I’m still thinking of Cecily’s post regarding regrets, especially this:
Truth be told, though, regret is probably the most useless emotion in the world. Seriously, all the regret in the world doesn’t turn the clock back and change the past. It is utterly fucking useless.
I am now entering my fourth year of counselling. I feel frustrated. I feel frustrated that it’s such a slow process of healing. I feel frustrated that I didn’t start this earlier, a good ten or twenty years earlier, even though I wasn’t ready then. I feel frustrated that I’m getting on for half way through my life and I haven’t started living it; that it’s almost half over and I cannot look forward to the future with pleasure or positive anticipation.
I have not yet learned to be proud of myself for sticking with counselling, for the fact that I am bringing up four wonderful children single-handedly whom I love very much and who are, give or take a problem or two, quite amazing. I can’t quite give myself credit for all the positive achievements I have made. For the fact that unlike 2sis I am recognising that I have problems and am trying to solve them, rather than slapping on a coat of paint and saying that it’ll do.
I’m not sure whether I’m turning regrets into frustration or vice-versa. But I have regrets too.
Regrets that my parents aren’t happier with each other and with the world, that they couldn’t give the three of us the childhood we needed and still do. Regrets that I didn’t do the things teenagers are supposed to do and enjoy, including standing up to my parents. Regrets that I said nothing about my father’s affair once discovered. Regrets that I chose the wrong college. Regrets that I didn’t go straight to university, that I married the wrong guy and when that broke up picked up with the wrong guy again (I think I’ve learned that lesson now). Regrets that all this means I’m struggling financially and that I therefore don’t give my children the experiences I would like to, although they have love and freedom to be themselves, which is more than I had.
Regrets that I’m wasting my life regretting the things I haven’t done or that I shouldn’t have done or wasn’t capable of doing. Frustration that I cannot put these regrets aside and look forward to what I can and am doing.
I can’t change the past and I also need to accept that the past made me who I am now, for better and for worse; it’s part of me. I’m not there yet.
I feel that I’ve missed out on life and that time spent regretting this is making me miss out even more. It’s a vicious circle that I cannot yet break.
But like many things, I’m working on it.
There’s a song to go with this post that I recorded off the radio as a child, in a long sequence of country & western songs that stuck in my mind. It was about wishes and how each year you wish that you’re older, taller, wiser, richer until you finally just wish you had all those years back. If that rings a bell, please say so.