I have always been the type of person who reaches for an apology first. Whether the situation calls for it or not, I'm apologizing. Whether it was my fault or not, I'm apologizing. I don't know what it is that makes me over-apologize, but I do.
When I think about my family, the first thing I feel is a need to apologize. I want to tell them that I'm sorry.
Sometimes I think it's ridiculous. They don't apologize to me for being who they are. They just are. I don't think they think about it at all. But they also fit with the other people in the family. And they fit so neatly too.
Sometimes I can hear a part of me arguing that if I feel like apologizing, it must be because I feel guilty, and if I feel guilty, I must be doing something wrong. But in trying to analyze that situation, I've realized that I don't want to apologize because of what I'm doing or how I'm living. I want to apologize only because I feel like they expect something from me that I cannot give. I'm sorry that I can't meet that expectation. I'm sorry that I don't fit like everyone else does. I'm sorry that I feel like I have an amazing life that I can't share with them. I'm sorry that they don't understand.
But I'm not sorry for who I am.
I've found the peace I needed to accept myself and to be okay with who I am. I have to live with myself every day, and if I've done the self-hated thing before. I'm over it. I'd rather not go back. And I can live with who I am. More than that, I love it. I love being happy. I love it when I'm around friends and I can relax and be who I am. I love not having walls and barriers up, being able to have an unguarded conversation, not being nervous about the topics that will come up. And I love the people who love me enough to give me that safe space. It's a much needed space and I appreciate it so much.
Now I just need to learn to stop apologizing when I don't need to. I don't know what it will take to get over that urge to say I'm sorry, especially to my family, but I hope one day I can.