Sorry not sorry
I spent a long time apologizing for various things about me. On my best day, I was an inconvenience for my parents, so I learned how to stay out of the way and under the radar whenever I wanted to be there. My craving for solitude made this easier, as disappearing by myself into my room or the basement for hours was seen as a positive. Needing any sort of attention or assistance from my parents was not met well, so my self sufficiency was also quickly developed.
By the time I was in middle school, I could cook a basic meal, do laundry, iron my clothes, and do basic housework and gardening. I took pride in this, as my independence was something I valued. My friends and I were together most of the time, but spending some time solo was never seen as a big deal.
As I hit high school, though, things definitely changed. Conflicts at home grew exponentially. Being “popular” was something I didn’t particularly seek, but knew I’d never achieve anyhow. My mother had set stupid rules into place guaranteed to make me “weird” such as forbidding me to wear jeans to a public high school. My parents got some perverse joy out of power and control simply for the fact that they could. They got off on it, which just drove me further into my appreciation for solitude. It kept me away from them.
One thing I heard from people over the years was that I was always willing to listen and be there for people, but I didn’t confide in anyone. My enigmatic behavior wasn’t intentional; I simply didn’t have the desire to open myself up for other people to observe and then to judge.
That said, I was still set in the apologies for so many things.
“I’m sorry I needed some time alone and didn’t go to the movies with you.”
“I’m sorry I can’t go to the party; I can’t be out past curfew.”
“I’m sorry I don’t share my problems.”
“I’m sorry I spaced on helping you with your term paper.”
“I’m sorry I can’t dance with you because of my knee.”
This continued throughout adulthood until several years ago. It wasn’t necessarily a light switch moment; there was no parting of the clouds met with an angelic chorus. It was more of a sunrise. Darkness met with an ever increasing light that made me realize that there will always be people who do not accept or approve of me. At one time, that idea would’ve filled me with shame and regret, and a desire to “fix it”. No more.
There are very few people who truly understand me; other than the Scientist and the Kellions, I can count the number on one hand. In a conversation with the Scientist the other day, the example we discussed was the word “stubborn”. People who get me don’t use that word with me, and they know why. It doesn’t need to be explained; it’s kinda like those jokes that lose their humor if they have to be explained. Same goes. If you don’t “get it”, you aren’t going to. Just one of those things. It isn’t any kind of big deal, though. I don’t get angry if people call me stubborn. I just nod and smile, ignore the invective, and move on. But at one point, I would’ve felt the need to explain, to mitigate, to appease. Now, not so much.
At this point in my life, I’m finally content in who I am.
I am a person who has AD/HD and struggles with it on a regular basis.
I am a person who craves solitude, and for whom not getting it can be disastrous.
I am a person who cannot handle the “joined at the hip” type of relationship. I am forever grateful that my kids weren’t clingy; they are very close to me, but there’s a difference. And hell, I can’t lie. If the Scientist had been that type, those kids would not exist.
I am a person who will work as hard as I can for my job, and who also works just as hard on my creative projects. But like most people, I prefer my creative pursuits.
I am a person who values her own independence more than a lot of other things, and who has no intentions of ever relinquishing it.
Not even a little bit.
And you shouldn’t be either. What do you apologize for that you should embrace instead?