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wundayatta's avatar

Can you describe something in your past that you really regret doing?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) April 30th, 2009

I suppose there are turning points in all our lives. Sometimes we learn a lot from them; sometimes we just feel a lot of regret. These things might haunt us, keep on coming back to us, reminding us of that regretable situation, making us feel bad about ourselves. Perhaps it is a failure of some kind. Perhaps it is something completely out of our control. Perhaps it was waiting too long to do something. Whatever it is, can you describe it and tell it’s story?

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40 Answers

kenmc's avatar

Her name was Katrina…

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Trusting my stepdad to refer me to a broker friend of his when my husband and I were shopping for our condominium. Ever since then, my now ex husband has had a motto we follow well, if—-hole suggests it then do the opposite or nothing at all.

charliecompany34's avatar

that heated moment. that’s all i’m saying.

veronasgirl's avatar

Wow. I have a lot of regrets. One is named Joey. The others are just a combination of missed oppertunities and chances that I didn’t take or didn’t push myself harder on. But I think I have learner from my regrets, and I think I am starting to believe that I am heading towards something….or at least I hope so.

Supacase's avatar

The first big one I can think of was leaving a notable college where I had a good scholarship for a guy. (A guy! Of all stupid things!!) I think the rest of my life would be drastically different than it is now had I not done that. I have a good life now, but I had a lot of bad years in between that I would rather have avoided simply by following my original plans.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I can think of several, and no, I won’t share ANY of them. I doubt I’d tell my psychiatrist any of that stuff. They go to my grave with me.

sjmc1989's avatar

Completely changing myself for someone and Im a pretty awesome person so I dont know why I did it in the first place.

jonsblond's avatar

I was taking swimming lessons as a child and the instructors told my mother that I would be a great addition to the swim team. I turned it down because I was extremely shy and afraid of being in competitions.

I always wondered what would have happened if I had tried it. I was a really fast swimmer and I think I really would have enjoyed it.

Likeradar's avatar

I got a credit card as soon as I turned 18. It’s been cut up for years, but the interest rate is so high and I spent so crazily, I still owe almost the full amount. But hey, I have a Playboy pillow and Goodwill has gotten some awesome clothes donations over the years.~

@jonsblond- I have a similar experience, so I wanna change my 1st answer. :)

When I was little, apparently I was cute. My parents sent in pictures to a modeling agency in NY, and they wanted to use me. I refused, and my parents didn’t push. I really wish I had done it. I wonder if my life would be different- maybe I’d have some cheeseball picture of me from an obscure catalog, or maybe it would have made a huge impact on my life. I’m now too old and normal looking to try again. :)

SuperMouse's avatar

I regret not finishing my college degree right out of high school. However, had I done that I am sure my life would look a LOT different than it does and I am pretty doggone happy with the life I see coming into focus right now.

On a lighter note, I regret letting my ex trade in the Toyota Prius we once owned. Man I wish I still had that car.

jonsblond's avatar

@Likeradar I already gave you lurve before you edited. Wish I could lurve you again. :)

jonsblond's avatar

@Likeradar I got my wish.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

taking out a student loan!

akmcg's avatar

eloping instead of having a small wedding – it caused all kinds of family and friend drama

benjaminlevi's avatar

Missed opportunities.

Jeruba's avatar

I sympathize with @Supacase. I gave up graduate school for a guy.

After being a college dropout at 19, I went back at 23 and was thoroughly into it, in love with my fields (literature and philosophy) and utterly at home in and excited by the academic life. Upon graduation I wanted to go on, go for the Ph.D. I was drawn to philology and linguistics as well as literature and really wanted to explore them. I wanted to understand language from the roots up and the heavens down.

But—there was this man. And he treated my studies as his rival, and he was jealous of them. I was in thrall to him, and I feared his displeasure, and I did not have the confidence to assert that I deserved a chance to pursue a scholarly career or the means, as a young single woman living alone on a pittance, to assert the right. I let him win.

He was out of my life a few years later, and my opportunity and momentum were gone. Years later, married and in another state, I was accepted into a university Ph.D. program. I had two small children and had been doing freelance editorial work at home, but I really wanted this, and my husband was behind me. Then, right before I was due to pay my first semester’s tuition and pick out my classes, my husband lost his job in a classic Silicon Valley bloodbath. I went back to work full time then and have been at it ever since.

So I continue to learn from reading and incidental study, and the interest remains high, but I no longer have the energy to tackle the coursework, never mind a dissertation. It’s too late.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I could.. but I’ve already told the story too many times. I don’t want people to start saying “oh boy.. here we go again..” xD

aprilsimnel's avatar

I wish I had disobeyed my aunt as a teen. I spent ages 4–18 at home, at church, at school or (when I was older) at work. I never openly defied her until I was 18. It never occurred to me at 16 that what she’d already done to me was the worst she could do and I’d be able to live through whatever she’d dish out. Her son? Did anything he wanted to do and didn’t hesitate to tell her to fuck off and mind her own business. I regret that I didn’t do the same. I believe I’d feel more confident in many ways now had I done so.

wundayatta's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater: could you please give us the short version (or long) for those of us who have not heard it?

MissAnthrope's avatar

God, where do I start? I’m the queen of making stupid, huge mistakes, especially when there is a girl involved.

Such as leaving California for a girl who ended up being psychotic, mentally abusive, and which lead to two suicide attempts out of complete hopelessness. I regret this because I was young and had no idea at the time how much more awesome Cali is than anywhere else I’ve lived since, nor did I fathom just how prohibitively expensive it would be to move back. Oh, and because this girl completely mind-fucked me, I ended up checking into the hospital both for a break from the situation and for some help because I was so depressed. At some point, someone wrote the wrong diagnosis on my chart (they told me major depression, but apparently my chart says bipolar disorder), which cost me my dream career in the Coast Guard. I had done all the processing, aced the ASVAB, and was weeks away from boot camp. My dream was snatched away because I sought help in a really bad time. :(

I regret abandoning school to move to Roanoke with my ex. It put me way behind schedule, plus I had to pay the out-of-state tuition when I finally came back. I got absolutely nothing out of giving up my life and moving there. Not only that, because of her, I was so rushed in packing that I ended up leaving a bunch of expensive items.. my $500 mattress, my practically new window air conditioner, my microwave.. That was really stupid. I should have brought those things, no matter what.

casheroo's avatar

@boots what did I do?! ;)

I do have some regrets, but at the same time..I wasn’t in the right state of mind when I made bad choices. I’m not condoning my actions, or excusing them, but I was severely depressed and it wasn’t me who was making those bad choices. I tried to get help, but nothing worked but sheer will power. I regret not being stronger for myself years before I made all those poor decisions.

kenmc's avatar

@casheroo She was like a hurricane and twice the size

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t do regrets. ever. there’s nothing I ‘really’ regret, at all

noelasun's avatar

Not keeping in touch with people. There are great people who have shared parts of my life and are to me irreplaceable friends. But time, space, and mostly, this failure on my part to realize how precious those friends are. Every Christmas, on they’re birthdays, I buy a card to send to them. For some reason, it never gets mailed.

SherlockPoems's avatar

Speaking without thinking how the other person would perceive my meaning. I try not to repeat that regret… sometimes I am successful.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Turning my back on the truest, purest love that I have ever encountered. I have come across nothing… nothing, that comes close to describing how powerful it was. I was severely depressed at the time and he was far, far away. Not being able to be with him was torturing me because I didn’t feel like I would ever get to be with him. For some fucked up reason, which I will never understand now, I chose to end it. I believed at the time it would help me heal if I had nothing to look forward to. That, I thought, would be better than knowing he was out there and believing I would never get to be with him.

It was the biggest mistake of my life and I will never get over it. I still think about it. I ruined him and I hate myself for it. I turned the most beautiful human being into something who will probably never trust anyone again.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope that he does love someone again, someone he can find who deserves him. Who wouldn’t do something as stupid and fucked up as I did to him. Because if he is able to… That person will be one of the luckiest people alive and their life will be filled with love and meaning. He was such a beautiful person.

I hate myself for hurting him. I can not get over it and I don’t believe that I ever will. It’s been years and there are still some days that I can barely function when I think of it. I hurt myself, which was stupid, but I can deal with that. I’m just paranoid that I ruined him.

And I think… If he saw me now, knew I was still focused on the situation… It hurts so badly, because he would probably laugh. By doing what I did, he believed that I lied all along about who I was and what I wanted and how much I loved him. I didn’t lie. I just didn’t know how to handle my depression.

I tried contacting him once, after a couple of years had gone by. He made it absolutely clear how much he hated me. I cried, but overall, I didn’t blame him. Then I hated myself for contacting him and trying to get him to understand… Because I put him through it all over again. His mind was made up about me. I told him, “I know you hate me and I don’t blame you. But I hate myself more than you ever will.”

Nothing makes it better. No matter how I look at it. Yeah, yeah… It’s a love gone wrong story. Original, I know. But… I just haven’t felt anything like it since then. I don’t believe that it’s because I ruined love for myself, due to my self hatred – I just believe it’s because people like him are so few and far between that I will never find that kind of love again.

sjmc1989's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater I know you have been told this before but everyone really does make mistakes. You learned from yours knew you were wrong owned up to it and dealt with it. You also had enough strength to put the pieces back together I commend you on honesty and on your willingness to learn from those mistakes. Just because a person does bad things it does not make them a bad person. Just in your telling of that situation I can tell you have a good heart. I hope you the best in all to come as well.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@sjmc1989 I really appreciate that. We had a rough day today again and perhaps this question came up at just the right time. On top of all the usual problems I am, not by choice, 6000 miles away from her and unable to be there to work on our problems in person. I do what I can, of course, but occasionally I’m still afraid she may leave me. It sucks.. it really does.. a lot.. to get the wake up call that you love someone more than you ever thought and now they might be slipping away.. phew… I don’t even wanna start talking about it.. but I appreciate the kind words. =)

Jeruba's avatar

@DrasticDreamer, your story choked me up. Your pain comes through every line. You were brave to tell it. Some things that are broken can’t be fixed.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I could, but I won’t. It is bad enough that the memory haunts me – it is not necessary to make the memory public knowledge.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I regret not letting go of regret sooner than I did.

Val's avatar

My biggest regrets are the mistakes I made with my kids. I never intentionally meant to do anything wrong—they were my life, the most fulfilling time I’ve ever had or ever will have—but sometimes you even realize you did it wrong until you look back. I’d like to start all over….but I’d still make mistakes! But…they turned out OK. :)

SeventhSense's avatar

@DrasticDreamer
We all do the best we know how at any given moment with the information and experience we have at any given moment in time. If you knew better at the time you would have acted differently. To relive a moment or experience as if it were frozen in time is not fair to yourself. And if it’s frozen, even frozen things melt eventually. The only thing that’s certain is that everything changes.

derekpaperscissors's avatar

A bad lay. Poor decisions, and alcohol.
Oh, and losing some money.
Making mistakes you did is worse than missed opportunities, imo.

nisse's avatar

@DrasticDreamer

Your story was really touching, and I greatly admire your courage for sharing it. I could feel your pain with every line.

I don’t know if it’s any consolation, but i have been in the same place (i have piles and piles of personal texts resembling what you are saying). It hurt for a long long while (3 years+), but eventually i realized that there wasn’t just one person out there for me.

I realized that my mindset wasn’t doing me any good at all, in fact it was hurting me badly, and that I had suffered enough – so i decided to change it. I found out that thinking like that was a mindset imposed on me by society (films, books, friends etc). I realized that the concept of the one simply wasn’t true.

I started living for myself, and everything turned around. I have now been in a loving relationship with a great girl for nearly 3 years, and i’ve decided that I will never ever think like that again.

I hope one day the same realization will come to you, and you will be able to appreciate yourself independently of any one else, and that you will find growth, peace and knowledge in both your imagined mistake, and the torture you’ve had to endure afterwards.

For what it’s worth, i wouldnt trade my percieved mistake (losing my love) or my pain for anything. It’s made me a better person.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I think over and over how things would have been different had I stayed in Australia. It tortures me but then I know I can’t take it back. I have to live in the here and now.

SeventhSense's avatar

@trailsillustrated
You can always go back…

cornbird's avatar

I was with this girl when i was 17 years old and it wasnt a serious relationship.. if u kno what i mean. We didnt go out or give each other birthday cards or valentines day cards but we would make out whenever we got the chance. When i started to go to school we stopped seeing each other for awile. A few years later when i was about 19 she and her sister came to see me at my house. She said that she just came up to see me and that she missed me. We hung out alittle bit. (My grandmother and my aunt was there at the time.) Her sister asked me for 5 dollars. I said that i didnt have any change but i can get it from my cousin and ill give him back the money. My girlfriend then said to me that if i can give her that would am i planning to give to her. So i told her that i would give her the 20 i had in my wallet. We went into my bedroom and just before i gave her the money we made out and i gave it to her. I then asked her if she would see me tomm she said yes. But i didnt trust her. i thought that she would not see me again so i…. took back the money. She never spoke to me again and that hurt me for a long time. Im soo sory and sooo ashamed for doing that.

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