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I hurt him years ago. And he still blames me for everything that's wrong with him.

In this installment of “Hey, MJ,” one of our readers is dealing with serious guilt. What would you do? 🤔

Hey MJ,

At 16, I dated a boy who was everything one could wish for – smart, handsome, funny, charming, sensitive, joyful, and loyal. Back then, I was grappling with personal demons, including abuse at home and self-esteem issues. He was a pillar of support during those turbulent times. Sadly, our relationship ended badly due to my infidelity, a decision I deeply regret.

After losing touch for over twenty years, we reconnected. He's now a shadow of his former self, embodying bitterness and deceit. He's married but openly admits to being unfaithful and manipulative. In a recent conversation, he accused me of being the catalyst for his descent into this person he despises.

Initially, I dismissed his accusation as unjust. However, upon reflection, considering the profound impact certain individuals and events have had on my life, I've begun to wonder if I am partly responsible for his transformation. I've apologized profusely, but to no avail.

We've ceased communication, but the guilt lingers, overshadowing my otherwise happy marriage. I've evolved into a more compassionate, loyal person, yet this guilt is unrelenting. How can I find absolution for a past mistake that still haunts me?

Tearful Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Your message resonates with a complex mix of self-reflection and responsibility. It's commendable that you're acknowledging the impact your actions might have had, even at a young age. Yes, our actions, especially in formative years, can have significant effects on others. The pain of a broken trust, particularly in a close relationship, can leave lasting scars.

However, while it's important to accept responsibility for our past mistakes, it's equally crucial to recognize the boundaries of that responsibility. You were 16, dealing with your own challenges and learning about life, love, and trust. Your mistake was a part of growing up, a painful lesson in the consequences of our actions on others.

As for your ex-boyfriend, it's understandable that he might still feel hurt. But it's also important for him, as it is for everyone, to learn to process past hurts and not let them define his future. Blaming you entirely for his current behavior shifts responsibility away from his own choices and personal growth.

You've done what you can by apologizing and reflecting on your past. The guilt you feel shows your empathy and growth. However, you are not responsible for how he chose to navigate his life post that incident. Each person's journey is a complex interplay of many experiences and choices.

Forgiving yourself is key here. You've learned and grown from your experiences, which is all anyone can ask of themselves. If this guilt continues to weigh heavily on you, consider speaking with a therapist. They can provide guidance on how to process these feelings and move forward with a clearer conscience.

Life is a learning process, and you're doing your part in it.

Kenbe la,



In 2020, the "Badass Black Girl" book series author M.J. Fievre began receiving correspondence from a varied audience, including parents, young adults, and teens. Fievre, an established author and speaker, is known for her insightful engagement with themes relevant to these demographics. The communication, primarily through Facebook or the Badass Black Girl inbox, revolves around topics covered in her books and public talks. These interactions display a rich tapestry of experiences and viewpoints, highlighting the author's impact on her readers.

“Hey, MJ” is a platform created to foster a meaningful connection between M.J. Fievre and her readers. It offers a forum for open dialogue, personalized advice, and the sharing of collective experiences. The platform's effectiveness is rooted in Fievre's expertise as an author and speaker. Her work, particularly in the "Badass Black Girl" series, showcases her deep understanding of the challenges and triumphs faced by her audience. Her background as an educator and her commitment to empowering young voices further enhance her ability to offer relevant and empathetic responses.

Readers wishing to engage with “Hey, MJ” can send their messages to All queries are treated with confidentiality, ensuring a safe space for honest and open communication.


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