I made a mistake 22 years ago. A big mistake. A huge mistake. A monumental mistake. A life altering mistake that affected, not just me, but someone else as well. Someone who couldn’t choose. Someone who counted on me, even though they didn’t know it at the time – couldn’t fathom it. Someone who the universe charged me with their safety, and I failed. Miserably.
For the past 8,030 days I’ve punished myself for it. It’s weighed heavily upon my soul, even though those around me are shielded from it. I hid it well. I still do. Oddly enough, this is the first time that I’ve written anything about it. I know some of my family will read this post. They’ll discover that I’m not as strong as I appear to be, but I think it’s time to get it off my chest. To put it out into the void. To face the terrible choice I made, and release myself from the self-torture. To simply forgive that naïve girl for choosing a choice that ended up being the wrong one.
I had a baby 22 years ago. I had a little boy. I had a perfect child, and I gave him away. I gave him to a couple who couldn’t have kids. I gave him to a couple who I thought would love him like I did. I was wrong. I knew this couple. Very well. Extremely well. Or at least I thought I did.
Over the years I’ve kept track of him. Sitting on the fringes of his life, peering in, but keeping my distance. I’ve longed to reach out and hold him, but restrained myself for his sake. That’s what I’ve told myself for as long as I can remember. But the only way to forgive myself is to be honest. I couldn’t face the choice I made. I didn’t want to feel the rush of guilt and shame on the surface of myself. It’s been tucked safely away in the darkest part of me. Where it belonged. Where I thought it belonged. I was wrong.
The only way to release myself from another 8,030 days of self-torture is to unleash those emotions. Feel the strength of them. Endure the pain of them. Allow the weight of them to fall away through my tears. Accept that I made the wrong choice, and finally emerge from my internal shadows. It’s the only way I can forgive myself for being wrong.
And it’s time. Time to suture the wound. Time to abandon that past and move into the future. A future where each day is punishment free. A future where I finally feel good about myself deep down. It’s okay that I made a wrong choice. I didn’t have all the answers. I didn’t know what the future held for that little boy. I didn’t know that I would feel this kind of regret.
I’m letting go of that. I forgive myself.