by Vanessa H
The first time I went through the 9th Step, things went pretty smoothly. On the advice of my sponsor at the time, I always reached out to the person first to make sure they were ok to have me make amends. Everyone on my list said yes. Everyone except my mom.
I don’t know why she said no, but I asked her a couple of times. She always said no. So I honored that and figured I would make living amends to her.
I asked her a couple of times and she always said no
My dad, however, had agreed to hear my amends, so we arranged for a time when I could talk just to him the next time I was home. The amends went well. I saw my dad cry for the first time in my life. I felt a surge of serenity and deeper connection to A.A., knowing that I had cleaned my side of the street in my relationship with him.
Cut to the next day when my parents were driving me to the airport so I could fly back to Minnesota. I noticed my mom had been kind of short with my dad and me all day. Finally I asked her what was wrong. She began crying and wondering why I hadn’t made amends to her. She was upset and felt left out. I was stunned!
Here I had thought I was respecting her wishes, but she saw it as a slap in the face. I explained to her that because she told me multiple times that she didn’t want to hear my amends, I was trying to honor that. She was still upset. I let her know I couldn’t make amends right then and there in the car, and that I would find a time when we were together again so I could do it face to face privately.
She thought it was a slap in the face
Drop off at the airport was awkward. As soon as I got through security, I called my sponsor and burst into tears. She assured me I had done nothing wrong and we would work together on how to approach my amends with my mom. Thankfully, when I did see my mom at Thanksgiving, she realized her part in the misunderstanding and everything went well.
Today my relationship with my mom is stronger than ever. She truly is one of my best friends. And with time, I’m now able to look back on this situation and laugh. I never know why things happen the way they do, but that’s not for me to know. My higher power reminded me that I can’t control how others behave and react, even when I’m taking the right action. I never need to fear the 9th step so long as I’m cleaning my side of the street with rigorous honesty.