I hate that word. HATE. It creates a thunderstorm in my body. Pressure builds behind my eyes, inside my head, my throat, my gut. And I want to throw it up, but it just sits there and churns and boils and it feeds on itself. In my mind it is the single most horrible thing I can feel. It’s worse than anger and sadness and jealously. And fear. I can accept, and even embrace, being angry and sad. And although I find jealously and fear a bit more difficult, those too I can acknowledge with grudging acceptance. But not regret. Because regret, in my mind, means I was wrong. It means I made the wrong choice. And, oh, how I hate being wrong. And worse yet, the fact that it has appeared here, in this space I have always so adamantly maintained was a place where it did not belong…
So, what do I regret?
I regret not reaching out to him more.
I regret not sending him letters every single chance I had.
I regret not pushing for more contact after we were reunited.
I regret not trying harder.
Then, in the midst of writing this this, I decided to look up the actual definition. Rather eye opening.
· Regret: to feel sad or sorry about (something that you did or did not do): to have regrets about (something)
-used formally and in writing to express sad feelings about something that is disappointing or unpleasant.
This is so very much better than my definition. This definition does not limit regret to wrong vs right, one thing over the other. It does not enforce a dichotomy. Instead it allows for an inclusiveness I have been lacking. It enables me to say something I have NEVER uttered before:
I regret placing my son for adoption.
And under this new-found definition I can regret placing him for adoption while still maintaining it was the right choice. Because I desperately need to continue to believe it was the right choice.