You Can Keep Your ‘Sorry’

I don’t want an apology — sorry just doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t change all of the hurt or erase all of the months you treated me with complete and utter disregard. You can’t give me back all of the time you took, you can’t turn back the clock or revoke all of the things you said and did. One five-letter word doesn’t hold enough power to change things, and I’m sorry, too.

Because regardless of how much I wanted to cause you the same pain you inflicted upon me for months after you were gone, now all I want is to move on. I moved on. Keep your sorry, keep your remorse and regret, keep your “I’ll fix this” and “I’ve changed.” Keep it. I don’t want you holding my hand and encouraging me as I walk on into the future, into the unknown up ahead. I closed my hand and my heart a long time ago to help.

I don’t want your sorry. I return it with all of the other gifts I got for you, the ones you didn’t want. Like you said to me that night in February, “Thanks, but no thanks.” So maybe this time you’ll be the one on your knees sobbing over a box of things I don’t want. On your living room floor, stifling your cries so nobody knows. I don’t want your pity, either.

But you were right — you can’t fix this. It was broken into a million tiny pieces the day you told me, “You’re beyond help,” “forget my number,” “when will you just go away.” When you said each and every one of the hurtful and heartless things you said to me, the things I won’t forget. You can’t take them back. You can’t sorry your way out of the pain you caused. Neither can any of the men who came before or after you. Each and every one of you hold a special place in my heart — a dozen tiny scars carved into it.

Instead of sorry, there’s something you can do. Something you’re already doing, whether you know it or not. Each of you, all of you, the men who used me, hurt me, assaulted me, abused me, and took away all of my dignity, left me sobbing on my knees, all of you get to give me something now, something better than sorry. Because what none of you really realized was that I packed away each time you hurt me to use as fuel, to start my own fire. And the embers are glowing, growing, blazing brightly.

And now you’ll see the words you spoke to me in black and white and gray on your screen. I’ll paint a portrait so everyone can see how you treated me. Then you’ll know what shame I felt. You’ll feel it, too, as the world learns who was responsible for all of those tiny scars on my heart. I’ll make each and every one of you a chapter in my masterpiece. So keep your sorry, buy the book instead. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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