My heart aches as I write this. My brain will not turn off as I struggle with a given apology. My quandary is when the issue continues to raise it’s ugly head. When this happens, old wounds from the past reopen as hurt takes its place and healing takes longer.
So my question here is – “When is an apology not an apology?”
Issues crop up all the time in any relationship. In most cases an apology is given as forgiveness and is part of the process of moving on. Sometimes, a discussion needs to happen so the injured party can get to the guts of the matter. Walk me through it. Tell me what you were thinking and I in turn will do the same thing. I do not feel it is finger pointing. It is just a way to convey thoughts and feelings and really understand each other’s thought processes NOT just staying in that area of periphery where everything stays the same.
Many times, anger shows up as stubbornness. Veins pop out on our necks as the responses become louder and louder!! When this happens, nothing is accomplished. I have to walk away and say, “Do not follow me out of this room.”
The most vivid example I can think of when an apology is not an apology is within the battered woman syndrome. Each time a woman is abused, an apology may ensue again and again and again. The pain that follows is like opening up old wounds mixed with the new as you try and repair the broken pieces. The dark cloud of shame and desperation festers and love is replaced with hurt and fear.
In my case, my voice is not being heard or is dismissed by a loved one. In making decisions or having a discussion, the process is to respect everyone involved while at the same time honoring their differences. I am a woman that works off logic, so things have to make sense to me.
After years of not being heard, I can see that my hurt and pain of being offended is not genuinely felt. The apology is insincere especially when it happens again and again and again.
By definition a true apology keeps focus on the apologizer’s actions and not on the recipients response. As I wait for the anger to dissipate I will try and harness my own emotions by allowing myself to scream into my pillow, to take long walks, to give myself the time to heal, the patience to allow myself to trust again.