Sorry I’m Sorry

I apologize incessantly. All. The. Time. I do it without even realizing it, and then I’ll apologize for that. My husband once asked me, “Why are you sorry?” I don’t remember what I had said sorry for, but I just looked at him stunned. I had no fucking idea. I have since put some thought into it, and this blog post speaks only for myself. If you relate, that’s great, but I also think we are all more alike than different. All meaning you dudes, too. Wait, I use dude as a gender-neutral term. So guys. Or men. Whatever. I do mean everyone, too. That includes non-binary, LGBTQIA, or whichever term you’re most comfortable with (and which I will support). Also, dudes. What I mean is ALL of us are more alike than not.

Women have generally been raised to be nurturers which means putting others needs before yours. Men are more likely to get the whole “Go out there and conquer the world, you can do anything, you could even be president some day!” Note, my perspective is as a Gen-Xer so take it for what it’s worth. Nevertheless, it’s mine and I fucking own it.

Sometimes the excessive apologizing comes from past or present abuse. This could be domestic or parental, any kind of abuse. I have experience with the former. It was not physical abuse but pretty much in every other form. I still, 4 or 5 years out, get really nervous over what are seemingly insignificant things; not putting the laundry away, forgetting to shut a cupboard door, not doing something right, forgetting something, literally anything and everything. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Happily, this is no longer the case and couldn’t be further from the truth in my current marriage, but it takes time to unlearn 15 years of training.

I realize abuse doesn’t have to be a reason either. It’s a culmination of almost 43 years of my experiences as a woman on this planet. Women seem to have a lower threshold of what may be viewed as offensive or annoying and are more likely to have a harder time voicing their opinions and ideas without them being talked over and/or immediately shot down, regardless of what it’s about. Many of these issues, my issues, are still dismissed or outright laughed at and mocked.

For myself, insecurity always played a huge role and still does. I worry that I’m bothering someone by merely existing. I preemptively apologize just so I can ask a question, even when questions are invited. It’s as if I feel less deserving to take up the same amount of space. Also the world as it is does much to reinforce this idea. I have a lifetime of bullshit to unlearn, and it won’t happen overnight. So I trudge on and keep fighting. I’m getting better at it, slowly but better still. I backslide all the time, then I try again. Harder. The fact that I have a snarky blog is huge progress. A year ago, I would have been keeping most of this to myself.

These are my thoughts on why I’m so sorry all the time. I’d like to hear yours on why you might feel the same or why you don’t. If you don’t do the nonstop apology thing now or never have, I definitely want to hear about that because I am still learning. You can reach me through the Contact Us link.

While I truly believe we are all more alike than we are different, I also want to learn more about the differences so I can be more inclusive. That’s my end game here. It’s not about ranting, although that’s been very cathartic and admittedly satisfying, I want to learn and evolve as a woman, a feminist, as a human being. Which are all the same thing by the way, shocker I know. It would also be nice not to feel the knee-jerk reaction to apologize for everything little fucking thing, most of which is out of my control and sometimes has nothing to do with me in the first place. I’m learning and still willing to learn. I’ll end with that.