Thursday, September 17, 2009

All Apologies

Apologies can be really important to me. I'm currently ruining a great friendship because the guy hasn't apologized for his actions, when all it would take is for him to say he's sorry. To accept having been wrong takes a lot of strength of character, and it's so hard for so many people. My father has apologized to me maybe twice in my life, but he has never truly been genuinely apologetic to me. It's always been turned around on me to make me feel guilty and make me apologize for his bad actions. When I was in a hospital, bedridden, he made fun of my catheter. I was hurt, and plainly asked for him to please not mention it because it's really embarrassing to me. He steamed for a good fifteen minutes, and then he snapped and unplugged my tv, which was among my only sources of entertainment in the room since I wasn't supposed to stand up, and then he marched off to a far corner of the other room in the suite so I couldn't talk to him about it. I walked over to him in excruciating pain against the doctor's orders, and was sobbing and apologizing to him and begging for his forgiveness. I apologized to him over and over and felt very guilty, and what had I done? I was embarrassed by his teasing me and called him out on it, and he saw it as disrespectful to him, and unappreciative because he had taken his time out to be there with me in the hospital.

He never has and likely never will apologize for that, which is always going to bother me. One thing he has apologized for is cutting down that mulberry tree, though my mom had to push him into it, and it was an, "I'm sorry, although there's no way I could have known you would be so irrationally attached to a tree, so of course I have nothing to apologize for, just stop crying" type of apology.

I remember the first time I noticed him apologizing, it was a shock to me - he was carrying something and it was heavy and he put more weight on my end than I could handle so he said, "Sorry, sorry! Let's put it down."

I was floored by it, and then I was stunned that it would be such a shock. I had accepted the fact that he was never, ever wrong, never made mistakes, and took it for granted - he never had a reason to apologize, if he did something wrong it wasn't his fault. It was probably mine. I'm sure he apologizes much more to mom or other people he considers his equals, but he just doesn't to his kids, or at least not without cutting it by saying things like, "Sooo sorry charlie!", quoting some old tv show. It saves him face by making it insincere, as if it's silly to be upset over whatever it is he's apologizing for.

He just has too firm a belief that he's always right to ever ask for forgiveness.

That's all probably not so far out of the ordinary. Or is it? And does it matter? I mean, why do I accept such clearly unhealthy behavior just because it might be somewhat normal? His never apologizing and constant blame gaming has left me with some severe complexes.

Ugh. Those movie and tv jokes about incidences of bad parenting that say things like, "That'll make for good conversation with her therapist twenty years from now," used to be funny to me, but they so aren't anymore.


  1. Do you think your dad DOES apologize to your mom very often? I wonder.
    It does seem to me that many people have a thing about NOT apologizing, as if it were a major character weakness to say I'm sorry. I really dislike that attitude in people. That being said, I think your dad can be way over on the end of the line in lacking much empathy at all for another person's situation or point of view. I think he really feels totally convinced that his point of view is right, and the only way for others to be right is to agree.

  2. I honestly don't know what to think about the man. He's so contradictory.