Look, I owe you an apology. I do. Infinite ones probably. But I am finite. And so are you. So you’ll never get infinite apologies.
What I want to say is this: I know it’s been hard listening to me beat up on myself all of these years. And I don’t think until recently that I validated you properly this way. I don’t think I fully admitted — even to myself and certainly not you — that I was still beating up on myself, just in smaller ways.
You see, I’d gotten really good at not doing the obvious behaviors. Refraining from the full-on blatant self-attacks. I hadn’t announced that I sucked or that I couldn’t do anything right or anything like that in ages.
But it came in other, smaller ways — ways that were obvious to you, ways that you couldn’t ignore.
You noticed that I didn’t expect for other people to like me. I thought this was a reasonable belief, since I’d had bad experiences in the past. I even argued with you about that. Tried to lay a factual case, with examples.
But you made the argument that it went further than that. That not only did I not expect them to like me, I expected them to dislike me.
I was incredulous. Didn’t think this sounded accurate at all.
But I’m starting to think you had a point then.
Anyway, it’s beginning to occur to me that it’s been a lot like weeding a garden: I ripped up the leaves of the plant, the part that was above ground. And I didn’t do anything about the root, the one that was buried deep down below.
I mean, I thought I did. I really did.
But you’re seeing subtle signs that maybe I didn’t get all of it.
So I’m sorry — or perhaps I should say instead “thank you for showing me,” because I’ve been working for the past decade on apologizing less. On showing my gratitude via thankfulness instead of cowering and self-flagellating.
Anyway, you had a point. You were right. And I’m going to work on it.