It’s easy to be abusive when you’re carrying around past abuse; when you’re so invested in being a good person that someone saying “this thing you did was just awful” threatens your whole sense of self; when you think abusers are the scum of the earth and everything would be great if we could just set every one of them on fire. In short, when no one can confront you about the ways you’re being used by oppressive structures, you’re part of the problem. If you think being hijacked by ingrained cultural programming is something that only happens to bad, unenlightened people, you don’t notice when it’s happening to you. And you don’t have the emotional resources to cope with the realization that … sometimes you’re going to fuck up royally and other people will be hurt, and they won’t have the slightest obligation to forgive you. Because you know what? That happens.
Part of being the hero of your own story is owning up to the fact that sometimes you aren’t heroic at all, and apologizing, and changing, no matter how painful and hard that is.
a snippet from the comment chain of this post (cw for discussion of abuse) that i found particularly resonate