Being a cycle breaker is realizing you’re not getting an apology for the hurt done to you, & instead of passing on that hurt, you heal it. It’s giving voice to the parts of you who have been forced into silence. It’s no longer apologizing for your desire to be set free.– Nate Postlewait (@nate_postlethwt) on Twitter, March 13, 2023
This tweet today really got to me today and I want to break down each of the three sentences as to why:
First, all my life my father used to say, “Sorry doesn’t get it done.” It was something he got from his father, my grandfather, and frankly for the longest time I thought they were both just being a couple of major hard-asses. But I’ve thought that statement through and my take on it is this: an apology doesn’t erase the wound being apologized for. An apology doesn’t put something firmly in the past and keep it from coming up ever again. An apology is an admission of wrongdoing and for me, it’s been a way of confirming I hadn’t done something wrong. So, I’m not asking for an apology though I will accept one if freely given.
Second: “& instead of passing on that hurt, you heal.” We all make mistakes but for the longest time, I thought I’d made so many because of the shit I got for doing the right thing. It’s taken me a long time to realize people who heaped shit on me when I wasn’t doing anything wrong were just projecting their own bullshit onto me without thinking it through it first, and it was NOT my responsibility to figure that out for them nor excuse it or minimize it. Once I realized I’m not responsible for pulling someone’s head out of their ass is when I began to heal. I began to heal because I focused on myself and not someone else and I didn’t put other people’s opinions or cruel and insensitive words above my own truth.
Third, “It’s giving voice to the parts of you who have been forced into silence.” Breaking your silence does two things: it breaks the hold fear and pain have over you, and it is knowledge that can’t be taken from you. Putting fear and pain into words helps you understand cause and effect and in turn, how to repair the damage. This is why I believe there is still a huge bias and stigma around mental and emotional therapy because therapy breaks the hold and changes you for the better.
Fourth, “It’s no longer apologizing for your desire to be set free.” Years ago, during the darkest time of my self-help/therapy journey, there was a time when I wanted to go outside and scream at the top of my lungs, “I apologize for my entire fucking existence!” I came to that moment because I was beginning to realize I had apologized way too many times for things I didn’t need to apologize for. I did that in a horribly misguided attempt at appeasing people and getting them off my ass. The only reason they got off my ass was I beat the shit out myself and saved them the effort though that wasn’t their goal at all. This primal scream of pain began to ease when I realized people that shit on me never really thought it through and probably forgot what they’d done five minutes after walking away from me. So, I don’t owe them an apology, especially for wanting to be free of their bullshit.
This blog entry today took several attempts to get down because I kept hitting a brick wall that sent a thought through my mind, “I’m not ready to reveal this or talk about it just yet.” I’ve said that to myself so many times and today I asked myself in return, “When will I be ready? Now? Or never?”
There is NO absolutely perfect time to say something, reveal something, or do something. There is NO guarantee that something will work out perfectly. There is always potential for shit to happen as my late father would probably say in response to this. It’s not being pessimistic or negative, just being realistic because there’s always a possibility someone somewhere isn’t going to like what you’re going to say or do. This is something I’ve had to battle against as it’s a huge thing that’s held me back. Finding the strength to stand up to that and move forward is a challenge, some days more than others.
By the way, this is NOT an explanation to any critic or in response as to why I haven’t done something until now. I don’t owe that kind of explanation to anyone because asking someone why they haven’t done something until now comes off like that person should have known better to begin with. It was my response to that ‘should have known better’ shit almost eight years ago that put me on my self-help/journey: Everyone is just as full of shit as I am sometimes but that doesn’t make me a bad person.
I’ve said a lot of this before in other ways but the human mind learns by repetition and imprinting. And this is for myself, and for anyone else on a self-help/healing journey like I’m still on, and will be for the rest of my life. There are steps to healing and today I got yet another reminder of them, and that I’ve taken them and will continue to take them despite what anyone might think of me.
Healing is possible.