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How Can I Make Things Right With My Friends After I've Let Them Down?

How Can I Make Things Right With My Friends After I've Let Them Down?

Dear Sugar
About a year and a half ago all of my friends decided to rent a summer house on the shore. The cost was $2,000 per person (very reasonable for the area) and I agreed to join them. However, about a month before the last payment was due, I backed out because I realized that I couldn't afford it.

My friends were very upset with me and told me that they couldn't understand how money could be so tight when I make the most in our group. They wanted me to ask my parents for the money since my parents are extremely wealthy.

Since my parents would have said no if I asked them, I just decided to stop talking to to my friends. I wouldn't answer their calls or e-mails. They threatened to take legal action against me, but I found out that this wasn't possible since all we had was a verbal agreement and they are the ones that signed the lease.

After this I basically had a mental breakdown. There were other things going on in my life at the time, and I was severely depressed. My eating disorder was at its worst and I was finally having a major breakthrough in therapy about my rape six years ago that I was suppressing. I was suicidal. I don't think think I told them extent of this but they all knew what happened to me.

A year and a half have passed since then. I am in a recovery period and have been involved in deep psychotherapy treatment. I have so many feelings of guilt and I get nightmares about the past. I'd like to write them a letter of apology but I am scared. I tried to apologize a few months ago but they wouldn't accept it. Should I try to apologize again or should I move on? In A Mess Tess

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear In A Mess Tess
I am happy to hear that you know what you did was wrong. It wasn't a nice move on your part. You backed out of the share house in the eleventh hour and left them on the hook for 2K. Most likely they were scrambling around to find someone else to cover your share and your costs or else they were left to cough up of the rest of the dough themselves.

To make matters worse you hid from them. That was really selfish of you. If they were good friends, you guys could have tried to work something out. You could have paid half at the beginning and half at the end of the summer, or you could have paid half and then helped them find your replacement. Instead, you completely ignored them. No wonder they didn't want your apology a year plus later.

But at the same time, I'm not sure that I'm getting the full story here. It seems a little bit aggressive that they would try to take legal action and sue you. Had you done something like this to them before? Had you been acting selfish because of your own, heavy issues that you were dealing with?

I think that you should apologize again and let them know that you are very sorry and that you regret what you did to them. Also let them know how much emotional pain you were going through at that time, but since then, you've sought out therapy and are in a much healthier place.

Hopefully they will accept your forthcoming apology and are happy to see you in your present positive state. If they are standoffish, rude or unaccepting, then close the book on them and move on. You'll make new, better friends who will love you for the wonderful and mature woman that you are.

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