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psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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35 years ago while in high school, I was playing sandlot football

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35 years ago while in high school, I was playing sandlot football on a saturday afternoon with a bunch of kids. One of them was picking on me pretty good. After a while, I was fed up with the teasing and tackled him quite hard, so hard that he had to be hospitalized for two weeks suffering from a ruptured spleen. He was not ever my friend, although we were classmates for a number of years. I hadn't given it any thought until recently when a fellow classmate who was there reminded me of it. The injured fellow remembers it as well and still holds alot of animosity toward me and in fact confronted me about it recently as well. I had not thought about it for 35 years. How do I atone for this issue? Nobody who was there blames me (except the injured fellow). How can I make amends to him and his family?

You can't control anybody else but you or their mind. You can make a gesture but in the end it is up to them to accept it. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. You may want to write the letter just saying you are sorry but not go into the details of the event. He has a choice whether to accept your apology or not. The same is true of a verbal apology. If this is heartfelt and you meet him where he is in finding words that express your genuine remorse he has a chance whether to accept that or not. You also have to put a period. You can't feel guilty forever to the extent that it effects your life in a negative way. If you are genuine then he cannot expect more than this. Decide if your apology will be verbal or written and pursue that avenue.

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