No one tells you how much you struggle to breathe when you’re left on your own trying to make sense of what happened. How you saw all the signs but the love was paralytic and you couldn’t fight back. No one understands why you come across as cold towards them. You spent so long begging for apologies only for them to be sorry about the obvious, to be sorry that they didn’t put in any effort, sorry that they used loneliness as an excuse to go out, sorry that they could only promise a future in private but never in public. Sorry for claiming to be busy but in fact, they just didn’t want to speak to you. You get apologies for the things that they are willing to admit to but not for the things that caused the most harm.
Who’s going to apologize for the numerous times you were gaslit, and guilted into apologizing for expressing your own feelings because it contradicted theirs. To be told to toughen up because if you were tougher you wouldn’t be offended by someone who invalidated your feelings and used your mental health and physical pain as an excuse to leave because it affected their quality of life – no one is apologizing for that, are they?
I’ve been apologizing to myself for it but not for allowing myself to go through that but for the fact that no one sees the damage it did, I am just left experiencing the repercussions all on my own.
It’s speaking to someone really amazing and still having anxiety that they will snap at you for something as simple as calling or texting to check if they’ve eaten. It’s hearing a man say “let me take you on a date” and you feel panic because the idea of sitting across someone gives you flashbacks of conversations where you’re spoken over and not spoken to. It’s being surprised that someone wants to hold your hand at a restaurant, or would rather sit next to you than across from you or have the car door opened for you. Simple little things that should be exciting but leave you confused about someone’s intentions. It’s not being able to enjoy the company of someone without worrying that they will plot twist you at any point and leave you looking dumb for having a big heart.
No one is apologizing for the relationship PTSD you’re experiencing, nor are they helping you through it. You’re left to deal with picking up the shattered pieces, each piece cutting through you and reminding you of every moment you’ve had to just bite your tongue and let it be. It’s a reminder that you couldn’t confide in anyone because you felt bad to make them look like a terrible person and maybe they aren’t terrible, it was just their actions that felt like flares of fire being shot at you.
I make the jokes and laugh it off like it’s no big deal, but what I don’t show is how much fear my heart now holds. How I pretend like I’ll still love the same way, but every night telling myself to never open up like that again. I want the dates but it comes with anxiety, I want my hand held but I’m too embarrassed by how they tremble.
I’ve been apologizing to myself because you never will.
I know it.
Even months later, your messages fill me with guilt.
You know how to play my heart and you do it so well.
I keep apologizing to myself, on behalf of the damage you did without even realizing it.
This PTSD is the aftermath of the tornado you never knew you were forming with every narcissistic, stonewalling word you threw at me.
I keep apologizing to myself, for myself – because if I wait for someone else to offer it to me, I’ll just never heal.
I’ll just crumble into pieces of a lover that had too much heart.
A lover I hope no one stumbles on ever again.
One thought on “I’ve been apologizing to myself, on your behalf”
Good article. Give to yourself what others can’t.