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Have you ever had to make a decision that was the only option at the time, but you still feel guilty over it?
I was retelling the story of the time I decided that I would never date a really tall guy. Long story short. I had a really tall male friend who liked me but I simply wasn’t interested in him. I made it clear but he insisted that he understood the situation and that we would only be friends. Never anything more.
When he invited me to meet his family and specifically his sister, I told him that maybe we shouldn’t hang out so much any more. He asked me why and I told him that he was reading too much into our friendship. He had the mind mentality of a child. He was very much like an innocent giant teddy bear. Well, he instantly went from innocent tall teddy bear to killer bear. He grabbed my arm and squeezed so hard that he left a bruise outlined like his hand on my arm for weeks.
The look on his face was so twisted that I was sure he was going to kill me right there. I yelled at him to let go of my arm and he didn’t so for some reason I started to hurl insults. It was a mixture of fear and anger. I felt like a trapped animal.
He was so hurt by what I said and then I saw how he realized the pressure on my arm was causing me immense pain, and he let go.
Ok, not a short story. But in retelling the story today, I realized that I still feel guilty for hurting him and his sister.
She later called me that day to curse me out because her brother was so upset at what I had said. I then told her how he hurt me and I could tell she was upset that he had done that. I don’t think she thought he had it in him. I told her that her brother was a monster and that if he ever touched me again that I would be sure to call the police next time. She apologized in a broken voice and promised to make sure he never went near me again.
I know there was no other way and I was just trying to survive the best I could, but it still bugs me till today, over 30 years later. So how do I shake the guilt?