I have a few decades to look back on. Many forks in the road. Many decisions made.
I sometimes wonder how life would have been different if I had made different choices. What if I had married Obie instead of Bob? What if I had gone into pathology instead of teaching? What if I had done this instead of that? Gone here instead of there? Said this instead of that?
Sometimes, in my current wisdom, it seems like every decision I made, every path I took, was the wrong one. Sometimes I get very depressed about that. Like I sold myself short over and over. I hurt myself and others. Stupid stupid.
But I couldn't have been that stupid. There was more to it than stupidity.
I am aware that for more than the first half of my life I was very emotionally fragile, and that played a large part in the forks I took. I chose the path that seemed to offer the greatest protection, the least potential for pain. Whatever that path offered was what I needed most at the time to feel safe.
In every case, I made the best decision I could possibly have made at the time, given my history of physical and emotional trauma, my fears, knowledge, and needs.
I think everyone does that. You make the choices that seem right at the time. When you look back, you might decide you made the wrong choice, but when you're looking back, you have a different view. You know more about the whole situation. Not the same at all, so it's unfair to judge yourself.
Um, keep that in mind when judging others, too. People don't do stupid things to themselves on purpose. At the time, it seemed to them like the best or only thing to do.
The only way I could have done anything differently is to have been born a different person, at a different time, to different parents. I am now the person I was meant to be, in the place in life I was meant to be. It couldn't have been any different, because I was the person I was.