Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
To all those who need to hear it...
"It's sad, so sad. It's a sad, sad situation and it's gettin' more and more absurd." - Elton John
To all those who never received the apology they so desperately needed, I am sorry. I understand the sentiment is not quite the same from a stranger, but I am sorry. I want you to know I understand how each of these unattended grievances weighs heavy on your soul. I see you, and I am sorry. For those of you who can chalk it up to life experiences and move forward without getting stuck, I envy you and appreciate your ability to compartmentalize.
I am not sure why it is so hard for some people to apologize. I think some people are oblivious to the hurt they may have caused and I suppose others are too prideful to admit they were wrong. I have done plenty of things throughout the years where an apology was warranted. Whether it be a fight with a parent or family member, or a decision that affected someone I was in a romantic relationship with, I can honestly say that although I may have been reluctant to apologize at first, I never let too much time pass without reaching out to mend the hurt I may have caused. In fact, I have oftentimes apologized when I was not even remotely in the wrong. I did not apologize in those instances because I was directly seeking an apology in return, but I apologized because I knew the sadness and loneliness that I carried with me during the fractured times, and I knew if the other party felt even an iota of the pain and sorrow I felt (even due to their own actions, choices, words, etc.) then I was sorry for that.
I know these sound like the words of a true codependent (and they are...I'm working on that) but I have spent my whole life trying to make sure others never had to know the haunting loneliness that I have been exposed to. But I digress. The point is, there are people in our lives who are not sorry, even when they should be. So how do those of us that try so hard to shield ourselves and those we care about from hurt and loneliness let this emotional wound just exist, unattended?
I am not sure that I have an answer to that question directly. What I can offer, especially to fellow empaths, is that not everyone carries hurt with them as we do. That is okay too. I would also say that you should be wary of those people in your life who continue to hurt you and never take ownership of their words or actions. At some point, we know who a person really is, because they have shown us time and time again. In those cases, we can not fault the other person. I mean we can, but to what end?
I often think of the story of the snake. I've heard Dr. Laura Schlessinger tell this tale many a time on her internationally syndicated radio program, "The Dr. Laura Program" on Sirius XM. It goes something like this;
A snake was hit by a car. A woman picks him up, feeds him, and gets him back to his full state of health. But then he bites her injecting her with his deadly venom. On her death bed she asks, “After all I did, why me?” The snake replies, “You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.”
So if there is someone in your life who continues to hurt you, and does not offer an apology when one is deserved then I challenge you to reassess that relationship. If you allow someone to keep hurting you, and you know they are incapable of self-reflection then the only apology you can expect at that point is an apology from yourself, to yourself. However, if you aren't there yet it's okay. I am sorry someone hurt you and I hope my apology will suffice until you get strong enough to let them go.