Trigger warning: This post deals with topics of abuse, gaslighting and the death of a person by suicide.
Hindsight and Regrets
I hate this topic. From an early age, I avoided looking at my mistakes and at things that went wrong in my life. I knew it would drive me crazy. You cannot change the past. So why linger on the past?
For heaven’s sake, Liz, why then this blog post?
Honestly, I’m curious about my answer. I’ve pondered this question a lot, and I want to see it written down. I’ve come up with the answers in this article over and over again. Because yes, I know I shouldn’t look back and stay stuck in the past, but that doesn’t mean I don’t. Of course, I consider what has happened to me and what I could have done differently. Especially after meeting new people and seeing how they solve issues. So let’s rip this band-aid off and let’s begin.
Like Mother Like Daughter
My first regret is not valuing the relationship I had with my mother. My mother has always acted in my best interest, even though the methods may have been wrong. She has damaged me a lot; hence I avoided contact with her when possible. I moved to differed cities and eventually, different parts of the country to be out of her reach. Quite literally.
Now that she is gone, I regret this. We were much alike. Outwardly, I am her spitting image. The same face, the same smile, the same laugh. We enjoyed the same things, as in items with bright colours and cute designs. She would sometimes buy me pieces of clothing, and only by sheer luck had I bought another colour of the same vest. I once bought a book for her. I doubted for a long time in the store which one I should buy, only to find the one I had discarded already in her closet.
Now that she is no longer alive, I miss that connection. Everyone around me is different. I feel different. Even now, while I’m in the process of making new friends, there’s still a distance. Nothing is as smooth and natural as it was with my mother. I wish I had valued our relationship more.
My second regret is not cutting things off with my gaslighting boyfriend. I was eighteen and in love. I felt so honoured a man of his attractiveness, and apparent maturity would want to have sex with me. During my teenage years, I had never attracted much male attention. My friends were more outspoken and dressed in a more sexy manner than me. So when this sexual man showed interest in me, I couldn’t believe my luck.
Yes, I hear your thoughts. Of course, this guy wanted a willing, docile submissive, to fuck whenever he felt like it. But to me, it didn’t feel like abuse. I had no idea what a healthy relationship should look like, so I was elated with the scraps that I got. And I was thrilled the first few months.
I should have broken things off when he started to disappear. He would disappear for weeks. I couldn’t reach him by phone, and yes, there were mobile phones in 2001. He would set a date with me and not show up.
It broke me. Not just my heart, but all of me. I was so angry, desperate, alone. I had only recently moved into my student’s room, and I was already suffering from loneliness. His absence only made it thousand times worse.
I understand why I didn’t see him for what he really was. I was young, hormonal and in love. But I should have left him when he abandoned me.
Don’t Burn Ships
My third regret is more complicated. I wish I had paid more attention to my relationship with my father. From the age of eleven, I lived in a house with him and my brother. Those years were excellent, I have no regrets in that sense. But when I moved out and went to live in my student’s room in a nearby city, I kind of broke all ties. I only returned a handful of times.
This wasn’t all malice. My father worked irregular hours, and he worked a lot, so he wasn’t home often. He had remarried, and I hardly knew his wife. I couldn’t even talk with her since she spoke another language. I too worked a lot, especially during the weekend. My father couldn’t pay for my education, so I had to pay for it myself by working.
I remember him asking me, very carefully, while I was moving out, whether I was considering coming home for the weekends. It breaks my heart now, thinking about it. I never did. I only came back a handful of times.
Reading back his e-mails from that time makes my heart break even more. His new marriage was miserable. His wife had a relationship on the side. Reading it today, it’s like he was in an unwanted poly-relationship. I wish I could have done more. We didn’t talk about our emotions much, but maybe just things to distract him. I did tell him about the new fantasy books I found and about new computer games I played. It should have been more. I’m not saying I could have prevented his chosen death, but maybe I could have made his final years more bearable.
We Live Today
I try not to dwell on these regrets. It doesn’t help since it doesn’t change the past. Instead, I try to better my ways. That’s the only thing I can do.
Two years ago, I told off my ex when he sent me a birthday message, complimenting me on the fact that I was now a proper woman at the age of thirty-six. I explained to him he shouldn’t have used me the way he did when I was eighteen, and especially while knowing the broken family I came from. I never heard from him again.
Making My Solutions
Regarding my family, I try not to make the same mistakes they made. Isn’t that what we all try to do? I try to channel my inner restlessness within the boundaries of my marriage towards being more active within the BDSM community. Going to munches and peer-ropes and maybe even play parties in the future. And of course by continuing to write erotica. I do all this consciously to give my sexual energy a way out before it blows everything up in my face. Can the force be that destructive? Looking at my father’s life, then yes. Of course, it wasn’t just his relationship which made him unhappy, but it did play a large part.
So I will fight and find my way. There are adventures to be had, friends to be made, lives to be lived to the fullest. I won’t let the past drag me down.