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I’m still sick but the toothache is finally gone. The apartment is filled with silence and a murky light that looks like an extra blanket on my bed. I’m covered in softness, even on the inside. I’m thinking about the love I have in my life. The friendships and the acceptance they provide. It means so much to me. To be accepted and seen for who I am, appreciated for who I am. It’s not always been part of my life or even part of my expectations of other people. That they would actually accept me and love everything about me, even the things I consider flaws and imperfections. They even tell me they love me because of those things. I feel very grateful. The qualities in me which I was bullied for in school, abused for by people close to me or by men who wanted to belittle me, are now something other people love and embrace. I think what other people have hated about me is my vitality, my shameless love for living my life true to who I am and the way I don’t apologize for who I am. But they tried to change that. Some of them failed and I got stronger because of their resistance. But other people succeeded in shaming me for those things – and I started to apologize for who I am and for everything I stand for. “I’m sorry, I know I’m difficult.” Or; “You are right about your judgements about me, I am a selfish and egocentric because I love who I am and want to live my life as true to my inner nature as possible, I am a freak because I used to be shameless about who I am, I am weak because I want to be seen and heard and you are strong because you want to blend in with the crowd and you don’t need attention as I do. I am sorry that I am coming on too strong, that I take up too much room, too much time. I am sorry that I am “too much to handle” – I am sorry my existence is making you feel uncomfortable.”

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I apologized and they loved it. They washed off my true colors until my body was almost invisible, they gagged my mind until there were no words coming out of my colorless body. They felt good about themselves. They had tamed the beast and finally got some peace of mind. The problem was solved. I was invisible and quiet and they felt stronger, better and most importantly – they felt comfortable around me. I was no longer a threat to their intellect, dreams, self images or ego.

I don’t know how much of this that had to do with my personality, my behavior of confidence and self love, or the fact that I came off as a strong woman. An unapologetic strong woman. I think that’s the worst social crime you can commit as a woman, to feel confident enough to not apologize for your confidence. That just have to be punished. Destroyed. Eliminated.

When I was a little girl I was totally unapologetic about who I was. Even when some girls bullied me in school. Even when a boy hit me in the face during a math class. Even when the art teachers in high school tried to make me feel bad about having an artistic voice at such a young age. But then, something happened and I lost the ability to fight off abuse and hate. I became highly apologetic. I apologized to my boyfriends for having a worthless pussy since it caused me pain during penetration, it just had to be such a turn off for them ( I never once considered that my pussy hurt because they failed to turn me on and having sex with a dry pussy destroys the nerves and it becomes painful to even think about penetration). I apologized to my parents for wanting to be a starving artist and causing them so much worry for my economic future. I apologized to my abusers because I knew it was all my fault that they had a problem with me, I was the problem, I had to be the problem otherwise they wouldn’t be that angry, right? I apologized to the gallery owners because I hadn’t produced enough artworks.

The only one I never apologized to – was myself.

Until last year when I made a ritual with myself where I forgave myself for every mistake and failure which had caused me pain in my life. It was so liberating.

The most important apology to myself was about how I had kept apologizing to other people, for who I am and for everything I stand for. That is a self betrayal. And the aftermath of apologizing for who I am, was to stop being me, and becoming passive and submissive to other people’s vision of who I was supposed to be – to them. And that is self abandonment.

I have stopped apologizing for who I am. I have surrounded myself with people who celebrate who I am. I’ve grown allergic to situations and people who try to tame my nature or my love to live life the way it is supposed to be lived. If there’s a cage, I’ll burn it. If there are chains, I’ll break them. And the shame other people try to put on me, I’ll return to where it belongs.

If I make someone uncomfortable by just being myself, then that someone has big problems of their own. You can’t tame every lioness in the jungle just because you feel threatened by them.

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