Sometimes it is too late to say sorry, because an apology in and of itself, isn’t always enough.
I’ve probably said “I’m sorry” more times this year than I ever have in my life. I’ve always been very good about treating everyone around me with the utmost respect. I’m not a troublemaker, I’m not overbearing — although my passionate side can be misconstrued as that — I never found myself having to apologize to people often. Most of the friends I have are ones I’ve had since my K-12 days, which to me, speaks volumes to the type of friend I am, and how I treat the people.
I never really understood the logic behind saying sorry not being enough in all situations until this year. I realized not only was an apology not enough for me to hear from certain people, in certain situations, I realized that apologizing was also not enough in justifying my behavior and reaction to those people and situations. I always felt a sincere apology would always be enough to smooth things over and would make whatever I did forgivable; well, I was wrong.
Situations and experiences change people. For me, it turned me into someone I couldn’t even recognize. I did, said and behaved in a way that was not even close to being the proper representation of my true self. It’s taken me a while to realize that. While I’ve had a very rough year and have gone through experiences no one should ever have to go through, my reactions to those situations, while warranted, were extremely unhealthy and concerning.
Not only was my behavior and reactions unhealthy to myself but they were also unhealthy and unsettling to those around me. I apologized like crazy, and those people, bless their souls, forgave me time after time. But there was one thing that never changed; my behavior. I don’t want to sit here and make excuses for myself but I wasn’t thinking straight. My awareness, my logical side was nowhere to be found, so I never really grasped while my behavior was concerning. This doesn’t take away from the fact that how I behaved and reacted, strongly impacted others.
I pushed people away without trying. I became even more independent yet dependent at the same time; I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. All I did was apologize and eventually those became meaningless. My actions didn’t match my words.
What I’ve learned over these last few months is that everyone reacts to trauma, experiences and situations differently. People react to people differently. People who haven’t experienced what you have may not understand why you acted the way you did. Sometimes people need space to realize why, to understand the full situation. It doesn’t make them a bad person. Sometimes when you’re so involved in something, you can’t fully understand it; you have remove yourself from it to really grasp it.
I’m not going to end this with an apology; I can only hope that the progress I’ve made is apparent. I think the people impacted know how remorseful I am. It’s time to be the stronger version of who I was before all of this. No more apologies. More actions, less words.