do not have perfect knowledge of the events but clearly the young man is not worthy of trust and since he failed to make any attempt of making you whole or for that matter an apology of any sort. I would have to say no need to shun any contact save for a polite rebuff as he clearly has no concept of proper behavior. I feel sorry for him in that regard because he has lost something very precious… your respect and deep trust.

    • All that you say is true Joe, but I have still forgiven him. You certainly don’t have to be worthy or deserving to be forgiven, or very few of us would be! I read that quote and realized especially that I wasn’t stewing about the incident anymore, nor did I bear him any ill will. He had been set free in my heart — hence forgiveness!!

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