During an online support group meeting I was attending, I had some issues bubble up that began to refuse the gag order they’ve been accustomed to for so long. I muted my microphone and turned off my video. I was crumbling fast. I listened in for the rest of the meeting which thankfully was only about 10 more minutes. Finger poised on the mouse to click the “leave group” button. To make it through, I practiced my labor breathing even though it’d been 19+ years since I’d used it for its intended purpose.
When the meeting was over and with the lightning-quick click of my mouse, I signed out and the dam broke. I cried out to God, the universe, my computer screen, anyone who could hear me. With fists clenched and years of stored up tears flowing, I repeatedly said, “I’M NOT SORRY. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT!”
I need to tell you that I’m not really writing this for you but for me. However, if it encourages you in some way, then I will be grateful.
I’m not blaming.
I’m not shaming.
You or me.
I’m just not sorry.
Not for these things.
Maybe for other things.
But not these things.
They were not my fault!
I’m not sorry for being 4.
I’m not sorry for wanting to play.
I’m not sorry for being scared.
I’m not sorry for crying.
I’m not sorry for needing you.
I’m not sorry for wanting to know you loved me.
I’m not sorry for wanting to be a part of your world.
I’m not sorry for being passionate.
I’m not sorry for being sensitive.
I’m not sorry for wanting more from you.
I’m not sorry for wetting my bed.
I’m not sorry for sucking my thumb.
I’m not sorry for being a girl.
I’m not sorry for wishing you were home.
I’m not sorry for wanting you to love me.
I’m not sorry for wanting you to show me you loved me.
I’m not sorry for loving you.
I’m not sorry for loving anyone.
I’m not sorry for wanting to feel that you loved me.
I’m not sorry for speaking my heart.
I’m not sorry for having questions.
I’m not sorry for my feelings.
I’m not sorry for being 7.
I’m not sorry for not wanting to do that.
I’m not sorry for having big feelings.
I’m not sorry for being uncomfortable when you wanted me to sit on your lap.
I’m not sorry for not wanting to go to your house.
I’m not sorry for being 13 and loving someone only like a 13-year-old can.
I’m not sorry that I wasn’t enough for you.
I’m not sorry that I was too much for you.
I’m not sorry for being 16 and wishing you would see me.
I’m not sorry for wanting you to be available physically and emotionally.
I’m not sorry for wishing you would be nicer to me.
I’m not sorry for being sad when you weren’t nice to me.
I’m not sorry for being 21 and not knowing what I didn’t know.
I’m not sorry for crying. Again. And again.
I’m not sorry for wanting more of your time.
I’m not sorry for wanting your comfort.
I’m not sorry for being me.
I AM sorry that I didn’t find my voice sooner. I wonder how much we big thinkers, deep feelers and internal processors are sorry for that isn’t our fault? I’m tired of feeling sorry for things I didn’t do.
There are times I’m sorry for things I’ve done in which apologies are necessary. But the words, “I’m sorry” are so ingrained in this people pleaser that I toss them around without thinking. From now on, when the words “I’m sorry” begin to form in my head, I will immediately check to ensure that what I’m apologizing for is truly something I should be apologizing for before they form on my lips.
Perhaps you need to make a list like this of your own? Perhaps it’s time to find your voice. Maybe just for yourself. What are you not sorry for?
P.S. This is not something that fits within my typical writing style. And guess what? I’m not sorry for that either.
You expressed this very, very well. Bravo for your courage and big heart!
I’m a people pleaser and thank you for making me realize how much I apologize to fix things when I’m not the one that needs to apologize. I think I need to do a I’m Not Sorry list. I love they way God uses you. Keep yourself open to Him always! Next time you come to H-town I’ll buy you a margarita. Prayers continuing for you and you family. Love you!
We really need to get together in person – maybe Jim can drive me to your retreat/home and drop me off for a few days and I can recuperate and delve into those “not sorries” together. One thing I know I’m not sorry for is making the decision to end my first marriage. I never had any of those “second thoughts” – I realized I needed to do this, not only for my sanity, but for ME. To learn how to love myself and to realize I was becoming “less than” and I deserved to be “more than…” I found God by my side throughout the journey.
Perfect. Love you.
Wow! Powerful! I felt that on every level.
Ok. So this one stopped me in my tracks. It made very sad. Maybe I need my own list.
It makes me sad as well but creating this list was very cathartic. i have also been more keenly aware of how routine and easy it is for me to say, “I’m sorry” when in reality, I have nothing to be sorry for. I am finding a new language for my feelings as I work to really feel them. Most times, instead of saying “I’m sorry”, I now say, “I am sad that…”. This is a more true statement.