To my loved ones and friends,
Those of you who’ve known me – who’ve stood by me all these years – who’ve bit their tongues when my behavior warranted far worse, and whose patience and forebearance I’ve hardly deserved; I owe you a debt of gratitude and my deepest apologies.
Midlife brings the gift of insight. I’ve had the opportunity to view my life from a different perspective; one that is more compassionate, tolerant, and true. One that doesn’t assume intent, but which holds that we all do what we know.
I see my behavior in childhood, adolescence, even early adulthood, and I notice how grasping and confused it was. I see that I was in a kind of pain I couldn’t understand, and because I couldn’t resolve why I hurt, I lashed out at everyone, especially those closest to me.
I was ignorant, immature, short-tempered, suspicious, self-righteous, entitled, and smug. I bought into my own lies. I was the victim of everyone else’s maliciousness. People were the problem…the problem wasn’t with me.
Until I realized… it most certainly was.
I discovered that shit happens to absolutely everyone, and that a lot of bad shit happens to a lot of people when they’re very young. I’m not unique or special in my confusion or my pain. In fact, I’m a lot more like everyone else than I once cared to believe. My belief in the special nature of my suffering enabled me to become bitter over my experiences. I didn’t observe my own negative behavior, or infer that I drew negativity to myself through the dysfunctionl ways I related to others. I couldn’t see that I was experiencing the consequences of being myself.
For all you’ve endured in your relationship with me: my stubbornness, my aggression, my anger, my selfishness and self-pity, I am sorry.
For failing to be a good friend and a good person, for taking far more than I gave, for taking you for granted, for ignoring your hopes, cares, and needs, I am sorry.
For failing to recognize the gift of your continued friendship and love, your perseverance, and the hope you held for my eventual enlightenment, I am sorry.
My hope now is that your faith in me is rewarded. I hope that the person I’ve become; the person I am now, and the person I have yet to be, will be worthy of such love and devotion. I hope the lessons I’ve learned will enable me to be a fully loving, generous, and compassionate person for the rest of my life.
Thank you for the gift of being who you are. It has meant everything to me.