I Can’t Say Sorry

sorry, apologise, forgive, i am sorry, please forgive me

How true this Elton John’s song is…

“It’s sad, so sad

It’s a sad, sad situation

And it’s getting more and more absurd

It’s sad, so sad

Why can’t we talk it over?

Oh, it seems to me

That sorry seems to be the hardest word.”

When I was young I used to find saying ‘sorry’ extremely difficult. It wasn’t as much with friends as it was with parents. I have often wondered why. Parents are supposed to be the ones a child is closest to.

Fast forward to today. I still find saying sorry difficult. There’s a slight change now though. Apologising to parents is no longer that tough. Some special friends have taken over this role.

All along there’s a pattern that I have noticed. When the sorry-time comes I completely close up. I get defensive. Even if I am in the wrong I try and defend my words. Then there’s a lot of word exchange. It grows and grows and ultimately I break down. Often it makes the other person feel as if he / she was the one who has wronged. I don’t do this on purpose. But it happens each time.

As a kid I have heard my mother say that these tears that ultimately come out are crocodile tears. I didn’t react much to her words then. However, now I know. They are not false tears. I mean it. And they flow out because deep inside I’m feeling bad about the entire situation and cursing myself for not being able to bring it back to normalcy with a ‘sorry’.

Why has saying ‘sorry’ always been so difficult for me? That too with those who I feel closest to. The ones who I love the most. It definitely couldn’t be about ego. It couldn’t be because I was stubborn. What has been the emotion behind this then? Is it a sense of betrayal? Insecurity? Fear? Vulnerability? Betrayal that they didn’t try and understand my perspective and caused me emotional distress as well. Insecurity that they will misjudge me and our bond will crack. Fear that I will not hold that kind of respect anymore. Vulnerable because it will show how much they mean to me such that I’m even ready to bed for forgiveness. When I didn’t apologise was I then trying to protect my own fragile self?

Christ! Who am I fooling? Not being able to say a simple five letter words IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN about ego and nothing else. After all, all the emotions that I feel is linked to ME. I am just thinking about what I am feeling. How bad it feels in MY heart. How sad MY soul feels. No part of me is thinking about the one whom I have wronged and hurt. 

I want to change. I don’t want to be like this. I have lost out on a few important relationships for my complete abhorrence to the word ‘sorry’. Thankfully I can see a wind of change blowing. I thank my lucky stars for those who are teaching me how. It’s probably only because they love me more than themselves. And also because, I guess, I have finally started putting them before me as well.

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