I spent my life being a selfish asshole - grabbing for money, sex, power and material things. I see photos on FB of my friends and family enjoying time with loved ones, and realize how isolated I have become. I feel so alone, and so sad. I am just now finally realizing that I have wasted so much time chasing bullshit, and spending time with people who really don't give a shit about me.
Is it too late to apologize to family and old friends? Too late to be close to them? I have ignored and neglected them for the most part, and now feel awful about it. They were there with love and kindness when I came out, yet I didn't even fully appreciate it.
[quote]I spent my life being a selfish asshole
depends on how long we're talking. 5 years, yes- you can probably reach out; 20 years? if you reach out, they will CUT YOU.
Some people keep others at a distance because it's a safety mechanism, especially if we were bullied when we were younger and expected to be rejected. Yeah, it's Psych 101. I know that I do it and I hate it. My Dad died last year and I wish I had spent more time with him because despite his age, his friend was gay and he had made statements that he didn't care who people loved...only that they were good people. He reached out. It's not too late for you---trust. As long as those people are still alive, make that effort.
You can ask for forgiveness, if for no other reason than to find peace within yourself. Some may forgive you, some may not. Once bridges are burned, it can be difficult to navigate the ravine.
But you should do it to at least find inner peace, knowing that you have thankfully realized what was wrong and done all that you can do to make amends.
No, OP, it is never too late. In fact, OP, and I tell this to you as a DLer, asking for forgiveness can be one of the most manipulative acts you could perform. Psychologically, taking the submissive posture makes people feel 1] superior, and 2] in control. Once you do this for them, no matter what an asshole you have been, 1] they will usually forgive you and 2] like you more.
The equation of social exchange means that something must be worth more in order to be done. In order for them to forgive you, they have to feel that forgiving you makes them a better person. And THAT OP is worth its weight in gold.
The entire cycle of codependency is based on the enabler feeling that they are doing GOOD by enabling.
So start apologizing with abandon and start reaping the benefits!
OP, tonight you will be visited by three spirits....