I believe that everything that happens in our lives contributes to make us who we are today, even our mistakes. I am happy with who I am now, how I’ve matured, what my priorities are and how I treat people. So, even though I’ve made many mistakes in my life, some of them HUGE, if everything contributes to who you are today, then I am okay with my mistakes. I still regret them, but I learned and grew from them.
But, what still keeps me up at night are the mistakes that affected my loved ones, mainly my son, because he had no control in the situation. When I see him going through hard times in his life now, I feel responsible for the circumstances that I caused. I loved my son with all my heart and I know I did the best I could with what I knew then. Parenting is very difficult, and we all make many mistakes, and even the best of parents have them. But, I also know there were times in his life that I made choices based on what I wanted, not what was best for him. Those times were during his very formative years, and I regret them very much. I can justify them to myself, I know exactly why I did it, but in the end the motives were selfish and they affected my son’s life.
By the time I got my shit together, my son was ready for middle school. That was a very rough time for him and I, because he was becoming an adolescent, going through lots of physical and psychological changes, plus he was getting used to a new family and a new school. He started rebelling against me, and shutting me out. From the time he was about 14, we did not have a very good relationship. It wasn’t until he was about 23 that he started trying to have a relationship with me again, and I am very thankful. But, when he talks about his challenges, some of my mistakes come up, and that is why I have such major regret. I know I can’t change anything; I can only apologize, and feel truly sorry for it.
The thing is, I am not sure he really blames me for how things are going for him now. He has in the past. I remember a letter he wrote me called, “Get Out Of My Life”! (I still have it.) It actually was very well written, and expressive, so even though it hurt a lot, I was still proud. I also think that he has regrets that he wishes he could do something about as well. It won’t be until he is further along in his life, and has matured and grown from it, that he will be able to say that even though he has regrets, it shaped who he is, and he is happy with that.
That is honestly all I want for him!