Two running jokes in my life that go back as far as I can remember…
“Sheri can’t ride a bicycle to save her life…hahahaha”
“Oh, look…Sheri is apologizing again…hahahaha”
Yup. I may not be able to ride a bicycle near traffic without fearing for my life, but I am DAMN good at riding the Sorrycycle.
Because that’s what it is…a cycle.
My…person (for lack of a better term at this time…labels, yo…lol)…got upset with me the other day for always apologizing. He told me later,
“I swear…it’s like you’re apologizing for existing.”
Oh! Ok! I get why that could be upsetting. So…let me explain…you see…ummmm..
I AM apologizing for existing and I’m pretty sure I have been from my first word.
I’m sorry for not being pretty enough.
I’m sorry for not being smart enough.
I’m sorry for not being the daughter you wanted.
Actually, I’m sorry for being a girl at all when you only like boys.
I’m sorry for being too quiet.
I’m sorry for being too loud.
I’m sorry for being too fat.
I’m sorry for being too thin.
I’m sorry for needing food and air that someone else deserves more.
I’m sorry. If I say it enough, will you please love me?
Obnoxious, right? Weak. Needy. Insecure. I’ve heard it all. None of it true. It actually takes enormous strength to live the life that causes this.
A life of narcissistic abuse.
I was looking for a definition of narcissistic abuse to explain, but found this.
Basically? “You’re not enough…you’ll never be enough…you should feel lucky to be allowed to breathe.”
Ok. I’m sorry.
But, Sheri…you’re not a kid anymore…you don’t live with that anymore…get over it!
Well, yes and no.
I don’t live with my initial abusers anymore. However, those who grow up in this manage to keep the cycle going by being magnetically pulled to new narcissists.
But even beyond that…
Telling someone to get off the sorrycycle is like telling someone to stop breathing.
Geez, Sheri. Dramatic much?
Being sorry…apologizing for our existence…that’s what kept us alive. My friend quite accurately used the term “de-escalation” this morning.
The words, “I’m sorry” tells your abuser, “I’m taking the blame. You don’t need to keep hurting me to prove it’s my fault. I know I’m lucky you put up with me, so please don’t hurt me.”
“I’m sorry” kept us alive as surely as breathing did.
So…stop saying I’m sorry…
This person is angry. I can’t breathe. They’re going to hurt me. I’m sorry.
This person is disappointed. I can’t breathe. I know I’m lucky you put up with me. I’ll try to do better. I’m sorry.
This person is inconvenienced. I can’t breathe. I should have done something to avoid this. I’m worthless. I’m sorry.
This person wishes I didn’t exist. They’re right. I shouldn’t. I’m sorry.
You leave the abuse (if you’re lucky), but unless you leave humanity you will never leave behind the emotions of others…and ALL emotions are healthy in the right dosage…but we didn’t live around the right dosage…we lived in a pool of other people’s emotions that threatened to drown us at every turn.
I can’t breathe.
I shouldn’t exist.
Having left that environment behind (mostly)…I’m one of the luckier ones…I still can’t get off the sorrycycle.
Anger frightens me. More than I think anyone in my world understands. So I strive to deescalate. I’m sorry.
Disappointment terrifies me. So I strive to deescalate. I’m sorry.
Apathy is one step from abandonment. So I deescalate. I’m sorry.
So…yeah…I KNOW how annoying it is that I do this. I KNOW that my loved ones want me to know that I’m safe…I’m secure…I’m loved…and they’re GLAD I exist….
But, until one day when I finally feel truly safe…