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LJ Idol - Week 1

There are no two words in the English language, or any other that I speak, in which I remotely enjoy the words "I'm sorry." Those words make me cringe, because how often are they really meant? How often is the feeling behind them actually apologetic or sincere? How often are they just the words people grasp for when they have nothing else to say?

I'd rather hear silence.

My hatred of these words began when I was twelve. The scariest day of my life when my family basically, completely and utterly fell apart. The day my life changed, and nothing will ever fix the crack that started that day. Nothing will ever make things better, nothing will ever be able to make my heart feel whole again.

When I was twelve, my grandmother died on our driveway. The panic, the tears, the being sent to a friends while my parents went to the hospital with her. It wasn't fair. I wanted to be there too, why should I have to sit and wait, find out after everyone else? But there was nothing to find out. My mom said she'd be fine, so she was going to be completely okay, nevermind the fact that it was Feburary, no one knew how long she'd been lying there after her heart attack and she wasn't breathing for god knows how long.

My mom lied.

Three hours later when my mom finally came to get me, as soon as I saw her face, I knew. I knew she was gone. The woman who had been more of my mother than my real mother, taken away in the blink of an eye for absolutely no reason.

So when my mom tried to hug me, and the words I'm sorry came out of her mouth, I ran. Shoved my feet into my boots and bolted home, only to slam into my father who instantly grabbed me, wrapping his arms around me and muttering the words "I'm sorry" over and over.

I'm sorry? What did that even mean? There was nothing to be sorry FOR. It's not like he'd done anything wrong, and it certainly wasn't what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear that it was going to be okay. I wanted to know that it was okay, just some terribly cruel joke my parents thought it would be funny.

It wasn't.

Going back to school two days later, because I couldn't stay home anymore, having already missed about three weeks thanks to a teachers strike that was going on, people who heard what happened kept coming up and saying they were sorry. People who never even met her. There was a part of me that just wanted to shake them and ask WHY they were sorry, they hadn't done anything. I would have rather someone a "Shit, that sucks" or a "Man, that's terrible, anything I can do?" To this day, I'd rather have an honest response like that, than an "I'm sorry." Even a bad joke. Like when my cat died, and my mom kept stroking my hair. The best comment anyone made that day? The only thing to make me laugh? "Maybe she's doing it because she doesn't have a cat to pet anymore." Granted, I acted angry, because it seemed like the appropriate response, and I regret it. Because I did laugh.

I'm so sick of "appropriate responses."

To this day, the only people I want to hear the words "I'm sorry" from are my parents. Because that day? That day they began to fail as parents and as a couple. She was the glue that held them together, and without her they refused to even try to pretend. They are the only people I want an "I'm sorry" from, for making me scared of ever being in a relationship, for having a disfunctional teenage-hood, and for never being able to get along, yet refusing to be apart.

But only if it's not empty words.

The words I'm sorry just make me shake my head and wonder why, when people haven't even done anything to be sorry for.

I hate that the words have become and empty gesture, and that I'm just as guilty of saying it because it's become the expected answer when someone goes through tragedy, or has a problem.

And it shouldn't be.

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Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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rejeneration
Oct. 16th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, I couldn't agree more. I have never put any stock in "I'm sorry" ... for me it's about action, not repeating the same mistake again. I actually hate the words "I'm sorry."
shadowwolf13
Oct. 16th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
I think in this case they're saying I'm sorry for your loss and expressing empathy for you. It's not that they feel that they did something, just that they are sorry that you are going through such a hard time.

I completely see your point though which is why I always follow it up with "let me know if there's anything I can do to help".
onda_bianca
Oct. 16th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
Many "I'm sorry's" are empty which is quite a shame because they have the potential to be very powerful.
solstice_singer
Oct. 16th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
People do use those words far too often. I've often wondered why we're expected to be sorry for things we have no part in. I mean, we can be sorry for what a person is going through, but I think there are other, more meaningful, ways to express those feelings.

Very thought-provoking entry.
poppetawoppet
Oct. 17th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
ironic how we've all done our posts on I'm sorry, and yet we've all come up with different writings. Hopefully with time, some sort of understanding will grow out of this. Then again, maybe it won't. Either way...
faerie_spark
Oct. 17th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
What a terribly painful experience you describe here! Your words are excellently crafted. They really drew me in. I could feel your pain and sense of abandonment.

"I'm sorry" can be such empty words. One thing I almost always do, when someone tells me something sad or upsetting that doesn't actually have to do with me is to say "I'm sorry to hear that" or "I'm sorry that happened". Sorry can also mean sadness, so one truly can feel sorry. But the saying, those two words by themselves, have come to mean apology, and often an apology is not meaningful or helpful.not
myscribbles
Oct. 17th, 2009 08:39 am (UTC)
Because of the history, I can see why you hate these words. With my husband it is the "are you ok?" he always feels like screaming and saying no i'm not damn well ok, why would I be"

I agree though that sometimes there is more meaning behind them than you think, it can be hard to speak to someone who has soffered a great loss, and take it from me, it's even worse when people have 'nothing' to say. Will agree with you that I'd prefer a 'shit that sucks'

Lovely entry, very honest. :)
libra_dragon
Oct. 17th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
I say I am sorry a lot which I need to work on.

Nice job.
majesticzaichik
Oct. 17th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
Very powerful entry. I have never got offended by "I'm sorry", or thought of it as an empty gesture. I guess because I do understand it means "I'm sorry that you feel that way", or in your case "I'm sorry that something bad happened to you" and I accept that. It catches me off guard when I say that to someone and then they say "Why are you apologizing, you didn't do anything?"

I would be very sad when my grandmas die. One is very elderly and I just hope it won't upset my dad terribly.

I actually am sorry you had to experience that, especially what happened afterwords.
baxaphobia
Oct. 18th, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
Sometimes people just don't know what to say. Sometimes the "I'm sorry" means nothing but other times it's just the way of saying "life sucks.." It's a hard call.
thaliontholwen
Oct. 18th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
"I'm sorry," is an infuriating response, I agree. And nobody stops to think that it could possibly be.
dreamchaser
Oct. 18th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
I think "I'm sorry" has become the most over-used phrase in the English language, and it really is a shame.
imafarmgirl
Oct. 19th, 2009 09:51 am (UTC)
Aww so sad. I often wonder why people say they are sorry about a person they never knew as well. I think if they were sad that you were hurting or something, they could say that instead and it would be more accurate.
sra33
Oct. 20th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
Meh, I usually say "I'm sorry for your loss" or just give them a hug. XD I'm the quiet person who just kinda stands there and follows your lead. ^^

Boo for parents not getting along and not splitting, mine were like that, too.
butterbuns
Oct. 20th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
Mine did split. For three days. Then my mom moved back in. *headdesk*
(no subject) - sra33 - Oct. 20th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
walkertxkitty
Oct. 20th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
I don't like hearing those words either. As you mentioned, they don't often mean anything in context. I can and have screamed at someone, "Don't apologize if there's nothing to apologize for!"

Nicely written.
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( 45 comments — Leave a comment )