The apologies I wish I’d gotten, by Julie Greene

In so many ways, the silence, to me, means, “Good riddance.” Nothing more. Like I wasn’t valued, and no one misses me. Although I tried very hard to be of use to people, they made it clear while I was still there I was worthless as a person. The current silence and lack of communication only serves to further drive this point home to me. It’s rather discouraging.

What if I were dead? I’ll bet the response would be about the same. “Good riddance” and not much more.

I ask you, why not an apology? I would love to hear any of the following, if it applies:

“I am sorry I never made friends with you or reached out.”

“There was never any time.”

“I admit I always made excuses.”

“I never picked up the phone when you called.”

“I’d heard you had ‘problems’ so I stayed away.”

“My spouse said to avoid you, so I did. I didn’t even question.”

“I figured that it would be best for the kids not to associate with someone with an eating disorder. After all, to do so would be a bad influence on them, would it not?”

“I felt really good that I lived far away. This was a good excuse not to see you in person or make a real commitment.”

“You look weird. I figured I’d stay away.”

“The whole time we were talking I faked my way through our conversation. I only pretended to agree. I really thought you were nuts and was dying to end the conversation and get rid of you. I never liked you.”

“I heard you tried suicide once so I thought, ‘Must be trouble,’ right?”

“I admit that when I saw you around town, I turned my head or crossed the street and hoped you hadn’t recognized me. I didn’t want to say hello or engage in conversation, and even pretended I hadn’t seen you when you waved. If you did see me, I kept it to a curt, “Hello,” and then walked on, rather than any sort of involved dialogue. This was deliberate. After all, others said you were nothing but trouble, but I never bothered to check out for myself or ask you myself what was really going on.”

“I heard you were violent.”

“Those mental patients might turn on you.”

“I figured being Facebook friends was enough and I’d limit it to that.”

“I’m sorry I never bothered to ask.”

“I’m sorry I never read one word you wrote.”

“I had no interest in your book or any of your writings. I figured since you have a mental diagnosis your writing must not be very good. You must have had ‘special help’ getting your degree. Like special ed, for ‘retarded people,’ that’s what ‘those people’ get, right? Not real college degrees, so I figure.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t listening.”

“I’m sorry that when you wrote to me, desperately trying to reach out, I did not respond.”

“I’m sorry that while we were talking, I wasn’t even paying the least bit of attention, but instead, showed lack of interest by playing with gadgets.”

“I always assumed everyone has family, and never realized there are some who don’t. I’m sorry you were all alone.”

“I’m sorry you were not allowed to have a voice in our community nor valued for your talents.”

“I was only doing my job.”

“I figured doing my job was enough.”

“I am sorry, on behalf of so many doctors, therapists, and institutions and their personnel, that you experienced medical and psychiatric abuse, and that this abuse was never acknowledged.”

“I am sorry for accusing you of being paranoid when clearly you were not paranoid at all, but absolutely right all along about quite a bit of what you were saying.”

“I’m sorry our community clearly took you for granted all these years.”

“I really never realized you had so much knowledge of eating disorders, and never recognized that you would be such a fabulous resource on the topic. Your wisdom, knowledge, and experience were taken for granted all this time. I’m sorry you were treated with such disrespect.”

“I’m sorry our community did not honor you.”

“I’m sorry you were not recognized at all as a writer.”

“I admit I am relieved not to have to see you anymore. I never liked you anyway, or thought I didn’t, because of my first impression. I never gave you a chance and was scared to get to know you because of what others said about you. We never even spoke. But I am sorry that I made that rash decision. In the back of my mind, I guess I’ll always wonder what it would have been like had I really spent time with you, had I sat down with you, and actually had spoken conversation with you. It seemed like no one ever bothered, did they? I’m truly sorry.”

Love, Julie Greene and Puzzle

4 thoughts on “The apologies I wish I’d gotten, by Julie Greene”

  1. Julie… this is heart wrenching!! Please know that I will NEVER say or do ANY of these things to you!! You are a beautiful person and I am honored to know you. Love, Kristyn

    1. Aw thanks. As I said to John, much of the way I have been feeling lately has been much shock realizing that if I had died, the majority of folks wouldn’t have given a flying fuck. Much like the way they used to gossip about me, so rudely, loudly enough that I could overhear. So I need to forget those folks exist. They sure were mean to me.

  2. Julie, I’d like to hear some of those, too, Especially that last one “I’m sorry you were not recognized at all as a writer.” But it’s a waste of time and energy waiting for apologies that are never going to come. It seems to me it’s better to forge new friendships, new alliances based on mutual recognition and respect than it is to dwell on those that weren’t. “Living well is the best revenge.”

    1. It is the shock of hearing the REACTION to Rachel’s death that has been so dismaying to me, John. I realized that if I had died the community would have been dismissive. There’s no excuse for their claim that Rachel was responsible for her own demise. I think Rachel’s death was a serious wakeup call to us all.

Feedback and comments welcome!