They are my Friend but.....

@p1kef1sh (45640)
July 21, 2008 5:52am CST
If you had a good friend, someone who you felt was always honest with you and to whom you held in the highest regard. What would you feel about that friendship if you were to discover that they had a "past". A really evil and unpleasant past. Say they had abused a child or raped someone. Maybe murdered an innocent bank clerk in hold up. They'd done their time and were now apparently reformed however. Would you feel able to maintain the same relationship that you had with them prior to finding out what you now know? Would you let bygones be bygones?
20 people like this
58 responses
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
21 Jul 08
if they were open & honest w/me right from the start even tho i wouldn't agree with what they had done if they have paid for there wrong doing & were living as they should now i would try to be their friend.most everyone deserves a 2nd chance but there are so many bad things happening owadays i would have to give it alot of thought especially if they had abused children. it's a pretty hard question to answer but until we are in that kind of situation, i think we'd just have to wait & see what we'd do & if we could be friends. there are some things that are just not forgivable .
3 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
21 Jul 08
I think that is pretty much where I come from too. I do believe in "forgive but don't forget" but there may be some instances where that's a real struggle.
2 people like this
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
21 Jul 08
i agree sometimes it's too big a hurt to get over it in anyway.
2 people like this
@nannacroc (4049)
21 Jul 08
You do pose some difficult questions. I really don't know. The rapist may have been a one off and the person may have been young so that would have to be taken into account. Same with the person who did the hold up. I don't think child abusers can reform so I would be very wary in that case. People can change and I would need to know more background before making my mind up.
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
21 Jul 08
Of course I pose difficult questions Nanna. I ask the questions that you think up. Remember we are one! So I knew what your answer would be. I think that people can change under certain circumstances. I wouldn't abandon them though. I know that.
2 people like this
@nannacroc (4049)
21 Jul 08
No wonder I can never think of a question to ask. I prefer answering anyway.
2 people like this
21 Jul 08
Lord no,if they had done summat awful then they would be no mates of mine,the worlds a funny kind of place as it is,never mind knocking about with those whove done time for nasty crime.Its hard for someone to change that much and im not sure thsat I would be very keen to trust them
@p1kef1sh (45640)
21 Jul 08
I think that your response is understandable Ella. If I had become close to them I don't think that I could just drop them. But the dynamic would alter I am sure.
2 people like this
@pumpkinjam (5774)
• United Kingdom
21 Jul 08
I think it would depend on what they had done and why. I do think that people can change but some people can't and there are certain things in a person which I don't think can be changed. If I had been friends with someone for a long time and felt that they were a good, honest, decent person, then I don't think I would have any reason to feel differently if they told me something horrible they had done in the past in most cases. There are certain things I wouldn't forgive but I am more inclined to listen to why they had done whatever it was that they did rather then judge them for doing it. I would, I suspect, feel at least a little differently about them, naturally. The relationship may change but, again, it will depend mainly on the actual crime and the reasons behind it.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
21 Jul 08
I think that's right. We have to balance what we know about the person with how they are now.
1 person likes this
@guybrush (4661)
• Australia
22 Jul 08
This very much depends. I think the relationship would definitely change with the new knowledge - how could it not? I'm not sure paedophilia is something you can be 'cured' of - I couldn't let bygones be bygones in that instance. However, maybe the bank robbery went wrong and the person hadn't meant to kill anyone - and was now truly remorseful and sorry and had done their time. This is a very difficult question to answer, and I hope none of my friends have that sort of secret. You do say 'evil', though. That indicates the person is evil in their heart, and I think I would feel that about them and wouldn't have them as a friend anyway.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
I don't think that any of us would be friendly with a genuinely evil person - although some might perhaps. I don't know, I'd like to think that I could remain a friend. But who knows until tested.
2 people like this
@guybrush (4661)
• Australia
22 Jul 08
My worry is that I might be a genuinely evil person myself ... ooooeeer!
1 person likes this
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
22 Jul 08
Hahahahaha! That is a good one! Everyone has evil in them, just as everyone has love in them. The main thing is to keep it under control.
1 person likes this
@littleowl (7157)
21 Jul 08
Hi p1ke'-to be honest unless faced with the situation I don't really know what my reaction would be but I do tend to forgive people a lot...your friend littleowl
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21029)
22 Jul 08
Hi Littleowl, yes it is a difficult one unless faced with it and I for one am in that situation myself where someone very close to me was murdered, by someone else I knew and although I have forgiven this person for what they did as they have to live with themselves and what they have done everyday there is no way ever I could ever be friends with them EVER and let bygones be bygones. Ellie :D
@littleowl (7157)
22 Jul 08
Hi Ellie can understand what you are saying and it must of been a terrible ordeal for you to go through at the time as the saying goes you can forgive but never forget..love and huggles littleowl
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
Exactly Littleowl. Forgive but not forget. Of course some can't forgive either. I think that we are all different in this respect. I would like to think that I would remain a friend - they must have some good points or we wouldn't have ben friends already.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
30 Jul 08
I'm thinking it would change my opinion of the person if I was to find out such a thing. If I'd made friends with them knowing it would be different. If they confided the truth to me hoping to remain friends I might be ok with it but it;s hard to say. Can you be friends with someone who has done such a thing...even if they have true remorse. A lot of people have done things they are ashamed of and don't tell their good friends about but even still, I would find it hard to see them in a good light I think.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
30 Jul 08
I know exactly what you mean. When I had my breakdown my friends all rallied round. But when I was clearly no better after about a fortnight many of them quietly dropped away. Maybe they were embarrassed, I don't know. People like us do't have breakdowns!! Ha ha. I feel like I did something disgraceful, yet all that it was was that I went potty. I hurt nobody, (except me) just blew the fuses in my head.
2 people like this
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
12 Aug 08
Something happened to a friend of mine. There was a new boss at the bank where she worked who had a filthy mouth and was a real egotist. Mu friend is a true lady and a very gentle person. Also, there were some things in her personal life happening that were simply too much on top of the work issues. She took herself to the psychiatric clinic and admitted herself...all alone. Next time I saw her I was at work and she popped in to say "HI" she was talking really slowly and moving really slowly, it was the medication. I didn't know what to do. Should I visit her at home? She had never visited me before and I was not one of her best friends...of whom she had many. Do I talk about what brought this on? I just didn't know what to do under the circumstances. Perhaps your friends felt the same. Are things back to "normal" with your friends now?
1 person likes this
@bellaofchaos (11550)
• United States
22 Jul 08
WE are all not perfect but if the person told me from the start the truth then I would think about it and come to the conclusion it took a lot of courage for them to tell me what they have done in the past. As long as the person is honest and is telling the truth I think to a point I can over look their past. But I couldn't honestly say until I was in that situation. I would love to say that I could forgive anyone of anything if they were honest and seriously put their life back together But I can't say for sure how my reaction would be unless faced with that situation.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
I think that most of us are like that Bella. Let's hope that we never have to put it to the test.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Jul 08
here here
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
21 Jul 08
hi pikey great discussion makes me think lol If Ihad been a really good friend I would have to think long and hard, as 'everyone deserves a second chance but I would always have that past in my mind too,but would try to work around it if this person really was reformed. I would not forget what he or she had done but would try hard to forgive as he has paid the price and he seems to have been reformed. but the first time he does something really dishonest I will have a hard time with'this friendship. to me you can only stretch friendship so far then somethings going to break.
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
21 Jul 08
after reading novas answer Iam thinking she has said all the' things I thought but did not have the moxie to put down. some things are a whole lot more forgivable than others and thats a given. I would really try to be an understanding friend if the person has truly been reformed, if he was'a wife abuser however that would be it,that I could not abide, they do not change so that would end our friendship right now.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
I think that it would be very difficult for us to be entirely open minded Hatley. I hope that I could still be a friend.
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
13 Sep 08
hi p1kef1sh! wow. that's a very tough question. i don't think i can be friends with someone who raped someone or abused a child. its a crime i can never forgive. whenever i hear a news about a rape or a child abuse, i always wish that the ones who committed it would die and go to hell. i can never feel safe with a rapist or a child molester. i would always remember that he'd done that, i would feel disgusted towards him, i wouldn't continue being friends with him because there's just no excuse for what he had done. as for someone who had killed a person, and if it was an accident and he/she is totally, sincerely sorry for it, i guess i can still be friends with him/her. only if its really accident, not intentional and he/she immediately surrendered to the cops and not run away from it. and that he/she is totally bothered by his/her conscience and that he is willing to pay for it.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
13 Sep 08
I think that you reaction is fairly usual. I'd like top think that O would remain a friend, but, and I hope that I don't have to find out, I can see how difficult it could be.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
13 Aug 08
I'm a day late and a dollar short. I think it depends on the crime. I don't really believe that child molesters, for example, CAN reform. It also depends on where I met the person. Like if I met them in church (not that I go to church lol) and they were the most devout and dedicated person there and did all kinds of charity work and such, I might be more willing to forgive some things. Hard to say as I've never really had to face such a situation.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
13 Aug 08
I hope that you never do have to meet that circumstance Dawn. I don't think that any of us really know what we would do until faced with the situation.
2 people like this
@applefreak (3131)
• Singapore
26 Jul 08
well, it was in the 'past' wasn't it? i don't think we should judge people based on what they have done. afterall, they have already paid for their crime. most importantly, they have realised the mistake and are unlikely to do it again. i have been a naughty child when i was young. but i still have friends as they don't really care about my past. as friends, what we share is the 'now' and 'future'. there is no 'past' in friendships and certainly it shouldn't matter. cheers ;p
@p1kef1sh (45640)
26 Jul 08
Those are very good points Applefreak. Thank you.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 08
that is a really hard call. If it were something like rape or murder, I don't know that I oculd comfortably still be around that person. I know that sounds horrible to say, but rape is such a violent and personal offense that I am not wholly convinced that people totally "reform". and cold-blooded murder? Well, I feel like once certain lines are crossed, it is easier to cross them the 2nd time, so ...??? I guess I would just have to follow my gut instinct but I would definitely be more cautious around the person.
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@p1kef1sh (45640)
24 Jul 08
I think that what you say is quite human. I hope that none of us ever have to find this out for real.
1 person likes this
@dorypanda (1584)
22 Jul 08
I suppose it would depend on who they were and exactly what they'd done. Some things I think are just unforgivable, others can be just forgiven and forgotten. It would also depend on whether what they did was done as an accident or if it was on purpose, there are lots of different reasons why someone should or shouldn't have something to do with online people.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
I wasn't really thinking of an online friend. We can be fairly anonymous. But it depends on how we feel about whatever it is that they have done I suppose. Thanks Dory.
• China
22 Jul 08
Definitely,I will let bygones be bygones.Everyone has at least a fault in the past. Whyo ever lost themselves should be given a chance to look out the true.We can change our space with them if we are confused weather we continue our relationship.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
You have a very generous spirit. Thank you and welcome to myLot.
1 person likes this
@ketybhagat (4125)
• India
22 Jul 08
There are times when a person feels it better to be quiet about their follies in the past, for fear of losing on a good friendship. Some things are best left unsaid. Your friendship has grown and you trust each other. So now, even if you do co me to know of their past offences for which they have done time, I would not bring it up. To err is human, to forgive divine. You must not hold it up against them, for they may have repented for their past deeds and need a second chance. I suppose you should turn a blind eye to their past and keep the friendship going. However if you feel that they are back to square one, run.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
I think that it all depends and honesty is a key element.
1 person likes this
@loujac3 (1188)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Great discussion! I really think that this is a difficult question. I have a brother that has a very ugly past and I no longer talk to him since he still believes that he did nothing wrong. On the other hand, if that person is willing to get help, go through the system and admit that they have a problem then they most definitely have some redeeming qualities. I have to admit that this is easier said than done.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Jul 08
I think that it is. We lead by our example and if there is no remorse then I suspect that we would struggle to find friends.
1 person likes this
@myklj999 (13709)
• Olney, Illinois
21 Jul 08
Well, I've been in prison, so I've met all these you have described and more. (Of course, I have apparently reformed.) Anyway...I'd look at them completely different. I wouldn't want to, but I think that is intrinsic in human nature when you discover someone is not really who you thought they were.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
21 Jul 08
I can see that would be a perfectly natural response. Whilst I like to think that I'd be more accepting of them, in truth I would wonder.
• Regina, Saskatchewan
21 Jul 08
OMG please tell me your next post isn't going to be a true confession...... and here's why: Trust is a fragile thing. Even between people who have known each other long and well. There are certain lines society forbids us to cross that are ingrained in our genes. Rape, murder, child abuse top the list. And no matter how civilized, how tolerant, how forgiving we believe ourselves to be, our relationships with people are forever changed in terms of our perspective of them, should we discover something like this about them. There's no getting around that. What I would hope, would be that my own relationship with such a person, if it had been good, would be strong enough for me to maintain the relationship if the person was truly reformed, but I can't deny that my trust level would be a little skewed and my guard would be up from the moment I learned of the 'past'. Even though we really have no business knowing (and let's face it, judging) the events in someone's past, when we do find out, there is always a certain sense of betrayal, valid or not. And THAT'S what affects our perspective more than anything. If we truly are civilized, and the person truly reformed, then we must let bygones be bygones. Not many people can do that though. I would try, I know I would. But my heart would be forever changed, and that is sad.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
21 Jul 08
I am afraid it is Sparky. I agree with everything that you say. It is all part of the human condition. But I do have a dark secret. Whether I am able to share it I don't know. But my other discussions recently all point to it. A lack of something in my makeup. I'll understand if you don't want to be my friend any more.
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
21 Jul 08
I can't help feeling you're pulling my leg P1ke, but in the even that you are not... I won't pretend I know you well. I won't pretend that my feelings for you run as deep as the feelings I have for my long time off line friends. That would be hypocritical of me. But I will say this: In the time I have come to know you, learn about you, get a little insight into your heart and mind, I am sure of three things. 1. You have never murdered anyone, though the temptation at times may have been strong. Believe me - that feeling I can soooooooo sympathize with! 2. You don't and haven't molested children. 3. If you raped anyone, it was way back when and out of ignorance of the rights of others or the arrogance of testosterone fuelled youth. And even if you are guilty of any of these, though it would sadden me, I would concentrate my energies on the person you are NOW, that I care about and deeply admire. I would bend my brain to put back into the past what should remain there and move forward in my relationship with you in the manner you conduct yourself today. And I would still show up on your doorstep at the first opportunity! lol
@p1kef1sh (45640)
21 Jul 08
Thank you for your honesty Sparky. I may be pulling your leg, but what if I'm not? But seeing as you have answered that second question. You are right. A certain amount of leg pulling and teasing is going on here. I have been in trouble with the Police in the past of course. There was the red light I ran at 2 am one morning when apart from the police car behind me I was the only road user! I do also have a careless driving conviction from when I was 17. All things to be weighed up on the charge sheet!
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Oct 08
I knew someone who had a record. I did not know this for about the first year that we were friends. Then he told us one night at dinner. It didn't really change our relationship any. He was mixed up with someone as a kid, and got into trouble, which he paid for for 15 years. He did what he did, paid for his crime. It was over and done with. He was a nice guy, really.
• United States
6 Oct 08
I just said a brunette can be just as ditzy as a blond. I just proved it. I just figured out the message, Irish.*LOL*
@p1kef1sh (45640)
6 Oct 08
That's good to hear. I like to think that I'd not change; but in truth I really don't know and won't until I'm faced with it.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
6 Oct 08
I've just noticed. I'm a 10 again! Not bad for someone who hardly visits. LOL.
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