In the wake of my most revealing blog post to date, I initially wanted to follow up with a post of gratitude. I’m so very thankful for the overwhelmingly positive response and the outpouring of support from close friends and acquaintances alike.
But my motivations for writing about gratitude were much more complicated than merely saying ‘thank you’ to those who read and were kind in response.
I lead a very privileged and blessed life, and I also wanted to highlight how lucky I am, in a myriad of ways.
But deeper still, in a part of me that almost went unacknowledged, I wanted to write about gratitude to assuage the few that I upset or alienated with my post about self-harm.
When I recognized this is as a partial motivator, I knew I couldn’t follow through (even though it’s nearly complete and ready to publish). I realized that I felt like I needed to apologize for what I’d written, for bringing up rarely talked about subjects, for making anyone feel uncomfortable.
It is such backwards logic to think that I need to apologize to anyone for sharing my experiences.
It’s not surprising, though. The roots of this knee-jerk response run deep. It is woven into the fabric of our society. It’s a culture where we (women especially) say ‘sorry’ way too much — as a conversation starter, instead of ‘excuse me,’ sometimes for no reason at all. It’s also deeply rooted in my personal history of seeking validation through people-pleasing.
This commercial has been widely circulated because of how true it rings to many women:
There is a bigger case to be made here about the connection to a history of subjugation and the expectations placed on women. There are also deeper reasons why some people feel threatened by acts of vulnerability and conversations that push surface-level boundaries. Instead of diving into those ideas today, I’ll leave them here as food for thought.
So to sum up, I’m not sorry. If you need clarification on why I’m writing about tough subjects with such honesty, visit this post. If you’re still uncomfortable with what I say, don’t read it.