My Open Apology To Those In My Past

I recently wanted to write an apology to everyone I've wronged and post it on social media.  I've been writing my memoir and exploring all the people I've encountered in life and I've realized that these people were either just kids when they did what they did to me or I was a kid when I did what I did to them, but also even if we weren't kids, we were just still acting on whatever it was that we knew at the time.  We do better when we know better.  And back then, we just didn't. 

But do you ever think about posting something on social media, especially after an epiphany, and realize "If I post this, I'll look like a loon!"?  Or that you won't be taken seriously or people may just roll their eyes at you?  Now, that could be my imposter syndrome talking, but I also know how I feel about people when they do things like this.  I see it as "This person is on a whim and doesn't really mean it".  I don't want others to think I don't mean it.  So rather than posting my apology on something as trivial as social media (since it's very trivial), I'm going to blog here about it instead.  That way I can do into actual detail and I can avoid silly social media all together.  I don't need to broadcast anything there anymore.  It's a part of my growth.  I used to be the type to use Facebook as a repository of my anger and pain.  I used to be severely immature (and there's nothing wrong with that, it's just who we are and where we are at at the time in life).  But years have gone by and I've done so much work through introspection, finding Buddhism (my own version), and tons of writing.  And because of these things, I am no longer who I used to be (though who I used to be wasn't always bad, even though this post may seem like I was).  And with this understanding of myself, I learned to understand others.  Which leads me to want to apologize to my old childhood friends, teenage friends, adult friends, and online friends.  I wasn't always good to them.  And I am so sorry for all of that.  But that's not enough, is it?  So instead,  here is my real apology: 

I want to start with me.  I know, this apology is for you, but until you understand a little more about me, you won't be able to really understand why I did the things I did.  And that's important.  When you do understand, you can eventually let the the stupid things I did or said go and move on away from the pain I caused you.  Which is what I want for you.  Because it's not fair that you're still carrying it around, either in your everyday life, or somewhere deep inside of you.  

I was born unwanted.  Which is fine, because many of us are.  I was shuffled to home, to home, to home, to home, until I eventually found a place to stay.  This isn't my excuse for anything, just backstory so you can understand more of who I am.  Once I did find a place (a forever home, like a puppy or a kitten), I was raised by an abusive alcoholic narcissist woman, and an abusive alcoholic codependent man.  I grew up only knowing extreme chaos.  So as a child, a teen, and eventually an adult, I acted out that chaos in my relationships with friends and romantic partners.  I was very selfish (I was an only child and raised by a selfish woman).  While it sounds bad, that selfishness has served me well in life at times.  I used it to fight for my children's right to not be abused by their father and won.  I used it to learn to listen to my inner voice when I thought someone wanted to hurt me.  I used it to set boundaries with people who needed me to.  I used to to protect myself, and my family, from those who want to hurt us.  See, my selfishness morphed from a child's wish that nobody touched her toys to a woman who knew how to say no when needed (except in certain instances with men when fight, flight or freeze came into play and I'd freeze).

As a teen, I was narcissistic myself.  All teens are, which they are supposed to be.  That's healthy narcissism and is a part of the cycle of growing up.  But mine went so far beyond that.  It was what I knew, so I inflicted it on others, which were a set of behaviors set forth by my elders.  So I hurt a lot of people back then.  They also hurt me, too, but that doesn't matter anymore.  We were all just acting out what we knew from home on each other.  And then we blamed each other and punished each other for it.  We didn't know any better.  We were kids.  Even in our early twenties, we were all little children trying to play grownups all the while trying to raise our own kids.  I wasn't narcissistic to my children, thank goodness, just in my relationships with others.  I was full of drama and talked shit about people behind their backs.  I complained, I gossiped, I got even, I spread rumors...all the things a good little daughter of someone with NPD does (I learned from the best).  

Again, not an excuse, but I really didn't know any better.  The human brain resorts to some awful shit when that's all you know how to do. 

But I did eventually learn to do better.  I also learned that being surrounded by people, like how I used to live my life, is toxic for me and I will always act out of that toxicity, reverting back in some way shape or form, to my old self.  I don't mean to.  And I certainly don't want to.  But brains are hardwired in ways that make change super hard.  I'm much better off dealing with one person at a time.  So I eliminated having all those people in my life or on my social media.  And through that, I've found that I much prefer just spending time with my family or by myself.  At first, separating myself from society was a way for me to stop hurting others and myself with all that drama, but eventually it turned out to be exactly what I needed to begin with.  As a child, I spent so much time alone and in those moments, I had profound experiences that could never had happened had I been with my friends.  What I didn't realize for so long was that I was always an introvert, I just grew up craving drama, so I thought I had to have friends in order to act it out.  But in reality, I spent all my time in my head, having adventures that meant more to me than having adventures with my friends.  As a child I knew that people ruined everything I wanted to do (because it didn't go the way I saw it in my head), but for some reason I felt like I had to try anyways.  So, I did what any kid who wanted total control of my life, I bossed everyone around and had a fit when people didn't do what I wanted them to.  I was a total asshat.

While I may seem like I was a total jerk in the past, I had (and have) aspergers.  I have things a particular way I like them.  And if things aren't in that particular way, I have a hard time adjusting.  I'm way better at it now, but I still have issues now and then.  Knowing why you do the things you do helps you understand not only yourself better, but also others.  Which is why I can let go of the things my friends did to me in the past.  Some I've forgiven, and some aren't worth it, but I can move on from it all.  I don't have to carry their pain around anymore.  And I hope that one day they don't have to carry around the pain that I inflicted on them anymore either.  But that takes realization and understanding of yourself first.  Which is something that most people find very hard to.  And it is.  I can't say because I did it, it's easy.  It's not.  It takes the perfect elements to come together in your life in order to give you that "aha!" moment (or series of moments) to come to the vast understanding of who you are and why you are the way you are.  It's not just something you can just conjure up in a day.  Though, maybe it can be if the right ideas and exercises are applied (which is something I'm working on).  

So far, this hasn't been much of an apology, has it?  I mean, it looks as though I'm just making excuses for the bad things I did to others and myself.  But without understanding, how can you take what I say seriously? 

Okay, so onto the real reason I'm writing all this.  I am so sorry for hurting you, old friend.  I wish I could have chosen better and if I had the ability to travel back in time and makes things right, being who I am today?  I would.  I would tell you all the things you needed to know so you didn't take my actions to heart.  But how could you not?  I directed my actions to you on purpose.  I wanted to make you hurt.  And I succeeded.  Every single time.  I am in no way proud of what I did.  No matter what you did to me to make me angry?  Was not worth me doing anything back to you at all.  I could have let things go, but I had no idea how to do that.  I had no idea how to just let things roll off my back or how not to take them personally.  So I lashed out.  And you became my victim.  Remember: hurt people hurt people.  I was trying to push my pain onto you to alleviate the way I felt.  But it didn't work.  I just ended up hurting us both.  

You didn't deserve anything I did to you.  Nor did you deserve the way other people treated you either.  I wish I had grown up differently so I could have chosen better actions.  I wish I hadn't been so combative in life.  I wish I wasn't so overreactive and angry.  I wish I could have thought through my feelings rather than just acting on them.  That kind of behavior is addictive.  And I was the biggest chaos addict there was (and still have issues with this that I work on every single day).  I was loud and crazy and wild.  And so very, very annoying.  You loved those things about me but they also meant I was unpredictable and relentless.  I was the girl everyone wanted to hang around because I was the fun one.  But I was also the first one everyone hated because I didn't know how to turn it off when it went overboard.  And I am so sorry I was like that.   

I don't hate myself for who I was, even if you do.  I accept myself and forgive myself, even if you don't.  So rather than forgiving me, take my apology and instead learn to do that for yourself.  Learn to love who you once were, who you've always been and who you'll always be, even if you change.  Forgiving me doesn't matter.  Even though I am deeply sorry for what I did to you (and if you're reading this and knew me back then, you know I did bad things to you).  Forgiving yourself and loving yourself matters more.  Comes to terms with your own mistakes or the ideas other people put in your head about you.  Because those ideas are only reflections of those people.  Once, a girl from high school told me as an adult "You used to call me anorexic all the time.  I still hate you for that."  I felt horrible and replied "I am so very sorry.  But know I only called you that because I was anorexic and wanted to project my own bullshit onto others so I didn't have to feel it."  It's like a closeted gay man calling another gay man a "fag".  "If he's the fag, them I'm not one.  I just am attracted to men.  That's not the same."  When I called her that, she was very, very thin and I wasn't.  So therefore even though I never ate anything, she was the anorexic one, not me.  I was just "on a diet" (of zero calories).  It was bullshit, and I wish I had known better to not do that to her.  My actions affected her entire life. 

We're all flawed human beings.  But know that I am talking about my own flaws here and I am telling you that I realize every single one of them (and am learning more all the time).  So I know what I did to you was wrong.  And even if you never forgive me, know that I am deeply and truly sorry.  And I hope one day, for yourself (not for me) you find a way to let my words go.  You don't need to carry my pain with you anymore.  I will take all that pain from you, back into myself, and transform it into something else.  Because my pain came from other people's pain who gave it to me, and theirs came from someone else's and so forth.  It goes back to the dawn of time.  And instead of carrying around with us, let's just send it back to where we got it from and the leftovers we can transform into something better.  Something grander.  Something kinder.  

I am sending my love to you, dear old friend.  I hope you find health, and kindness in this harsh world and know you are worth so much more than anyone ever told you were, and so much more than I how I made you feel.  And don't feel bad for anything you've ever done to me, because none of that matters.  You don't deserve me holding onto your pain.  I understand why it happened and I've let it go.  You deserve only happiness and light.  Which is what I wish for you.  So I hope you understand that my goal here is to heal you, not to have you forgive me (but if you do, thank you so very much).  And know we are all broken in our own ways, and if what I did or said to you is part of the reason you feel broken?  Just give me back all that pain I caused you and I'll gladly take it.  And I will transform it into something beautiful and give you that instead.  Because that's what you deserve.  I just wish I had known that back then.  I wish I would have been better to you.  To all of you.  Know this is true.  And know that you deserve to heal from what I did.  Let's transform our pain together.  Because life isn't about hurting.  It shouldn't be.  And always, that I am deeply and truly sorry 💖

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.