Journal Entry: 1/25/2016
A five-letter word that is thrown around carelessly, quickly and effortlessly by so many. I remember growing up we had always to say sorry if we did something wrong, regardless of who started whatever shenanigans we were up too. The funny thing is, I can not remember a time, ever, of my parents telling us they were sorry. I was never told, “I am sorry,” or “Sorry.” The words were never spoken, though I was supposed to say them?
To this day, I find it incredibly difficult to say, “I am sorry.” I am almost always the last person to say those six letters. I do believe I learned at a young age and throughout my life sorry was thrown around and made to take all the pain and hurts away-forgiveness immediately once the words were spewed.
I think a turning point for me was when I was in college. I was an inexperienced young girl moving far away to college when I met a boy. We dated and became serious over the next few months. During this time I had not felt well and begun having ‘girl’ problems, something that had plagued me for years previously, but this time it was different.
My ‘girl’ issues now required I repeatedly had to see a gynecologist for regular and painful tests and procedures-multiple biopsies for what they described as cancerous. Prior to college, my low body weight and active lifestyle in every sport contributed to the irregularities. I was also diagnosed with a mild form of endometriosis, which was not alarming at that point in my life; though my life would face crisis after crisis later as a married woman.
During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I went to a camp in the Catskill Mountains, leaving my steady boyfriend to work at a summer factory job back in his hometown. Upon returning and rekindling our relationship, I began not feeling well again. Coincidental? Hmm. It was now Christmas break, and I made a 5-hour trip to spend the holidays with him and his family during the break. We returned 48-hours after that holiday visit to resume classes.
During those 48-hours we were not together, he was cheating on me. I remember being at his place, across the river and 2:00 am. I had told him I had recently seen a resident doctor, who had asked me out. This opened the floodgate confessions, and ‘I am sorries’.
Mister cheater pants exposed to me he had cheated during the 48-hours we were not together…and a few other times during the summer. Was I devastated, of course, but I was so pissed and irritated that I could not leave and go back to my place at 2:00 am, so I sat and brewed for the next four hours until I could safely make the trek back across the river and to the safety of my place.
All the sorries in the world would ever replace what he had done. Was this the first time this happened, no, and for me, it would not be the last.
Oh, and if you are wondering about my ‘girl’ issues, they resided. They ceased and stopped. I know what you are thinking, but hold on, the story gets so much better.
Soon after cheater pants, comes a friend turned boyfriend, turned potential future husband had not the same gosh blessed thing happen again, but this time…SPRING BREAK.
Photos do not lie. My body does not lie. I again started having the same symptoms, needing the same monthly check-ups and repeated punch biopsies after spring break. It was many months later when I found the photos, listened to the lies and ended up getting my heart broken because he dumped me. To this day, he does not know I found the pictures telling me he was lying.
Why is this important? Well, I was rejected and lied to so often I became immune to the word: I am sorry. The coincidental epiphany was that through the dumping, over the next several weeks, I healed, emotionally and physically. My tests from the gynecologist started becoming negative again, and I no longer had ‘issues’ though I was told I would have a tough time having children. This was, in fact, the case…
Despite all the ‘sorries’, I never once apologized for my anger, hurt or trauma I repeatedly endured from these guys. I was ‘sick’ because they had repeatedly lied and cheated. I had then, what many didn’t know and was rare was HPV. Every time they cheated, I got sick. When they weren’t cheating, or I was away from them for an extended amount of time, I was healthy. Today, HPV is common and alarming.
I learned as a child to always say sorry, but as a young adult realized and understood sorry does not fix, heal or take away all the hurts. I agree you should apologize when you have done something wrong BUT that is if you believe you are truly sorry for what you have done. But…NEVER, EVER apologize for the way a person makes you feel. NEVER.
For me, I learned so much more about the five letter word in college than at any other time in my life. Sorry can be just a band-aid. When you say the five letter word, mean it or do not say it. For each of my relationships I thought I was in a committed and monogamous relationship, and yes, a bit nieve. I thought, because of my lack of experience, you meet a boy, said boy loves you and only you and eventually could get married. I never dreamed of cheating, multiple partners and all the other woes of relationships. I was not prepared for college as a young teenager.
HPV added a whole new dimension to the meaning of relationships and college. Back then, I had many cancerous cells because of HPV and my lack of experience. And yes, I knew about ‘protection’ but was allergic to latex and because of prior ‘girl’ problems, I had a very small chance of getting pregnant. In a way, I was playing Russian roulette, not very smart. When graduating from college, I could count on one hand the number of relationships I had been in–3! Each relationship lasted about 1 year, when I could no longer take the ‘I am sorry’ and the number of times I went to the doctors, completely unaware or unable to relate their lying, cheating butts to why I had cancer. Today, we are more informed and have a greater knowledge base and prevention.
HPV does not discriminate. Period.
How common is HPV and the health problems caused by HPV?
HPV (the virus): About 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that most sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.
Health problems related to HPV include genital warts and cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer: More than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer each year.
There are other conditions and cancers caused by HPV that occur in persons living in the United States. Every year approximately 17,600 women and 9,300 men are affected by cancers caused by HPV.
Learn more about HPV: https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm