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  1. #1
    Cali
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    Is an apology letter one step in the AA process?

    I received an apology letter in the mail today from my aunt. She's an alcoholic and has done some hurtful things to my family (and esp my dad, her brother). Several years ago, when she was at her worst, we stopped talking altogether. We've not spoke to each other since.

    I'm not sure what to make of the letter. I'm wondering if she's going to AA meetings and if this is one of the steps required, to write letters of apologies to all whom you've hurt. Only thing is she doesn't once mention her alcoholism in the letter or anything about going to AA mtgs and getting sober.

    The letter is more along the lines of "because of my divorce after 28 yrs and subsequent death of my sole-mate (her new boyfriend) my life spun out of control and in the process of trying to hold on I hurt a lot of ppl I love....I apologize for anything I might have done to hurt you."

    Dad, who she's hurt the most, hasn't received an apology letter..yet anyway.

    Does it sound like an AA apology letter? Anyone familiar with AA to know? I'm curious because, while I love my aunt, I'm hesitant to rekindle a relationship if she's still an alcoholic. I definitely plan to write her back saying I received the letter and appreciate the apology though.
    Me-42 DH-41 ~ ttc #1 for 7 1/2 yrs ~ dx-Unexplained
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  3. #2
    DKNY
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    i'm no expert but i believe that is one of the steps when going thru programs with AA, NA, etc. anyone else in the family get one yet? that you know of? i don't blame you for being apprehensive, but the "thank you" is certainly a nice gesture on your part.
    Dina

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  4. #3
    MarieL
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    Here's a link to the 12 steps:

    Twelve-step program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    No, a letter is not necessarily one of the steps. But I know that when my sister was going through the 12 steps, she met with me, told me things she had done, admitted times she lied to me, and "replaced" a ring she stole from me, as part of making her amends.

    It sounds like the letter might be part of the process for her.
    Marie L, Mama to Marielle, 9 and Rico, 8
    Mom to cancer SURVIVOR!


  5. #4
    Sophia1212
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    this is one of the main reasons I do not talk to my sister anymore. she owes me an apology and explanation. she apparently 'apologized' to people who barely knew her situation or were affected by her stupidty and skipped right over me and considered herself done.
    BFP on first IVF with triplets!!
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  6. #5
    Sophia1212
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    this is one of the main reasons I do not talk to my sister anymore. she owes me an apology and explanation. she apparently 'apologized' to people who barely knew her situation or were affected by her stupidty and skipped right over me and considered herself done.
    BFP on first IVF with triplets!!
    Little Angel lives on through them 12/15/05
    I never met you, but I know you. I never held you, but I feel you. You don't cry, but I hear you. Thank you for M and S. You would like them a lot.

    RIP Shelbey (Aug 12, 2011) I miss you like crazy.


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    QTip
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    yes, it sounds like an AA thing.

    My cousin, who lived with us on 2 different occasions growing up, sent one to me. It was very odd and out of the blue. He apologized for disrupting my life when we were children. Uh, that was NEVER anything I was offended by or held against him, he was a child. I did, however, take offense from his disgusting comments and out of control behavior when we were already adults. He didn't apologize for those things. I never acknowledge his letter because it really didn't seem genuine to me, first of all, and I was in the middle of having my 3rd baby in 3 1/3 years. I was busy. Too busy for his Bull Sh**. Again.

    We did talk about it 3 weeks ago, however. I told him it was water under the bridge, and I hope he is happy now with his new life in Spain. (He's moving there.) Guess what? He is mad at ME for not replying to his letter. Uh, I didn't know the protocol, seriously, and he sent the same **** letter to every person in my family. I really don't get it. And he asked my dh is my carpet matches my curtains AGAIN, after the stupid letter. He also yelled at me, when I was taking care of his dying mother in my home because he was too busy to give a crap for her and he was living in her house! He is very sick, I know that, so I do hope he gets better and I am glad he isn't drinking anymore, but I don't want any kind of relationship with him other than once every year or two at family stuff.

    Ugh. I went and highjacked your post! Sorry, sore subject.
    Q-tip
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  8. #7
    HeatherPa
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    This is her way of "making a mends" to the people she hurt. You may have gotten your letter first because you in a sense were easier to apologize to and it may take her awhile to come to terms on how her behaviors effected your father (her brother). JMO
    Heather Mommy to:
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  9. #8
    TheGoodLife
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    I am not familiar with AA, but that snippet sounds to me like she's still not fully taken responsibility for her actions. She blamed the divorce and the death, not really herself. She didn't acknowledge she has a problem with alcohol. She apologized for anything she "might" have done to hurt you. When I apologize to someone, really apologize, I say: "I KNOW I've hurt you. And I am truly sorry."

    It's a step, and a nice gesture, but it sounds to me like she's still got some work to do.

    JMO.



  10. #9
    AMF
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    Yes, I have experience. No, it's not required, in other words, she doesn't have to do it in order to be a member of AA. The steps keep you sober and one of the steps is to reach out to all those you have hurt and make amends, where it is appropriate. (Step 9)

    The purpose is to reach out to those whom you have hurt in an attempt to repair damage, done in throes of a very dysfunctional existance.

    It's not an easy thing to do. It's a offering...not one you are required to take...of course, and anyone who thinks a letter will cover the hurt caused by addiction, truly has a lot of work still to do.

    It's not a perfect letter, but in all honestly, I would be touched that she thought of you when doing her step work. Best of luck to you all. I hope this is a step in the right direction.

    and if you're worried that she is doing it to gain a foothold in your lives, etc...you can certainly establish appropriate boundries with her and let her know that she is not welcomed in your life if she is drinking. I know lots of people who have that very straightforward rule.


  11. #10
    DixieMom
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    perhaps it is....but then again, maybe it isn't.

    In the 12 steps, among other things, you take a moral inventory, make a list of all you have wronged and then make amends when possible. This could be part of her step 9 work or it could just simply be something she has done on her on.

    If she is in AA and thoroughly working her steps, by the time she has made it to step 9, she has worked very hard on HERSELF and thought over HER past and in doing so, felt that you were one of the persons harmed. No, a letter is not required, it is left up to the individual to make amends as she sees fit.

    I can't tell you the times I wanted my XH to make amends to me. To admit his wrongdoings to me and ask for forgiveness. He never did...and went to the grave without doing so.

    Life is too short to keep grudges. I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. No matter what the reason, she accepted responsibility for her actions and apologized. Now it is up to you to accept the apology or go on being mad at her for her past actions. She cannot take back the past but she can work on her actions for this day.

    I'd give her a chance...but still be cautious.


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