Seemingly innocuous waves of sound that travel in and on the air.
Light as the air itself and invisible to the eye … but in distinct contrast to the light air that carries them, words can be some of the heaviest things to bear. I spent some time this morning talking to a friend about how badly words can mar a relationship and scar your emotional well-being… about how a moment of misdirected anger can forever alter the landscape of a relationship.
Is it wrong that an apology can’t be accepted and then the hurt is just …erased?
Is it wrong to think we can apologize and it erases the hurt?
I’m not sure.
What I do know is that misdirected words of anger or stress or hurt are wounding – sometimes mortally so, in a proverbial sense – because they breach (and can destroy) a fragile sense of safety we have in our relationships. I say fragile because, even in the strongest of relationships, the trust we instill in someone can be quite easily broken and devastated beyond repair. We can patch things… we can apply salves and band-aids… but a scar always remains and it never completely heals.
A sliver of doubt...
...of hurt everpresent to remind you that once you were an emotional whipping post...
...once you were kicked just because you were an easy target...
...that once you were lashed out on for no other reason than "you were there".
How do you accept an apology that is give so far after the fact? How when, prior to the apology, you were beaten down further by misconstrued facts, things taken out of context, and flat out insults simply to bolster the fact that you obviously deserve the abuse?
So which is the more selfish mentality… the offending party being upset we can’t simply accept an apology and forget the event? …or the offended party who can’t seem to forget? I’m not sure. I know that I strive to not be the former; however, that doesn’t seem to negate the fact that I am the latter.