What regrets do you have in your life? A regret is defined as “something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity”. The first thing that popped into my head was theft. My brother used to steal my dad’s money out of his uniform that was hung up to wear the next day. My mother actually told me that he was doing this. I don’t know if she ever discussed it with my dad. I worried immediately that my dad would think that it was me. He died shortly afterwards so I never had the opportunity to make sure he knew it wasn’t me.
I was constantly starved for attention as a child. My mother devoted her time and energy to my brother leaving little for me. My dad favored me over my brother but wasn’t capable of being affectionate. I sought his approval constantly. I wasn’t a trouble-maker, I was just searching. His loss devastated me. I felt like I was an abandoned child. In a sense he did abandon me but it was not his fault.
My mother didn’t change her ways at all when he died. In fact, things became worse. I was punished for acting out and still denied the love I needed from her. Is it possible to regret most of your childhood? Can I just regret not having a better mother? I view the situation as a whole. I wish I did have a different mother or that she died instead of my dad. I can only imagine how different my life would be if that were the case. I probably would not have been pregnant at 16.
I regret not currently having a relationship with her. My boyfriend has stated that he feels he can help me mend that broken bridge. I was defensive. I don’t want to have a relationship with her. What good would it bring? She always thinks I have ulterior motives. I suppose I do. I just want the love and respect that a child should receive from their mother.
I have been thinking this over. I feel that I *should* try to repair our relationship because I may regret it in the future. Honestly I have tried multiple times throughout my adult life and I have always come back to it being broken. This time around I have not talked to her at all for about 15 years. Maybe 16 years. I am honestly happier without her (and my brother) in my life. Why would I want to change that? Again, what benefits could I possibly get from repairing that relationship?
I have been working on self-improvement and came across personality schemas. “A schema is a cognitive structure that serves as a framework for one’s knowledge about people, places, objects, and events. Schemas help people organize their knowledge of the world and understand new information.” I suffer from “defectiveness/shame”. This is the feeling that “one is defective, bad, unwanted, inferior, or invalid in important respects; or that one would be unlovable to significant others is exposed”. I blame my mother directly for this. At the same time, I read about “enmeshment”. Enmeshment is where one “believes that they cannot live or enjoy life without the constant emotional support of someone else. In some instances, the person doesn’t even feel whole inside without that other person close by”. This describes my mother’s relationship with my brother to a tee. It feels so good to see such a perfect definition of my “issues”. It’s like receiving a diagnosis.
So now that I have my diagnosis, I can begin to read about how to repair myself from this misguided belief/personality schemas.
What regrets do you have? Is there something you wish you said or did that could change your “world” as it is now?