An Unlikely Apology
January 2, 2011
I only wanted one thing for Christmas- an apology from my borderline ex. Needless to say, I have yet to receive anything of the sort. I realize I would have had better luck asking for world peace, so I have decided to write the apology for her. It would go something like this…
My Dearest Ex,
I want to apologize for my dreadful behavior. I know this has been long overdue, but it isn’t easy for me to admit that I’m wrong. Lord knows I owe you an apology. You have already apologized to me enough times. For things you weren’t even guilty of. You apologized because I convinced you were guilty. I should have had the guts to make this apology to you in person, but I am filled with shame. I shouldn’t have treated you the way that I did. You deserve better. Much better. You treated me like a princess and I treated you like shit. Please accept my humblest apology.
I spent a lot of time in denial but I now accept the fact that I have borderline personality disorder. This is not an excuse for my trashy behavior, but it is an opportunity for me to start taking responsibility for the terrible way I’ve treated the ones who have loved me the most. Accepting that I am deeply troubled is the first step. It was absurd for me to blame you for the failure of our relationship when I sabotaged the relationship from the beginning. I have sabotaged all my relationships, because I am afraid of getting hurt.
I know I told you that I love you, but the truth is I am incapable of love. I don’t even love myself. How can I love someone else? The truth is I never gave you any reason to love me. I have been selfish and hurtful. I have completely disregarded your feelings. This is not how a person behaves if they love someone. To say the least, my idea of love has been shallow and immature.
I know you have been hurt in the past. I know because you told me many times. You told me that you were reluctant to rush into love because of this. And still I forced the issue. I persuaded you to trust me, when you had no reason to. You told me to be careful with your heart and I ignored your pleas. I didn’t care about your past wounds, because I was too busy trying to satisfy my own selfish needs. And when you didn’t satisfy my unreasonable needs, I found cruel and vindictive ways to punish you.
I pretended to be the perfect girlfriend so that you would love me. I even told you all the horrible things that have happened to me, so that you would feel sorry for me. And it worked. You showed that you were compassionate and someone I could trust. You took care of me during my many panic attacks and meltdowns. You were patient with me even when I was unreasonable. You showed restraint when I lashed out for no particular reason. You stayed by my side when so many others would have run away.
And how did I thank you for opening yourself up to me and taking care of me? I abused you, played games with your head, and ultimately betrayed you. I was the one who destroyed the trust between us. I do this to everyone who has ever tried to love me. I hurt others so they never get close enough to hurt me.
It is ironic that I am so abusive because I consider myself an advocate against domestic abuse. I am guilty of inflicting emotional violence. I built you up only to tear you down. I encouraged you to bear your soul only to belittle you. I wanted you to feel as shitty as I felt. I would take cheap shots at you and just say “just kidding” as if that made it all right to abuse you. What a horrible way to mess with someone’s heart and mind.
I accused you of infidelity, but then I cheated on you… not just once… but twice. I was punishing you for my insecurities. I was bringing you down to my level. I was punishing your for the pain caused by others. Pain caused long before I ever met you. I didn’t care how much I had hurt you. I only cared about my needs- my fear of abandonment. I broke my promise to never hurt you. I broke my promise to work on myself. I broke all my promises. This is how manipulative I am. I say what I need to say to get my way. I know how hard you worked to trust me again, but you had no reason to trust me. I am untrustworthy. I can’t even trust myself.
I don’t deserve to be loved, because I have not yet shown that I can love someone. I accused you of being manipulative, but I was projecting. Clearly I am the one who is manipulative. As a survivor, I need to be in control at all times. Unfortunately, being vulnerable to someone makes me feel out of control. And that scares me more than you will ever know. It is completely irresponsible for me to pull people into my life when I know damn well that I am incapable of giving people what they need… what they deserve.
The worst part of all this- I gave you false hope. I told you I would work on myself, but deep down I knew I didn’t have it in me. I have been self-destructive my whole life but I hid this from you. I fooled you into believing I was capable of being a loyal partner. But this was a lie. I have come to accept that my whole life has been a lie. I have filled my life with nonsense just to avoid facing the harsh realities of my past. But I have done so at your expense.
I know how much it hurts to be betrayed by someone you trust and love, because I have been there. I, of all people, should know better. But still I hurt you over and over again. I stabbed you in the back and then I had the nerve to get upset when you chastised me. I am disgusted by my own behavior.
I don’t blame you for being reluctant to move to LA with me. I have hurt you and betrayed your trust. You would have been crazy to move in with me. I pushed you away and abused you every time you got close, and still I expected you to commit to me. I must have been out of my mind to wonder why you kept your distance. You had every right to protect your heart.
You have done so much for me to prove that you loved me. And I discounted all of it, just so I could rationalize my fears and justify my abusive behavior. I don’t deserve someone like you. When I meet someone who is good and decent, I sabotage the relationship. I find a way to hurt them. I turn them into my worst enemy. And then I wonder why I have so much drama in my life.
In spite of my hostile behavior, you bent over backwards to play nice so we could at least be friends. But I couldn’t have that. I couldn’t have any feelings for you. So instead I chose to antagonize you. It wasn’t enough for me to push you away. I had to burn down all signs of our relationship.
When I broke up with you, I couldn’t understand why you were taking it so hard. But I was just avoiding shame. I ignored the fact that you were still in love with me because I didn’t want to accept responsibility for hurting you. So I simply disowned my part. I conveniently forgot all that we had shared. It was easy for me to shut my feelings off, because I am a survivor. To survive I had to learn to numb my feelings at will. I have learned to keep my emotions shallow to avoid pain. When I damage a relationship, I just simply move on to the next one. That is how superficial my love is. That is why it is so hard for me to understand why others have such a hard time “moving on”. I don’t know what it’s like to have deep feelings of love.
You fell in love with me because I fooled you into thinking I was in love with you. But I was fooling myself. When I realized I actually had feelings for you, it freaked me out. I was desperate to get rid of you. I didn’t want my heart broken so I broke yours instead. I put a wall up and acted like you were nothing to me, when days before I acted like I was madly in love with you. I can’t imagine a worst way to treat someone you supposedly love. It is inhumane.
To think that I put you through all that makes me sick to my stomach. This is why I ran away to LA and pretended nothing happened. Because I didn’t have the courage to accept what I had done to you. I keep my schedule busy so I can forget what a horrible human being I am. I ignored your calls and told you that I didn’t have time for you anymore because your presence only reminded me how horrible I am.
I accused you of being crazy, but I’m the one who is messed up beyond belief. If anything, I drove you crazy. I would go crazy if someone, I thought loved me, all of a sudden acted like they don’t even know me. Who would do such a horrible thing? This is why I need help. Because only a monumentally screwed up person would play such a cruel mind game on someone who only showed them kindness and love.
I don’t blame you for being mad at me. You have every right to be bitter. I don’t even blame you for all the hurtful things you have said about me. Because most of them are true. Painfully true. The fact is I hurt you first. And then I hurt you some more. And when you were kind enough to forgive me and give me a second and third chance, I hurt you again. I gave you so many reasons to hate me. I took advantage of your good nature. I gave you reasons to say things you would have never said. And still you put up with me. I pushed you away, because I couldn’t stand hurting you anymore.
But that didn’t stop my from kicking you while you were down. I have said so many awful things about you just to make myself feel better. I devalued our relationship just so I could feel better about running away. The only way I could feel better about myself was to put you down. To act like you deserved it.
I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I hope you will. You have already forgiven me so many times only to have me abuse you again and again. No person should tolerate the way I treated you.
Please apologize to your family. They treated me like one of their own and I repaid them by causing you grief and heartache. I even apologize for the callous way my friends and family have treated you. They were just trying protect me, but they were only making things worse. They had no right to judge you because they don’t know you like I know you. They had no idea how well you treated me before I turned into the bitch from hell. I made you the villain so I could seem like the victim. I only added fuel to the fire.
Thank you for telling me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear. I was angry at first because I didn’t like hearing the truth about myself. I was ashamed of my behavior. You have been one of the few honest people in my life to give it to me straight. Everybody else told me I was fine, when clearly I’m not. If it weren’t for you, I would still be in denial. Still hurting the ones I love. And maybe hurting myself. I’m going to get help now, because it has been a long time coming. It’s time to put an end to the nonsense. It’s time to start being honest with myself.
Once again, I’m sorry, so sorry I wasn’t able to return your kindness. I’m sorry to have pulled you into my life only to shove you out. I know that isn’t much considering how awful I have been to you. But you are better off without me in your life. You deserve someone who treats you as well as you treated me.
Your Borderline Ex
(Yeah, I know. This is a lot of wishful thinking on my part. Too bad. An apology would put an end to so much ill will between us. And put this whole thing to rest. But this is the way she wants it. Nobody expects a borderline to be perfect, least of all the people who choose to love them. It is not unreasonable to expect a borderline to own up to his/her misdeeds. But don’t hold your breath.)