I’ve lost count of how many times I drove past my home. At first, it was because I had every intention of making amends, or at least attempting to. Eventually, I started driving past, simply to see if I could catch a glimpse of one of my girls. I never did.

Gene explained to me that I could not move to the next step unless I felt as if I fully completed step nine. He reminded me that step nine states that you can make amends except when doing so injures or hurts the person. He felt that Colleen’s restraining order may fall under that category. He wanted me to feel fulfilled in the relationships that I have amended. But how can I be fulfilled when the people I love most, hate me? I may not have been able to bring myself to walk up those porch steps, but I wanted to.

Soon, I was seeing Kyle again. I hadn’t had a drink since month three and I needed to be okay with that. Yet, I knew I wasn’t going to last much longer with seeing Kyle this often.

Gene and Angie begged me to see a therapist. With their financial help, I finally gave in and followed their advice.

The first few sessions were awkward. Only Gene knew personal things about me. I wasn’t comfortable with sharing any of this with a stranger. Even if she was a doctor. It took about 5 sessions before I told her about my hallucinations. She said that the hallucinations weren’t withdrawal symptoms. She believed, rather, that it was my conscience that I was seeing. Kyle was my guilt manifested into an image that I could see physically.

We talked about my guilt and what it meant. She explained that having guilt was a sign that I realized my mistake. She said that if I could understand how I was able to make the mistake and understand what Colleen and the girls must have felt because of it, then I wouldn’t have a problem with asking them for forgiveness.

I listened carefully and made note of what she said. I felt that if I was standing in front of them, I would completely botch my apology. Instead, I wrote four different letters, addressed to each of them.

It was a Friday evening when I drove back to my home. I remember the date because it was the day before Colleen’s birthday. I walked up the burgundy porch and knocked on the door. No answer. I tried several more times. Still nothing. So I slid the letters into the mailbox. In Colleen’s letter, I told her if she ever wanted to talk, she knew where to find me.

At that point, all I could do was keep my fingers crossed and wait.