Well,  I could say marrying the crazy Russian after 6 months at sea.  That did not end well.   One should never propose until they have been back on dry land for at least 3 months.

But it goes a bit deeper than that.

Having made at least one fearless [might be a few more floating around as I needed to dig more up]  and searching moral inventory in my life, and having admitted it to God and another human being all this crap,  I had a priest tell me that I sure knew everything I did wrong in my life and then he stumped me.  He asked me what I did right in my life.  I just stared at him.   He told me to come back when I could do that side of the inventory just as well as the bad side.

My biggest regret is that I cannot see a full picture of myself.  I see only the negatives.  It has taken me all these years to become friends with myself and to like myself.  Again it was the old tapes.   I am what my parents made me.  If I stay that way, it’s my damn fault.

My mother never uttered a word that wasn’t a criticism.  If I got an A it should have been an A+.  If I cleaned my room, I did it wrong.  She would redo it.  When I stopped cleaning my room, I should clean my room.  Why?  I didn’t do it right so why should I if she was going to redo it every time I did something?    If I did something she wanted me to do, why didn’t I do this other thing too?   You know I do not ever remember that woman saying “Good Job.  I’m proud of you.”

My father got smart.  He booked when I was about 5.   Someone asked me one time if I wasn’t angry at him.  I told them “I couldn’t stand the woman and I am exactly like him.  One of us needed to escape her.  I’m glad he got out.”

I carried that tape of my mother’s attitude toward me for most of my life.  It took that 5th step and making friends with myself to stop it.  I still have days.  Usually when I don’t feel well or someone sounds just like her.

I was recently on a site where my mother incarnate exists.   The old tape didn’t play.   I did what my father did.  I packed up and left the site lock, stock and barrel.  Except I didn’t even say goodbye.  I just left.   Went out for a cigar and headed for Florida.    Sadly life is a bit more complicated than the net and relationships on it.

The result?  Today I am happy.  I like what I am doing.  I like the people I am around.  My regret is I couldn’t have ended that old tape when I was in the Navy.   Things would have been so much less complicated.

The Crazy Russian?   It was not a pretty divorce.  I saw a picture of her the other day on Facebook.  Been years.  She has pink hair.