Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nought But Shame and Bitterness

Regret is a heavy word in the back of your throat, and when you force it forward, it leaves a bitter taste on your tongue. You don't want to have regret. They tell you live so that you will have no regret. It's a shameful thing to have to admit to regret.

It lingers.

You dream of it, of things past, of the choices you could have made. It haunts you, and you find yourself thinking about what you could have done differently. You are thinking about one things, and suddenly, it starts to push forward in your mind, and you try to do anything to distract yourself from the memory that is not quite there yet, but you know is coming. It always comes anyway, caring not a bit for your distractions efforts.

Of course I have regrets. I've made choices, and sometimes, I chose wrongly. Everyone does; there are always regrets.

There are the silly regrets. The pie I made for Father's Day? I regret having a second piece.

There are the day to day regrets that I can change--not fix, but I can do better tomorrow. I got testy with Vor today, because he was out in the yard, painting the deck, and I was on Lis patrol all day. She wore me down quickly, and I got agitated with her, and with him. I tried to do better for the rest of the night, but I regret losing my temper.

There are the wistful regrets--the things that you wish you could change, but the decision or action wasn't something you really had control over in the first place. For the most part, for me, this involves my family dynamics. I regret my complicated feelings for them, but those feelings are of my making.

Right now, I am experience a bone deep regret over a thing I feel like was mostly in my control. My brother deploys tomorrow. Why have I not called him every single day since I first knew of the deployment date? Why have I not tried to build an even stronger relationship? Why have I not sent him an email, just because? Why did I let these chances slip by?

I see all the chances and opportunities laid out before me, stretching long, etched in bitter writing. When Lis had her diagnosis and her surgery, I cried desperately, all the time. But this is the first time I've felt those stinging tears you hear people write about. They sting because they are bitter, made of my poisonous choices, things I could have changed or done or said and didn't.

I know this deployment is more dangerous than all the rest.  It's the locations, it's his rank, it's his job description, it's the timing of the war, and it's everything all in one.

It lingers.

I cannot change those choices.

1 comment:

Attorney at Large said...

Some possibilities are too hard to face. Sometimes you have to pretend that it's just another deployment, because it's the only way you can stay sane during it. We went through this with my baby brother and...yeah. I'll be keeping him in my (atheist) roll of folks deserving good thoughts.