Making Indirect Ammends | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups - Part 2

Making Indirect Ammends

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    Well an ex who wants NC, how would you make indirect amends to them? This is exactly my point – I don’t know what indirect amends are.

    I have people on my amends list that I do not know where they are, so I’m Ok as long as I am willing to make those amends (step 8) and I make direct amends wherever possible (step 9). Their absence makes the 9th step direct amends impossible, so how could I possibly make indirect amends to them?

    If I ever find these people again, I am still going to make my direct amends.



    I personally have had situations where making direct amends was not advised.

    One, when I was working for my aunt and uncle I had stolen some money from one of their prominent customers. In making my amends to my aunt and uncle they had expressed concern that in making my amends to the people I had stolen from there would be some negative blowback on them. This would obviously cost them discomfort, or at worst negatively impact their relationship with their customers. So, anticipating this, I was instructed to pose the question to my aunt and uncle, “What would you have me do to make this situation right?” Their suggestion was that I donate the money I had stolen to charity that the customer was active in.

    Another, with a former mistress… Now, she was someone who was vocally looking for me to make amends to her. In fact it was an amends that I felt like I definitely owed her. However, my sponsor felt differently. Felt like the best thing to do (out of concern for my wife) was to just stay away from this woman. I really didn’t like this answer, partly cuz I felt guilty about what I had done, and partly because this was a woman I would have to deal with in a professional setting for the next few years. So, I brought this same question to hi sponsor and a few other guys to get a group conscience kind of opinion, and the message was a definitive “Yes, you do owe her a direct amends, however now is not the time, perhaps in the future.” So, I had to go with that and simply stay out of this woman’s life…

    Along with this comes the whole idea of amending the behaviors that landed me in this spot in the first place. I can’t keep stealing and then just donating money to charities once a year and consider it good, likewise I can’t keep sleeping around around and then staying away from those that get harmed. So, a clear part of these amends has been staying in close contact with, and continuing to grow in relation with, my higher power so that he can manage these character defects which lead me to that point in the first place.

    I forgot, this is all assuming they are amends that I am willing to make if/when the situation allows.



    if we are to step 9, we’ve already written and discussed our story with our sponsor, shined a light on the dark places, pulled back the rugs, came face to face with our demons. becoming aware of our faults and shortcomings, our mistakes and misdeeds. and we have begun to write our amends list. we might not catch everybody first time around. this doesn’t make our list incomplete…..

    in the case of an ex who wants No Contact, leaving them alone IS an amends. respecting their boundaries.

    there are some amends we just can’t make. except perhaps to ourselves. i think we can overdo on the amends part, make it a life mission. i believe that if WE are willing, and IF it is appropriate, the opportunity will present itself. we have to accept that we’ll never fix all of it……

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