I’m sorry I feel so much.
I’ve always been someone who cares too much, especially in romantic relationships, but also with family, friends, and coworkers. I feel remorse every time I have to turn down an invitation. I constantly think people are mad at me, so I apologize at every opportunity. I place others’ needs and happiness before my own. I put my whole heart into everything. It doesn’t feel right to hold back my emotions or push people away.
I’ve been a victim of the “it’s not you, it’s me” conversation too many times. Being left with no real answer, how am I not supposed to think, “It’s me, I’m the problem”?
In high school, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. I cared so much about my boyfriend—it was the first time I experienced true love. (Not like that middle school crush I had that still left me in tears when he got me for Secret Santa and spelled my name wrong on a soccer ball ornament.) He told me how I should feel, which was normally guilty for wearing mascara, tight leggings, or a V-neck shirt. Apparently it gave the impression I was asking for attention from other guys. After a three year roller coaster of a relationship, I garnered enough courage to walk away and right into my freshman year of college.
In the first two years of college, I fell in love over and over again, always with the wrong people at the wrong time. I was too eager to love. It knocked me on my ass.
I’m sorry the beauty in people draws me in. I’m sorry I’m enthralled by their stories, struggles, and triumphs.
I spent time looking for solace in the arms of strangers. I fell into old habits and begged for attention wherever I could get it, all the while apologizing for my emotional outbursts.
I’m sorry—I’m the problem. I’m weak and I feel too much.
Then I met someone who felt as strongly as I did about the beauty of the world and the people in it. He took me in with open arms. He accepted all the broken parts of me and let me lash out. He let me sob, scream, and yell, and at night, no matter what had been said, he’d still crawl in through my window to hold me in his arms. But our communication was off. We grew too dependent on each other. We spent every second of the day together, even when there was so much animosity we couldn’t bear to look at each other. He talked to me like I was a wounded bird. I felt like he was afraid to be honest with me about his feelings and struggles, because he had to be the strong one.
When that relationship ended, I felt lost. It had defined me. I had no idea who I was anymore.
I’m sorry I’m so fragile and broken.
After I graduated, I continued to struggle on my journey to find love (I know, I sound like a damn Bachelor episode). I was afraid to let anyone in. Then, when I least expected it, someone else walked into my life and something clicked. At first I was unsure, but he saw me as intelligent, insightful, creative, and beautiful from the inside out. He valued my opinions and laughed at my corny jokes. I had always wanted reassurance in relationships, but I pushed that need aside. I fell hard: this relationship was different. It was easy, balanced, passionate, and respectful. But over a year later, I still felt he was keeping me at arm’s length. Every time I thought he wasn’t communicating with me about his emotions, I blamed myself.
I’m sorry my anxiety makes me feel like I need constant reassurance. I’m sorry I want to spend more than two days a week with you. I’m sorry I’m in my own head all the time. I’m sorry I want to see you when you want to have a night with your friends. I’m sorry I’m not being present because I’m worried about the future. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
After so many failed, toxic relationships, one that was uncomplicated, easy, and seemingly happy was all I thought I wanted. As I sat with him, lamenting the end of our relationship, I continued to apologize. “Did I do something wrong? Did I feel too much? Did my honesty about my feelings scare you away?” I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
I’ve spent my life being sorry for the baggage I carry around every day. I feel weak because I jump headfirst into love without checking to see how far there is to fall. I’ve tried to learn how to not give a fuck, how to keep my guard up, and how to stop myself from falling before it’s too late. I don’t want to be left alone again, crying on my bathroom floor. But I can’t change, because that’s who I am.
I don’t want to be the type of person who changes herself to make a relationship work. I shouldn’t be sorry for crying over a beautiful sunset, or setting a powerful intention in yoga class. I shouldn’t apologize for being overly affectionate, even in public. I shouldn’t view my tears as weakness and settle for allowing the world to make me cold. I feel all the feels. I feel them deeply every single day. I will cry hysterically again, I will laugh uncontrollably again, I will hurt again, and I will love again.
I’m not sorry that I always care too much.