DEAR HARRIETTE: I got a call out of the blue from the guy I dated when I was in college. He said he wanted to get together for coffee or something. My mouth fell on the floor. What? This man was physically abusive to me. He should have gone to jail for beating me up, but I was stupid and didn’t press charges. I did break up with him, and I never intended to speak to him again.
It was incredibly disruptive for him to call me and act like nothing bad ever happened between us. I asked him if he remembered what he did to me years ago. He admitted that he did, but he said that since so much time has passed, he hoped we could be friends again. I did not agree to meet with him. Do you think I made the right decision? -- Stirring Up the Past
DEAR STIRRING UP THE PAST: You have every right to keep that chapter of your life in the past. Whatever redemption this man seeks is not your responsibility. Do know that he may be involved in a 12-step program that requires participants to attempt to make amends with those they have hurt. This could be why he’s reaching out. Still, you do not have to comply. If he calls again, cordially tell him that you will not be able to see him. The end.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)