I hope you know that I’m not now, and never will be, sorry FOR you. I am, however, apologetic for my own actions and the ways in which they have hurt, humiliated, tortured, confused, or isolated you. I never meant to make you feel like less than you are, but I know I have. I’m putting all this out in the open in hopes that we can learn to trust each other more completely and communicate more openly so we never get this far out of bounds again.
I’m sorry for making you look silly. I’m sorry for my insensitive humor and off-handed remarks about your weight, your music, your hair, your friends, your romantic choices, your sleep-schedule, your housekeeping, your habits, and the speed and volume at which you speak when you get really excited, tired or nervous.
I’m sorry for criticizing you when you’re already beaten down enough. I’m sorry for encouraging you to be hurtful to me and to others instead of forgiving and constructive. I’m sorry for keeping you up late for no good reason and re-hashing embarrassing, painful and awkward moments. I’m sorry that I sometimes choose to spend time with people who end up using or hurting you, and I’m sorry for falling in love with the same emotionally unavailable, manipulative men repeatedly. I’m sorry for my lack of courage and conviction at the moments when you need me to stand up for you or keep you quiet and let it blow over.
I’m sorry for laughing like a stoned chipmunk in front of cute boys and sometimes telling lies instead of explaining the hard stuff. I’m sorry for waking up at 4 in the morning and not letting you fall back asleep. I’m sorry for getting distracted and making you late. I’m sorry for fixating on details of the past instead of letting things outside of my control or yours be what they are. I’m sorry it took me so long to get around to being sorry for all of these things.
Most of all, I’m sorry for not being nicer to you, for every single time I tore you down or doubted you, blamed you unfairly or did you the unfriendly favor of not holding you accountable for screwing up, backing down or taking off.
I’m not apologizing because we are guilty or ashamed, because you are broken or because I am regretful. I’ve just been realizing recently that one of the most basic and useful guidelines for living humanely is to apologize when you realize you’ve been an asshole and take responsibility for yourself, and I think that’s about where I’m at. I want to be a better person; you make me want to be better. I’m sorry for a lot of things, but I’m not sorry that I know you. I’m not sorry that I love and respect and treasure you. Those things you’re just going to have to live with.
Thank you for sticking around, for not shutting me out.
We’re going to be just fine, you know.
(Also, reminder: “Love myself.”)