About a week ago, I got a very unexpected email at work. It was from an ex-roommate who had treated me very poorly, and I hadn’t spoken to her in about six years.
A little back-story: The longest romantic relationship I’ve ever been in lasted four years, and we were engaged to be married for the last year that we were together. (Sidebar: He unceremoniously dumped me for another girl and kicked me out of the house on my mother’s birthday. Happy birthday Mum, your heartbroken and shell-shocked adult daughter is moving back in with you!! He is very un-fondly referred to now as The Prince of Darkness by my family.) When I met him at the tender age of 23, he was living in a 3-bedroom apartment with two roommates, one girl and one guy. After about a year of dating, he had a huge falling-out with the male roommate, and kicked that guy out of the house. (ANYBODY SENSE A THEME HERE?!? Ugh.) He invited me to move in with him, and as I’d been wanting to do so for a long time, I said yes without giving it much thought.
Yup, I moved in with my boyfriend AND HIS FEMALE THIRD-WHEEL ROOMMATE.
He assured me that he’d run this scenario by Third Wheel and she was totally fine with it, and I’d always gotten along great with her. But from the moment I moved in, she was a Capital B Bitch. Minor spats and palpable tension between us grew for months, culminating in a blow-out fight between us and then we simply didn’t talk to each other after that. Ever. For any reason. If we were in the same room we just gave each other the silent treatment for over a year. It was the worst, and made my life at home very unpleasant. She finally moved into her own place after two years of living with my boyfriend and I in a very unfriendly environment. I never knew why she was so awful toward me.
The email I got last week was from her. She’s married now with a child, and she lives three hours away. She’s felt guilty about how she treated me for years, and finally decided to look me up and apologize to me. Apparently the Prince of Darkness did indeed ask her if she was okay with me moving in, and she had said no! But in his typical style, it was his way or the highway, and so he told her that was too bad and that I’d be moving in anyway. And then he never told me that Third Wheel didn’t want to be a third wheel. She was writing to me to let me know it was him that she’d really been upset with, but that she’d taken it out on me, and she was deeply sorry.
I was very touched that she reached out. Truth be told, I privately forgave her years ago, though I never spoke to her to tell her so. I don’t believe it’s healthy to hold onto anger that no longer serves you, so I forgave her for my own mental sanity. But I’d always been confused as to why she had acted that way.
I am glad I’d been able to give myself closure prior to this, or the new information about my ex might have upset me. But it was nice to have an explanation. Nice to hear the apology. And nice to hear what her life is like now. It takes a big dose of humility to admit you were wrong, especially so long after the fact. I think she’s a truly good person who just didn’t know how to handle being treated as totally inconsequential to decisions about her own living situation, and I got the brunt of it because she felt like she couldn’t stand up to him. (I often felt that way with him myself, so I can relate.)
We’re getting together for coffee next time she’s in town, to reconnect with a clean slate and on better terms. I’m so glad she reached out. It’s never to late to right a wrong.