When someone we love finds out, that I cut again, my first reaction always is to apologize. And I fear I am not alone with this.We are hurting. And someone just saw our pain, and we know that this person is hurting now as well. And we wish it was not that way. So we apologize. Or we don’t want to anger them. Or to disappoint them. We want their forgiveness. So try to appease them with an apology.
But it is no one’s fault. Including our own. If someone got physically ill, that person will not be apologizing. So why should we be apologizing for our own pain? Why should we be apologizing, for being mentally not well? I have never been diagnosed. So on paper I am perfectly well. Does that mean, that I am well? Does that mean, that my self-harm is… what? A lie? Not so bad? No one with just the tiniest bit of sensitivity on the topic of mental health will make any accusations.
We should never apologize for being hurt. Because it sends the wrong signals, it makes us believe, that we are doing something wrong, that fault somehow. If we trust someone with our self-harm, we don’t want their blame. Not really. We want them to take care of us. In some way. But we need to say that. Not that we are sorry. Because even though we may wish, that we never hurt that person with our truth, we may not be sorry for a mental illness.
For me this has already gone to the next level. About a year ago, I noticed that I was apologizing for no real reason all the time. Mostly to my at-the-time boyfriend. But after some time I realized, that I was not really sorry. I was hurting. What I should have been saying was “I am hurting, please take care of me.”
But I know now that I have a really hard time admitting when I am hurting. Even to myself. I often don’t notice until the blade cuts my skin. I know I talk in riddles when it comes to how I am. I know I cannot admit how I feel. Because technically, I am fine, right? We don’t want to tell people, because we do not want to hurt them. And that is fine. But if we do, we should not apologize. Someone will judge us for mental health issues, should not be close enough that we would tell that person about it anyways.