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.