For as long as I can remember I have apologized for the tiniest inconvenience I might’ve caused. I dropped a toy, sorry. I accidentally touched someone’s hand, sorry. They tell me not to apologize, sorry. It was an awful habit. I even apologized for shit I didn’t do. I was so fucking annoying. Although I didn’t think I was at the time. I thought it was cute and sincere. I thought maybe this way people would see me as gentle and feminine.
Well, I am fucking happy to announce I no longer have this problem. And yes, it was a problem.
See, growing up I thought I had to apologize. I thought it was normal to apologize all the fucking time. I wasn’t sure how I came to this conclusion until college. During a women’s study course I learned how fucked women have really been. And how we’re brainwashed into apologizing for everything we do. Slut shaming, impossible beauty standards, competing against each other; it was a fucking joke. I felt angry and helpless. And slowly I started to change. I was always seen as stubborn growing up but now I was determined. I became intimidating. I was a woman loud and proud. In moments when I was challenged and I would normally bow my head, I straightened my back and kept my head high. I learned to look people in the eyes unabashedly and make them turn away from me. At times when I would have stumbled, I learned how to stand my ground and not waver.
I thought the world was changing around me but it was I who was changing for the world to see. It may not seem like much to you. You probably don’t apologize even when you should. But you probably do have a friend that does it all the time. The head is bowed, the eyes are lowered, and they fucking apologize for everything! That used to be me. As a woman and a mother, I can’t be seen as someone so passive. No, I didn’t sit through five hours of labor twice just to be seen as some weak ass woman. If there’s anything other than Maki I could ever thank Shadow for it would be helping me figure this out. He had always said that apologizing all the time took the meaning out of the word. This coming from the man that hardly ever used the word even when it was needed.
I remember the first time I held back. We had been arguing. This was months after our separation. He was beginning to “realize” the mistake he had made in letting me go. During our horrible fucking shouting, I did what every woman does and started bringing up shit from the past. He apologized after I forced him a bit. I suppose he wanted the same from me. So, he started to tell me all the shit I had done to him. He brought up the time I lied to him, the time I made him angry, the time I didn’t listen, he brought up everything he had been holding on to. I didn’t flinch. I didn’t avert my eyes. I laid no weakness down for him to grasp. Silence. It brought a fury to him caused by a pain I didn’t quite understand. I did not apologize. I refused to fucking apologize. This is something he noticed without me having to say it out loud. And the absence of that apology was stronger than any words I could have spoken at the time.
There is a moment for apologies but they don’t always have to be spoken. The best form of an apology is a change in behavior. Afterall once a glass is broken it isn’t words that repair it but action. When you live a life without saying sorry for everything, you get to live life a little freer. You don’t have the burden of feeling like a nuisance. Instead, you begin to be yourself and let yourself grow. Assholes no longer scare you because you are one of the assholes. You are who you are and if others don’t like it, fuck them. They don’t have to hang out with you. I will say, don’t be a fucking dick. I assume you know not to be a shitty person. If you are wrong, you can admit to it without having to apologize.
Case and point, Kneecaps. Back when we were. . .involved, I accidentally ran into him at a bar. Now, that wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t told me he had made other plans with his friends none of which involved the bar or the woman he walked in with. Well, at this point a little of my Latina came out. He tried to scurry away when he saw me but, alas, it was too late for him. He approached me full of confidence, I’m sure preparing a lie to explain the situation. I did not wait. I did not hesitate. My hand. His face. That’s it, that’s all. Almost knocked him the fuck out and I’m fucking proud of it! He called me later that same day to talk about what had happened. He sounded very reasonable in his argument.
Kneecaps: Do you think violence is the correct answer?
Of course not! I told him that I knew it wasn’t right. I still wasn’t going to fucking apologize for slapping him but I knew it was wrong. Fuck, if he would’ve hit me I wouldn’t have held it against him. I would’ve been hella mad that he hit me harder but that’s it. It was the principle of the thing!
In all seriousness, saying sorry all the time isn’t healthy or good. You shouldn’t feel like you have to apologize for living. You should feel more confident in yourself and your choices. Don’t worry about fucking up. That’s what life is all about making mistakes and learning from them. Remember actions always speak louder than words even if the only action is silence. Sometimes you can admit you’re wrong without having to apologize. If you’re anything like how I was, I want you to stop apologizing. Instead, try to be more positive and say thank you. “Thank you for waiting.” “Thank you for understanding.” Thank you for reading this long post that explains why I am the asshole that I am. Sorry, not sorry.