Tag Archives: apology

Self Apology

“Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.”
– Margaret Lee Runbeck

I caught myself doing something pretty silly this morning.

Now, mind you, doing something silly is a pretty regular occurrence in my world. So if I wrote about it every time it happened I wouldn’t get much else done. But this one kind of struck a nerve for some reason.

So, I’m riding down the road on the way to work listening to my audiobook like I always do. I have the audiobook downloaded to my phone and it’s connected to the car radio through the auxiliary cord. I usually keep my phone’s sounds on silent (if you call me, sorry – I’ll never hear it). So when a notification “ding” came through this morning, I immediately reached over to get my phone out of the seat and turn the sound off so the annoying dings wouldn’t keep interrupting my story. It’s hard enough for me to be in a decent mood as it is on any given day, so a morning ride full of dings would definitely start me off on the wrong foot. As I proceeded to disable said dings, I remembered I had a few apps open that needed to be closed. [Sidebar: I can’t STAND to have apps open on my phone. Or little red notification numbers. Or emails in my inbox. How do you barbarians live like that??] So, as I got a little swipe-happy removing whatever errant app I had left open, I accidentally closed my audiobook as well.

As the app closed and the story came to an abrupt halt, the first words out of my mouth were, “Oh shoot! I’m sorry.”

Out loud.

To myself.

I apologized to my own self for turning my book off. Geez!

Once I realized what I had done, I had to laugh about it. I mean, how dumb can a person be? Apologizing to yourself? Ha!

And yet.

As the day wore on, I somehow just couldn’t stop thinking about that apology in the car. Was it really all that dumb, after all?

It got me thinking about something.

I’ve been in a bit of a bad place emotionally lately. Something happened a few months ago that I can’t seem to shake. I acted in a way that was not quite myself, and I ended up hurting a few people in the process. And now that it has all blown after and all is forgiven and life has moved on, another emotion has kicked in.


At myself.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt like this before. I mean, I’m a redhead so obviously I know what anger feels like. Duh. It’s my favorite emotion. But at myself?

Now that’s new.

Now I’m no stranger to being an idiot. This isn’t the first time I’ve done something stupid. Stupid is my middle name.

I sometimes think about that 17-year-old version of me who was diagnosed with cancer. That girl who went through chemo and radiation, who spent half of her senior year in the hospital, who went to her high school prom bald as a baby – now that girl? That girl was stupid. Everyone around her talked about how “strong” she was, and how tough she was being. But she never understood what they meant. She was just doing what she was told. She was, quite frankly, too dumb to be scared. She wasn’t old enough yet – mature enough yet – to know what it all meant. The 40-year-old version of me now who looks back on that kid just shakes her head and smiles. I now know what a serious situation that was – and what could have happened. But I didn’t then. I didn’t know any better.

I was stupid.

And sometimes I feel like not much has changed in the last 23 years.

Sometimes 40-year-old me is still too immature to recognize the situations that she finds herself in – to realize the full weight of what could happen if she makes the wrong choice.

And that’s what I did a few months ago. I made the wrong choice.

I messed up. I hurt some people – especially one in particular. But it seems like those people that I hurt have forgiven me. They were surprised, but that’s what humans do – surprise one another. No, they didn’t really expect that kind of behavior from me and, yet, they still love me. Life goes on.

But why does it not just “go on” for me?

For me, somehow, life has seemed to come to a standstill in some ways. It’s not ‘going on’ at all. And, why the heck not? Everyone else has moved on. Why not me? What am I waiting for?


Is it, perhaps, that I haven’t quite given out all the apologies I need to give? Maybe there’s someone left?

Maybe me?

Sigh. Maybe me.

Well. Okay then. Let’s do this. Here goes.

Melissa, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you didn’t know any better. I’m sorry you weren’t mature enough to recognize the seriousness of the situation you were in. I’m sorry that you carelessly took your life for granted – much like that 17-year-old did once upon a time. I’m sorry you weren’t thinking straight. I’m sorry you screwed up.

But, honey, now you know.

Now you know.

Now you have lived with the consequences of your choices. Now you have seen the hurt on the faces of the people you love. You’ve seen the hurt in your own face staring back at you from the mirror. You’ve learned. You’ve suffered. You’ve cried.

And now, sweet girl…you’re done with that.


Let. It. Go.

I’m truly sorry.

I’m sorry I let you down. I’m sorry I allowed you to make such a big mistake. But it’s okay now. It’s okay. Let’s move on from this. What do you say?

Well. Okay then. That’s done.

And, what now?

Apology accepted.

Okay. Maybe apologizing to yourself isn’t quite so dumb after all.

Let’s move forward.


“Do the best you can until you know better.  And when you know better, do better.”
– Maya Angelou




I’m hurt.

I will react.

I’ll scream in anger.

I will tell you that I’m in pain.

I’ll tell you (loudly) that you’re wrong.

I’ll forget myself and feel all that is true inside.

I’ll show you the fear and rage and pain that you caused.

And then I will immediately change my mind.

I’ll remember what I am allowed to feel.

And I will remember what I am not.

I’ll tell you that it is not your fault.

I will tell you that I am sorry.

But I’m not going to be.

Not really.




An Apology Letter to the LGBT Community


Dear LGBT Community:

My name is Melissa Edmondson.

Last week, I was invited to speak at a GOP meeting in my small area to give an opposing opinion on North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law. Why me? Good question. I have no idea.


Photo by Jesse Campbell of The Jefferson Post

I am a progressive independent who tends to lean pretty far to the left – the last person you’d expect to be a keynote speaker at a GOP meeting. But there I was, nonetheless. The Republican party chairman, in what I think was a brilliant, heartfelt move, decided that we are a better community when we hear what one another has to say. And he chose me to deliver that message.

Does he regret his decision? I wonder.

I’ve gotten many responses since the meeting, both good and bad.  (If you’d like to read the news articles about how it went, you can click here and here.  And then a later report about the republican party itself and their standing after the meeting: here.)

The “bad” responses I’ve received generally involve the possibility that I might lose my job or lose business for my employer. He and I have both received those comments from people in our community. Yes, I know this sound ludicrous to some of you who may be reading this while in other areas. But trust me, this is Ashe County, North Carolina, and this is a very real thing here. If you do not fall in the majority with your beliefs, you are practically nonexistent (or some will try to see to it that you are). So far, however, I’m still at my job. Even a heathen like me can still whip up a few real estate closings here and there.

But, honestly, I want to tell you about the other responses. It’s the “good” ones that have bothered me most.

I keep getting told what a “hero” I am. How “brave” I am. How much courage it took to get up in front of all of those people to speak like I did. And every time I hear those words, I feel a sadness that I have had trouble explaining.

At first, I told myself I was just being silly. Maybe I’m just one of those people who gets embarrassed by compliments. Maybe I need to learn to accept them more graciously and have a little more faith in myself. Maybe it was just a self-esteem thing – maybe I needed to be proud of myself.

But no. That’s not it. Not at all.

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize what’s wrong. I am accepting misplaced credit.

I am not the brave one. You are.

I am a writer; a talker. Speaking my mind is something that comes naturally to me. Sure, it’s a bit easier to speak to people who share my beliefs, but the fact that the room was full of people who didn’t share those beliefs didn’t bother me. When you truly believe that what you are saying is the truth, you don’t care who you are speaking to. You are speaking because you know it needs to be heard. Yes, public speaking is hard. Terrifying even. And if you want to pat me on the back for speaking in front of people, okay. I’ll take that. Because I was scared out of my mind. (I just recently read a James Patterson book entitled “I Funny” which was aimed at middle-schoolers. One of the chapters was entitled “Public Speaking: Or As It Should Be Called – Public Execution).  Yes, I was terrified. But not because of what I was saying. I had absolute faith in what I was saying. It was just your normal run-of-the-mill fear of public speaking. Most of us have it.

So, yes. Yay me. I overcame a public speaking fear. Big whoop.

But bravery? HA! No, that is not bravery. What you do everyday is bravery.  Especially if you live here.

Although the world is slowly adapting to one that accepts you as you are, change is very slowly arriving to our little area. In some places, change hasn’t arrived at all. You have to live your life as a lie. You have to pretend to be someone you’re not.

Me? Brave? Any time a major event happens between my husband and me, I share it all over Facebook. Pictures of us holding hands. Snuggling. I get to hear the ooohs and ahhhs and bask in the lovey-doveyness of it all. What do you get to do? Hide. You can’t post pictures like that or even hold your loved one’s hand in public. You have to hide behind the veneer of what is ‘allowed.’

You are the brave ones.

Me? Brave? I can walk into any restaurant or store and know that I can shop and dine and not have to wonder if I’m going to be asked (or told) to leave. I don’t have to wonder if this is a safe spot for me to be in and wonder if the person behind the counter is going to treat me the same as others. There is no reason they shouldn’t. I’m just standing here being heterosexual, why should they treat me any different? You, on the other hand?  I can’t imagine what must go through your mind every time you walk into an establishment in this narrow-minded area that time has forgotten to visit.

You are the brave ones.

Me? Brave? I can go to the bathroom, for God’s sake. If I need to pee in public, I go to the friggin bathroom. There’s no question. There’s no hesitation. There’s no looking behind me to see if I’m going to be arrested. There’s no feeling I’m doing anything “wrong.” I go pee and I leave. I don’t give it a second thought. Some of you? I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around how hard this must be for you.

You are the brave ones.

Please accept my apology. Please accept my apology for taking the compliments and the praise that should be directed at you. You are the brave ones. You are the heroes. You are the courageous.

Yes, I spoke on your behalf. But I am not you. I don’t understand, and can’t begin to fully understand no matter how hard I try. I am sorry that it was me up there speaking on your behalf, and not you able to tell your story. I was the one that was welcomed into the “lion’s den” as one reporter referred to it.

Would you have been?

Somehow I don’t think so.

Did those people hear me? Was it worth it?  I don’t want to be pessimistic here, but honestly I don’t think so. But to tell you the truth, I don’t really care.

They weren’t the ones I was targeting. You were.

Please know that you have friends. Please know that there are more out here than just me. Please know that you are not alone. Not by a long shot. You are fighting one of the bravest fights there is to fight – the fight for equality. You are the heroes, friends. Not me.

They may not have heard me, but I hope you did.





Awwww.  How sweet.

Ok, I’ll get back to this picture in a minute.  First – let me tell you a little something about myself.

I’m a jerk.

Oh yeah.  It’s true.  When I’m upset about something, I become an inconsiderate, irrational know-it-all who cannot see anyone else’s point of view but my own.  Especially when I’m already tired or stressed to begin with.  Anyone else like that, or am I all alone here in Jerkville?

Now, my boyfriend definitely knows this about me.  He has been a prisoner in Jerkville a few too many times.  And sometimes he likes to put a positive spin on this aspect of my personality by referring to it as my being passionate.  Passionate.  *Giggle*  (He missed his calling as a politician.)

But, then there are other times.  The times when he’s fed up and has had enough of the scenery in Jerkville and is ready to go home – that’s when he’ll call it like it really is.  He says I get crazy.

Ok, I’ll admit it.  Both are true.  Sometimes I’m passionately crazy.  But it’s because I feel things.  You know?  I feel them to my core.  There’s no half-assing it with me.  (Pardon my French.)  When I feel it, I feel it.

Now, sometimes that’s a good thing.  Sometimes it’s a wonderful thing actually.  I know I love with all of my heart, and then some.  I’d go to the ends of the earth for you if you’ve managed to win my heart.  And honestly, I kinda like that about myself.

But when the tide turns?  Ohhhh boy.  When the tide turns, it’s not such a good thing anymore.  It can get ugly fast.  Yep – it’s a flaw.  My biggest flaw, perhaps.  I admit it.

I, Melissa Caudill, am a flawed human being.  

I know, I know….shocking, isn’t it?  I thought I was perfect too!  But nope.  Turns out, I’m not.  Who knew!?

So, with all of that said, I want to tell you about something that happened in my latest argument with my honey.  Now, he is the exact opposite from me.  Polar opposite.  His way to handle a problem?  Clam up; don’t talk; wait for it to pass.

Bless his heart.

Now, you read all that stuff I just said about me, right?   If you were a fly on the wall during one of our spats, I can assure you you’d be quite entertained.  Honestly, though – (and don’t tell him this) – I admire him for the way he is.  In the same way that he admires my being “passionate,” I admire his being level-headed.  Calm.  Well, that is, until I’m pissed.  And then?  Then I think he’s….well….crazy.  Unhealthy.  A ticking time bomb.  He needs to let that junk out of his system!

In other words, I guess we’re both flawed.  It just happens to be in exact opposite ways.

Well, last night – as it has a few times in the past – those flaws came into play during a stupid argument.  I wanted to talk; he didn’t.  So, I marched my crazy self over to his house to make him talk.  When I first got there, he was asleep.  (Asleep?  Asleep!?  You think that is an excuse not to text me back??) 😉  After an unwelcomed chuckle from his half-asleep ramblings (he saw me and said in a slurred voice, “What are you doing in the band room?”…oh my gosh, I can’t even type that without laughing again – what the heck was that boy dreaming about?…), we got down to business.  We (I) ranted and raved and discussed every little thing each of us have ever done wrong in our lives from the time we exited our mother’s wombs.  Or, at least it seemed like that. Then, eventually, we chilled out and finally actually discussed the issue like we should have all along.

We’re fine now.  We still have problems, and always will (we’re human), but this catastrophe was avoided at least.

Now, back to the picture I posted at the beginning.  (See? I’m telling you this story for a reason.  And you thought I was just rambling….)

At one point during the argument, he got up and went into the kitchen to get a bottle of water.  (I know, right!?  How dare him walk away when I’m ranting…)  He came back into the room, and I took a deep breath and resumed where I had left off without missing a beat.  And in the midst of my continued rant, you know what he did?

He handed me a drink of water.

Here I was, hoarse from all the fussing at the poor man, and he hands me a drink of water to help me continue.

Isn’t that amazing?  You can be irate at someone – think that they are the craziest, most insane, irrational person alive – and yet when you love them, you still make sure they’re comfortable.  Make sure they know you love them.

These are the moments, people.  Not the candlelit dinners, not the flowers, not the cute little pet names.

The times the people you love are being anything but loveable – and you love them anyway.  The parent tucking in the child that just screamed “I hate you!” at them just before they fell asleep; the pet that still runs up to you and welcomes you home when you’ve left it alone all day; the adult child of an Alzheimer’s patient still patiently lifting a spoon to the mouth that curses them in confusion; the boyfriend who hands a drink of water to the woman who has just hurt his feelings.

These are the moments.

Don’t forget to notice them.  OK?


“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
– Peter Ustinov

April Fool

“‘Cause I’ve seen it all come and go before
I’m sure I’ll see it all again
But if I thought for one instant it might be love
 I’d be the first one jumpin’ in…”
– Diamond Rio lyrics (“Here I Go”)

Ok.  So, a little over a month ago, I wrote a blog about how I was going to take the whole year of 2013 off from dating and relationships.  (Here’s the link if you’re interested.) Well, I figure there’s no better time than April Fool’s Day to update my readers on how that little notion has played out.  Why April Fool’s Day?  Well.  I’m pretty sure this day was designed for fools like me.  So since this is my own personal day, I figured I can confess a few things and you guys might go a little easier on me.

So with that preamble, I’m sure you know what I’m about to confess.  Turns out, I wasn’t so great at that whole idea.  But that’s ok.

And here’s why.

I heard some Alabama song lyrics again a while back and they really got to me.  It’s a song called Lady Down on Love.  Here are the lyrics:

“She’s got her freedom
But she’d rather be bound
To a man who would love her
And never let her down.”

– Alabama

That’s so me.  It really is.  Yes, I had my freedom.  And yes, I was enjoying it to an extent.  I have learned more about myself in these past three months than I may ever have before – and the only reason for that is that I just finally took the time to actually do it.  And one of the biggest things that I’ve learned, and that I’ve come to accept, is that I really am a pretty positive person.  I just am.  I’m a glass half full kinda gal.  Yes,  I do get my feelings hurt at times, I do get let down when things don’t go my way, I do cry, I do get sad – I’m not saying I’m immune to all of that.  But it’s all temporary.  Once it passes, I get back up on that horse and I know that better things are around the corner.  I really would “rather be bound,” so to speak.  So, with this being the case, I tend to remain open to any possibilities. Including the fact that if something real came along, I wasn’t going to turn it away just because I said in some blog that I would.

Well, something real did come along.  Again.

Actually, it never left.

Oh, I tried so hard to convince myself it was gone.  I told myself over and over and over again that I was moving on.  That I didn’t need “some guy” and that I was fine alone.  And I would have been too.  I know that now.  But my heart absolutely refused to shut up.  It just wouldn’t listen to me when I was trying to tell it that we didn’t love him anymore.  He was everywhere.  In the songs I heard.  In the books I read.  In the new guys I met (not that there were that many, mind you. But still.)  There he was.  Unfinished business is a tricky little fellow.  It doesn’t go away until it’s dealt with.  No matter how hard you try.

Now, being the open person I am, I would spout out all kinds of details if I sat here at this keyboard long enough and didn’t think it through.  But just because I’m an open book – that doesn’t mean that everyone else is.  So out of respect for the privacy of the people I love, I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of the hows and whys things happened the way they did.  Not even sure we know the answer to that ourselves to be honest with you.  But the long and the short of it is this – I found my way back to my best friend.  And I’m certain that he found his way back to his too.  It has been a long road, and we’re still walking it, but we finally decided to try walking it together for a change.  No more rushing ahead, no more falling behind…just walking together.  Figuring it out as we go.

We like it better this way.

So, back to the original blog entry.  Honestly – nothing has changed.  I’m still on this “quest for me,” so to speak.  That won’t be changing.  I’m still going to be writing this blog.  I’m still training for my half marathon.  I’m still going to continue acting.  I’m still going to be me.  A stronger, healthier, more self-aware version of me, yes – but still me.  Being in a relationship is not going to change that.  Finally.  I think maybe I’m finally learning to find that balance – that thin line that lies between giving your heart to someone, while at the same time still remembering to retain a big portion for yourself.



Yeah.  That.

So, there’s my update.  I didn’t exactly do what I set out to do in the way that I set out to do it.  But did I fail?  Heck no.  I’m in love and I’m trying.  There’s definitely no failure in that.

Let’s go find out what the future holds…


“To lose balance for love is part of living a balanced life.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert

The Gift of Forgiveness


(This is one from my private archives.  More like a journal entry.  I wrote this years ago when I heard from an old love after not having heard from him in a long period of time.  For some reason, I keep being drawn back to this.  I have re-read it many times over the years when I found myself needing a reminder.  Recently, I’ve shared it with a few friends who have found themselves in the same situation, and they have said that reading it brought them comfort as well.  So, I’ve decided to share it on my blog.  Maybe you might be one that needs to hear it too.)

I got a text tonight from him. He wanted to know if we could talk.


So, I had rehearsed what I would do or what I would say when/if this ever happened. Of course, I never really thought it would happen at all. But if it did, the Melissa of my fantasies was gonna be a hard ass. She was either going to (1) not respond at all; or (2) respond with a “not a chance, a$$hole” or something equally witty and clever. But somehow, that’s not exactly how it played out. It was more like a “Really? Well, now is not a great time, but would 10:00 p.m. be ok for me to call you?” Oh yeah, hard ass. Reeeeal hard ass.

So, I called him.

I really have no idea what I was expecting to hear. But what I did hear surprised me. There was no “I’m so sorry I ever let you go.” There was no “I really want you back.” There wasn’t even a “I just thought I’d say hey” or something equally mundane.

Instead, it was “Melissa, I need your forgiveness.”

I need your forgiveness.

The tone of his voice had that phrase behind everything he said. And yes, that phrase – I need your forgiveness – may sound selfish. And I’m sure it was. But there was more to it than that. He desperately needed to know that I was ok. That he didn’t do any lasting damage to me. Maybe it was partly for his own conscience. But that wasn’t all of it. I heard that guy who knows me. Who knew me better than most guys because I let him know me. And that guy that knows me knows that he truly and deeply broke my heart. And he wanted to know if it was healing.

So, you know what I did? I gave him what he wanted. I told him that I forgive him.

But you know what? I don’t.

Now, I will.  I know I will.  One of these days.  But not quite yet.

But he doesn’t need to know that.

Yes, it would have been easy to hurt him like he hurt me. It would have been easy to hang on to the bitterness and the pain and to lash out and remind him of how deep the wound was. But why do that? One little lie won’t kill me. I’m going to feel the same way tomorrow whether I let him off the hook and ease his conscience or whether I make him suffer more by giving him a recount of the past few months and how I cried myself to sleep many, many nights (more than I care to admit. More recently than I care to admit also). I was known for lavishing him with gifts throughout our entire relationship. And in a way, this was just another gift. Maybe my last gift. I gave him the gift of releasing him.

And you know what that said to me? That told me that when you love someone…really love them…one little sacrifice for their benefit is really not that big of a deal. And if I had it to do over again, I’d tell the same lie over and over.


“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
-Mark Twain



I debated whether to blog about what I’m getting ready to share, but I decided that maybe someone out there might need to hear this.

That apology quote is one that I’ve seen many times. And one that I have actually given a lot of thought to. How many of us are walking around with old wounds that are still in need of repair? I know I am. There are a few people from my past that have done wrong by me and, like most of us probably do, I harbor a little resentment and bitterness towards those people. Even if I don’t fully realize that the hurt is still there.

Well, life has taken a slightly strange turn for me lately.  One of those ‘old wounds’ has resurfaced. Someone that once hurt me deeply has suddenly come back into my life.

I won’t get into detail about what happened to cause this reconnection (one of those ‘names have been changed to protect the innocent’ kind of deals…), but let’s just say that I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our paths have crossed again at a time when I’m going through one of my little life detours. (In a previous post, I refer to life detours. These are what I like to call those times in your life when things are rolling along and suddenly, without notice, everything changes.)  In fact, a lot of my old writings that I started this blog with are writings from that time in my life.  I’ve been looking back on them to help me through my current situation, so it has been a little more fresh on my mind than it normally would be.

And now – here he is.

And guess what?  He’s sorry.

Really, truly deeply sorry.  I see it in the way he treats me now, hear the kindness of his voice, and was even asked for forgiveness by him directly (which takes a lot of guts, if you ask me). This is one of those times that I don’t have to wonder What if? I don’t have to apply the Robert Brault quote that I previously mentioned because I don’t have to accept an apology I ‘never got.’  I am faced with accepting an apology that I did get.

And you know what?  I accepted it.  Without hesitation, without any thought to the contrary – I just fully and completely said, “You’re forgiven.”

And holy crap, let me tell ya: that felt good.

Believe me, I know what it’s like to be hurt.  I know it so well.  And I know what it’s like to see all those quotes like the one I posted before.  I’ve heard the one that says that ‘holding on to your anger is only hurting you’ and the one that tells you that ‘refusing to forgive someone is like drinking poison and expecting them to die.’  Etc. etc. etc.  These things are just quotes.  They’re just words.  They mean nothing.  I know, I’ve been there.  In fact, I’m there now.  But life just gave me a glaring example of how good it feels to just let it go.

Now, I know we’re not all going to get a chance like I just got.  We’re not all going to get to have someone look us in our eye and ask for our forgiveness.  But now that I know how truly freeing and healing it is to be able to give that forgiveness to someone who asked for it, I’m starting to wonder if there’s not a lot of truth to that Robert Brault quote.  If it feels this good to accept an apology that was given to me, wouldn’t it feel just as good to accept one that wasn’t given to me?  Wouldn’t it be just as freeing?  Just as healing?

It’s not as easy of course.  But I think it can be done.  It’s worth a shot.

What unspoken apology do you need to accept?  Maybe today is the day.