There are some serious apologies I need to make.
I want to express my feelings of remorse for being so mean to Carrot. Over the years, I have not been kind to her, and it took recent events for me to fully realize the extent of my behavior. I’m embarrassed to reflect on how my words hurt her. I allowed myself to act poorly, making disparaging comments that were unjust and in poor taste. I’ve realized that the negativity I let control my interactions with her was toxic. Using my platform to damage her reputation was callous and unacceptable, and I truly apologize for that.
I also wish to apologize to my ex-girlfriend Diana for being such an awful partner to her. I’ve felt crippling guilt over the way I treated her back then, but have purposely avoided contacting her, lest I cause her further emotional suffering. Diana, if you read this, I am so sorry for being such a terrible partner to you. I feel awful for the way I treated you, but that pales in comparison to the way you felt dealing with me at that stage in my life. There is no excuse for the way I treated you, and I’m sorry you’ve had to relive your experiences dealing with me by writing those words. Nothing I can say will alleviate the pain you experienced, but I want you to know I have deep remorse for how I behaved towards you. No human deserves to be treated with disrespect, and I’m sorry for failing you.
I’m not writing this with any expectations that the people I’ve hurt will accept my apology, nor do I expect our community to give me the benefit of the doubt in regards to its sincerity. But I am approaching this with humility, and I know that the private apology I sent weeks ago wasn’t enough, not only because so much of my behavior towards Carrot was public, but also because a private apology doesn’t hold me publicly accountable for both my past and future behavior. I’ve already deleted my Facebook account since it doesn’t feel right sharing my learning experiences there until I have completed further rehabilitation.
I have heard people saying they’ll “withhold judgment” until they hear “my side of the story”. But my side of the story is irrelevant if I’ve made people feel the way they do. Enough of it is true that to parse it all and nitpick the details would be an attempt to put up a defense of actions that are, on the whole, indefensible. And it would inevitably lead to a continuation of a cycle of accusation, anger, and acrimony that doesn’t benefit Carrot, or me, or anyone in the community. I must own my past, apologize for my mistakes, and continue my efforts to be a better person. I’ve been voluntarily attending classes to deal with the personal trauma that has fueled a lifetime of anger, and at this point, all I can ask is that people judge me by my future actions. I plan to take a huge step back in my participation in the hiking community, completely distancing myself from all social gatherings and groups, as I need to focus on continuing to build the foundation of positive change I’ve started to construct.