Deciding to reach out to a woman you’ve wronged can be ethically difficult, but not for Eli Hartley: This selfless guy is happy to own up to his past mistakes, however triggering it may be for you or any other woman he messages about them.
“With all this news about consent lately, I’m realizing I’ve done some not-so-great stuff,” says Hartley. “So I reached out to every woman I may have pressured to let them know I’m sorry if I hurt them.”
“I reached out because I want to apologize,” says Hartley, having no awareness of how this might fucking ruin their day. “But I want to clarify that I actually wasn’t pressuring anyone. Like, did you feel that way? Because if you did you should tell me now and also know that I did not see it that way.”
A woman Hartley reached out to, who wishes to remain anonymous, was astounded by the messages she was receiving years after the actual incident.
“I saw this message right before making a presentation to my company’s board of directors,” said one woman, who had an uncomfortably coercive experience with Eli in 2014. “Maybe one apology would have been fine, but I’ve already gotten like five of these this week from other guys.”
“His messages were full of panic,” says another woman. “He left me traumatized, and his messages triggered those feelings again.”
“I’m proud that I summoned the bravery to own up to my mistakes and make amends,” says Eli, who has no idea what the fuck he did.
Despite these reactions, Eli still feels steadfast in his decision to interrupt these women’s lives to make half-assed amends.
“I guess I thought when I said sorry, they’d say, ‘Don’t worry about it,’” reflects Eli. “So I’m still trying to figure out why nobody has responded.”