I Understand and I am Sorry.
My dear one,
I want to say that I am sorry.
I am sorry that the people who were supposed to care for you failed you. I am sorry that they started failing you so early and kept failing you for so long.
I am sorry that no one protected you from the person who hurt you. I am sorry for every blind eye turned, for every not my business attitude, and for every missed signal. Maybe you told someone, and if you did, I am sorry no one believed you. I am sorry no one rescued you. You were too young to rescue yourself. You needed to be protected and you were not.
I am sorry, because I understand. I have stood in that same lonely place. I bled from the same wounds. I know what it is like to walk through life holding yourself together just-so, knowing that with one wrong move, your guts will spill into the dirt. I stitched myself back together and when the seams bulged and oozed, I ripped the wounds open and I started again. And I did this all, like you – little and alone – for many sad and angry years. I remember it. Even with the distance of years, some memories refuse to fade or dim, continually re-lit by flashbacks and nightmares that collapse years into moments.
I understand, and I am sorry.
I am sorry you lost hope. I am guessing you lost it a little at a time, then all at once, and I am sorry for every incremental failure of your universe that reinforced that loss. I am sorry your hope died, and I am sorry no one loved you enough to try and breathe it back to life.
I am sorry, because I understand. I have seen my hope die, too. It has died and been revived so many times that it stands lopsided and is full of holes. But it is there, my hope, and I can see the sky through the holes. I am sorry no one told you that even crippled and broken hope is still hope, and even a hope full of holes can help shield against despair.
I am sorry no one told you that no valley or desert goes on forever. I am sorry your journey ended before you crested the hill, before you found water. Someone should have helped you keep going, just for a few more miles, or a few more feet. I am sorry you were so tired, and I am sorry that, when your feet finally failed, no one carried you.
I am sorry, because I understand. I have felt the relentless sun on my back. I have thirsted, and I have stumbled. I have fallen, and I have gotten back up – sometimes alone, but often with help. I have been broken and exhausted and ready to give up. I am sorry you gave up, and I am sorry that everyone let you do so.
I am sorry you are gone. I mean that with my entire heart. I am sorry you will never be held in the arms of someone who loves you more than themselves. I am sorry you will never laugh, cry, comfort or be comforted. I am sorry no one will ever again see your face break into a smile. I am sorry you will miss so much.
I am sorry, because I understand. If the people who were supposed to be helping me told me they could not help me, that I would never feel better, I may have chosen death. And if that had happened, I would have missed my wedding day, my children’s first cries and smiles, the joy and sorrow of loving deeply. I would not have experienced the heartaches and the heart swells of a life lived fully – not a perfect life, but a life with enough beauty in it to mitigate the ugliness.
I would never have gotten the chance to defy the people who hurt me by simply and stubbornly refusing to die.
I am sorry you were led to believe there would never be anything but pain. I am sorry you were denied more opportunities to feel better.
I am sorry I never met you to tell you these things. I am sorry you never turned your story away from the horror of its beginning. I am sorry, I am so, so sorry, that you hurt and died without hope, while the very people who could have saved you stood by and shook their heads and sighed.
I am sorry. There was so much more for you to do.
P.S. You are enough.
Post written by Alicia Kay