I have something I hoped I would never have when I reached this point in life. I have regrets. Many, many of them. Major regrets. Regrets weigh a lot and they are very painful. There is no cure. Therefore, regrets make life seem rather hopeless, as though what has come before will poison all that comes after. And they make one feel like a failure. They tear at my heart.
I deeply regret having stayed married to a man who continually told me he didn’t love me. I stayed for 22 years. I stayed until I totally died inside, having become completely numb…a dead man walking. I lost my youth; I lost so very many years of my life as a result. I can never get those years back. I can never get my youth back. I can never return to a point where there is hope for the future. The future is gone…I squandered it one miserable loveless day at a time. I believed God put the two of us together and, for that reason, I believed I was “stuck” with him. Surely, if he was a gift from God and this was the best God could do, being loved wasn’t in the picture for me. Obviously, being tolerated was the best He could do in my case and I should be grateful to have some companionship. Love was asking for too much. So I stayed and tried to make the best of the situation, hoping against hope, someday my husband would be able to love me. I stayed with him until he left me, having fallen in love with another woman. I have been alone ever since and without hope of that changing. I regret having lost the opportunity to be loved. If that was ever possible, it’s certainly highly unlikely at this time in my life. Now that I’m old. And even more broken. I can’t even pretend to be a whole person at this point. Surely, if I was unlovable when I was young and able to hold myself together more successfully, I’m utterly unlovable now.
I kind of regret not having any children too. I was afraid to…you know how those experts always say that abused children abuse their children. Well, I wasn’t afraid I would abuse a child; I would rather die than hurt a little one the way I was hurt. But I was deeply afraid my lack of wholeness would cause them damage. What if I couldn’t be stable enough emotionally and that subsequently hurt them? What if my fears were passed on to them? What if I couldn’t be a good enough mother because of my own damage and deficiencies? What if I couldn’t give them all the things they needed to be healthy, happy, whole human beings? I would never be able to forgive myself!
I regret having not gotten help sooner. Although I did try. Money was hard to come by. Reputable, qualified counselors were hard to find. But if only I had found someone who could have understood the damage long ago! Back before everything was so reinforced and cemented into place. I might have become a whole different person…one without so many painful, unfixable regrets…