The last post was kind of an early update, so I’m going to use today’s post to work myself through some feelings. Lesson learned: If I notice my usual mental filters and thought processes are hindered in any way, stop talking… although it is currently 12:36AM, I am exhausted, and still typing, so maybe my blog is exempt from that. In any case.
There is a point where apologies grow self-indulgent. I realize that in my head, but because there are so few times that I genuinely feel the need to apologize, all I can think to do is say sorry until I feel I have repented, which in the moment can feel like never.
If you’re thinking that sounds a little dramatic to be about a writing blog, that would be because it’s not about the blog at all – I’m not that sorry for putting the short story challenge on hold, ahaha. I’m doing what I need to do to do well in school.
However, right now I am in that mood to apologize, and I am literally biting my tongue to keep it down. All an apology does is prolong a conversation that the other party may want to gloss over, and there comes a point where apologies stop being an expression of regret and start being a plea for forgiveness, and a hurt party is never obligated to forgive.
And yet, even knowing this, I keep wanting to apologize.
I don’t think I seek forgiveness, really. I do, however, need some way to alleviate my guilt, and the only way I know to do that is to apologize calmly and articulately, again and again, in a different way every time. I think, in my mind ideally, I would want people whom I have offended to express just how upset they are with enough force to hurt me, so that I know when they calm, it is because they processed their feelings rather than them bottling it up for my sake. That’s the reason I tell myself, at least.
A part of me wonders if I want them to lash back and hurt me too so that I can feel that we’re back on equal footing. A larger part of me wonders if I want them to lash back so that I can feel like the bigger person in forgiving their malicious offense and alleviate my guilt that way.
Fortunately for me, the other party involved in this incident is too wise to grant me such an easy out. They’ve listened to my apology and calmly asked what they need of me, exactly as I asked them to do.
So, today, I likely lost my status as someone’s confidante, due to a blunder on my part. There is no one to blame but myself, as I should have gone to sleep the first slipup in the conversation when speaking of such sensitive matters. I bitterly regret it, and apologies still rest on the curl of my tongue. I am writing this current post to prevent myself from reaching out and apologizing yet again, as I am aware that I crossed that ‘self-indulgent’ threshold ages ago.
When it comes to apologies, I think what is most important is what the offended party wants. If they want me to leave, I will leave. If they say they want to stop talking about it, I cut the apologies. It’s a simple concept, but many fail to grasp it. I mean, even though I know this in my head, emotionally I still feel like bringing it up again and again until I’m beating a dead horse.
I think I struggled with this incident today because I spend so much time tailoring myself to other people that I worry when the facade breaks, people, acquaintances, and even my closest friends will drift away. Though my friends know I am far from perfect, I do try to be the perfect listener, the perfect confidante, etc. to the point where when I mess up, I am seized with a fear that I will be useless to that particular relationship. I am seized by that fear even now, but I think I’ve calmed enough to sleep now.
Thank you, readers, for sitting through this rather personal filler post of mine. I will return with proper content next week.