You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
I suffered from the “sorry syndrome” for way too long. No matter the situation; I constantly had an apology at the tip of my tongue, even if I did nothing wrong. It was almost as if I felt the need to apologize for simply being me.
I’m guilty of downplaying my success in order to appease my partner’s insecurities, toning down my personality in the workplace to make my coworkers more comfortable and purposely avoiding topics that one would deem “inappropriate;” simply because they were neither mentally nor emotionally equipped to handle that conversation. I’ve even apologized for not wanting to do something or go somewhere that I felt violated MY comfort zone.
Openly admitting these facts is humbling and even a little embarrassing, but for the longest time; this was my truth. It wasn’t until recently that I decided that I no longer wanted to be that person or exist in that space.
Ever since my childhood, I’ve always been very nurturing and overly sensitive to other people’s feelings. I’d go out of my way to give so much to others and often the gesture was never reciprocated. Not to say that I was doing nice things because I was expecting something in return, because that’s not the case at all; but somewhere along the road I convinced myself that my feelings and needs weren’t as important as everyone else’s.
Over the years, the feeling of neglect is one that I became comfortable with; and often it was self-inflicted and came at the expense of my own self-care. I bore the heavy weight of being a people-pleaser and trying to make others happy for way too long. But now as my 20’s are drawing to a close, and I’m rapidly approaching my 30th birthday; (only three more months to go…) I find myself in the midst of a rebirth.
I’m not changing who I am as a person, but I’m changing what I tolerate. I will continue to be submissive to my feelings, but I won’t allow them to be taken advantage of. I’m no longer nurturing bullshit. I’m no longer clipping my own wings to make another person happy. I’m acknowledging the fact that my needs matter and that my emotional stability is important. I don’t feel guilty for what I’m passionate about. Nor am I apologizing for what I don’t give a fuck about. It’s not my job to make other people comfortable and it’s also not my fault if they’re not.
I refuse to live in the narrative that I am inadequate as a parent, too transparent with my life or just “too much” in general. Misplaced “sorry’s” are no longer welcome. I know that I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m someone’s shot of Henny… and I’m ok with that. I actually prefer Henny anyway. I’m taking shots on my birthday.
P.S. I’m a damn good mother and I’ve been through too much hell to keep my son here, healthy and thriving. I’ll never apologize for basking in that.