I’ve been thinking about a girl I once shared a house with, a million years ago.
She was always late paying her rent, she had a dodgy, unfaithful boyfriend, and indulgent parents who taught her little about personal responsibility, but we worked together and had had some fun times in the beginning.
But one day she accused me of going into her room and going through her stuff. It wasn’t true but she believed it so much that she put a lock on the door and life became extremely difficult. There were either tantrums or complete silence, and a hideously, hostile environment. I never knew when she’d be home or what to expect, until eventually – thankfully – she moved out.
But not before telling our mutual friends and work colleagues the untrue storiesabout me.
I’m sure I wasn’t perfect, especially in my early 20s, but I could never understand what had caused the breaking-and-entering accusation. I can only assume it was the dodgy boyfriend who may have stolen something from her but suggested to her that it was me. Or maybe it was something innocent – perhaps I once moved her pile of washing off the kitchen table into her room, getting sick of seeing it there for weeks on end.
It bothers me to this day, so when I saw a photo of someone who looked remarkably like her recently, I googled her and was soon looking at her email address on the screen. I toyed with the idea of sending an email to ask if she ever realised that she had been wrong all those years ago, whether she regretted both her lies and the sharing of them with people who knew me.
I talked it over with Mr Luscious, who has been going through hell at his work dealing with a sociopath for over a year, so he knows something about truth and lies. (As an aside: The good news is that it looks like victory may finally be ours, as the sociopath is finally being exposed for all his appalling behaviour. We still face months of pain, as innocent people will lose their jobs and the reality of the mess caused by this man will unravel for all to see.)
We’ve have been doing a lot of reading about how people’s minds work, especially the idea of truth, lies and perception, trying to understand what we’ve been living through and how to deal with it. I’d like to think I have a better understanding of such things now, but it still makes me wonder whether people ever regret the things they’ve done and later track down the person/s involved to apologise.
My own record is not unblemished. Once, I got angry (a very rare occurrence, so you can imagine how mad I was) with a work colleague because I believed he’d sabotaged one of my projects, causing me great embarrassment and unhappiness. He completely denied it when I confronted him, and looking back, I think he may have been telling the truth.
I now believe – since other information has come to light – that someone else sabotaged the work and happily pointed the finger. I think if I ever ran into this man again, I’d probably say something, but I’m not sure because his poor track record for involvement in other issues leaves some doubt.
I’ve decided not to email my former house mate. Mr Luscious thinks she’s the type to never accept responsibility, even if she knew she was in the wrong, so I would only feel hurt all over again. He thinks that because some of her friends still wanted to connect with me via my personal page on Facebook, it should be taken as a sign that they didn’t really believe her accusations at the time.
“Why would they track you down years later and connect if they thought you were a privacy-invading thief?” he said. And I think there may be something in that.
So my questions to you, Luscious Lifers, are:
- have you been unfairly accused but been able to find a way to live with it?
- have been unfairly accused of something and later been vindicated with an apology? How did you cope at the time and did an apology actually make a difference to you?
- have you realised that you were in the wrong and tracked the person down to apologise? If so, what happened? And do you feel better for accepting you were wrong?
Leave a comment below – you can be anonymous – and let me know.