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    Hi Anita,

    i’m sorry I haven’t responded because I am stuck and can’t find the words….



    thanks for the response.. i’m giving it thought and letting it sink in.. will get back..



    no… i actually read and absorbed your reply…it’s what i struggle with.. going around in circles… i can’t accept the decision i made even 25 yrs later… i try and live with it daily and i can’t do that either…


    ahhh.. maybe ignore my recent post.. feeling “off” this morning…



    so i’m going thru all of this (which by writing it down and your subsequent responses has allowed it to become more clear) and it’s very hard right now to accept. My life feels worse now than the awful one I left behind which is why i’m re-living everything. If my life had worked out better, not perfect just better and I felt good about me, a career, no job bouncing, a level of financial security, am I re-living any of this? I don’t think so. And with hindsight and reflection I have that sinking feeling i’ve wasted my life and it’s now too late.

    I alternate between anger at myself for NOT valuing my own life and of course now i’m paying for it. Anger/feeling victimized at the environment I grew up in, which led me down this path, and the realization my family did not respect me and it was mostly conditional love. That is really difficult to accept.

    I really wish I could move forward and escape all this but I don’t know if I know how and it seems this is all I really know. I feel lost still… just goes around in circles..feels like a wasted life…i don’t feel good about “me” …and I don’t think now I ever will.. it’s too late…


    Anita, thank you for your responses… I will continue the chat this weekend as I want to take a bit to and absorb your response… i’m finding all of this is really helping and providing clarity …




    1. What kind of job/ career did you leave behind at 35, was is it a career you liked very much?

    It was a career with a large Public Utility working in computers and it had been “forced” on me at 18 by my Father and an older Brother. They both worked there and I was/felt pressured to do the same. The older Brother got me in and “everyone – my Mother, Father, Brother” wanted me to take the same path. Another older Brother declined to follow suit and took his own path and in the ensuing years he was constantly criticized by my family that he didn’t . So I felt that pressure.

    I was the youngest of 3 brothers and was babied. I was different, heavily into sports/social and I wanted to be a policeman and/or teacher, and started volunteering social work type stuff at 13. At 19 went to my Father about trying the police entrance exam and he talked me out of it saying I was too small, wouldn’t like it, could die, what about your girlfriend? (this one is key) etc etc and I succumbed and said ok.

    2 years previously at age 17 I had gone to my Father asking to work at a campground for a summer and again he talked me out of it saying he would give me money. Both of these were so important to me and when it wasn’t heard that’s when I started de-valuing my own life. And in both cases it was about making a safe choice more to what my Dad wanted.

    Over time I’ve come to learn how defining those 2 moments were and the choices/decisions/path I chose from it.

    2. What was your state of mind and what was the nature of your relationship with the woman you moved for,  at 35?

    When I was 15 I had my first real girlfriend who lived 45 mins away in a different city. Met her one summer at a campground. A year later I was out of love with her and wanted to move on BUT growing up I had been sexually abused by a family member from the age of 8 to 11 and my Father had been beating me off and on from the age of 13 to 16. Also, there would be random acts of violence, usually late at night in my home between my Father and 2 older brothers or between the 2 older brothers. Always the same – fist fighting, yelling, screaming, breaking glass etc. So this girl and her family was safe. The girl actually felt like a sister to me instead of a girlfriend. Her Father a mentor to me. So instead of breaking up I stayed. To be safe, stay safe and make a safe life choice. And the times I wanted/tried to break up with her my Father and/or Mother would talk me out of it. From all this I was always questioning myself about who I was and what I wanted. I started to think I could never be more than this. Though deep down I knew different. But I was trying to please, be loved, stay safe. As it was over time this girls parents and my parents became best friends. Only adding to the pressure.

    We got married at 22, though the year previous I finally had the courage to break up with her but came back 3 months later – due to pressure from the families. I was miserable and my life played out that way. I was in a career I didn’t want, I was in a marriage I didn’t want so I went thru life angry at the world, and at me for not having courage, and acted out terribly. I was immature, entitled etc and wouldn’t allow myself to grow up. So of course this created bad habits along with having no self esteem or self respect along with people at work hating me for being such an a-hole. It became a vicious cycle in my head and fighting for respect from others and myself but behaving horribly.

    To add at the age of 20 while I am at this Company I am meeting lots of great girls, all normal stuff :-). And again I was ready to break up with my girlfriend but instead completely out of the blue I come home from work one day and my Dad says “I got Mary a job with the Company today”. I completely flipped out yelling and screaming at my Dad “why? why? why? I never asked you!!!.” He just went ahead and did it without asking. His reply was “I thought that’s what you wanted”. It’s what he wanted. So the chains grew even tighter. And now I am travelling to/from work EVERYDAY with her.

    As another aside, when I was 18 I went to buy my first car and asked my Dad to go with me. So we went to HIS dealer and bought the very first car I drove. Not what I wanted but what he wanted. See the pattern here?

    Death of a child

    so married life continued for the next 7 years both us miserable. Me acting/behaving horribly along with the complete mindfuck I was doing to myself. She got pregnant and miscarried. she wanted kids and I didn’t, at least not with her. I simply didn’t love her. A year after miscarrying she got pregnant again and the day she told me was the day I wanted to end the marriage. At the time I was having an emotional but not physical affair with someone at work so I finally had the courage (I thought) but I said nothing as she announced she was pregnant again. When the baby was born it was a disaster, my son came out with a million things wrong with him, and had gone undetected in the ultra sounds. He lived for a month then passed. The guilt I felt from all of this was beyond massive.

    The one good thing out of that was I realized how strong and resilient I really was. I handled my son’s death completely on my own. Looked after all the arrangements and even looked after her. My family still treated me like a baby and after I went to my Mom one day and said “I was having a hard time with it” and she said “It’s better he’s dead”. Nothing more. I went to my Brother at work with the same and he said “We all have problems” and turned away. As an aside we borrowed money from my mom to pay for the funeral and a couple of weeks later called me up out of the blue demanding her money back. I’m sorry but i’m not making this stuff up.

    So over the next year everything fell apart. I had no support system for me and we struggled too. Because I was not well liked at work I had no support there either. We finally divorced which was for the best.

    3. “From the moment I made (the decision to move at 35) I knew it was wrong but could not change it and go back”- why couldn’t you leave her and move back?

    The next few years were a struggle and bounced thru 3-4 different relationships and finally to get away from all the noise I took a job transfer with my company to a different city 5 hours away. It helped more than I realized.

    But 2 years later though the company downsized and I was forced to return. I was very upset about that. While on the transfer in the office i met a woman who was a carbon copy of my 1st wife.

    I returned back to my original city but felt the weight of my past there. I had purchased a really nice home though and the positive was I was coming back on somewhat different terms with the hopes of putting the past behind me. I didn’t like the work and wasn’t good at it. But it had job security/pension. But I wasn’t happy and really it was the social (started making new friends) of the company that i liked.

    The woman and I stayed in touch and I had in the back of my mind this romantic Hollywood thing relationship. Boy meets girl in new city, leaves and returns for love.

    So 6 months later the company downsizes again offering buyouts to leave. I had been travelling on weekends to see this woman still. One foot in the door of separate lives in different cities. Never a good thing at anytime.

    So we talked about moving and she wouldn’t come to my city and in a moment of complete total stupidity and impulsiveness I said I would take the buyout and move there.

    A key point here – while still married and still travelling to work together daily, I forced my wife to take a drastic salary cut and transfer within the company to a small office near our home so we wouldn’t have to commute daily together. Beyond selfish on my part and she made a difficult and terrible sacrifice. The guilt I felt from that now came into play. I was trying to recreate the past on every level and absolve myself of all the guilt and sacrificing my life.

    So I took the buyout and it was as such that once you accepted it you couldn’t undo it. And that’s where from the moment I made it I knew it was wrong. Deep down I was making the wrong decision. I had made this decision for the wrong reason. For someone else and not me. Yes, I wanted to leave the company but by doing it for someone else I lost all my power. I was running away. Things went downhill rapidly as this new woman, we married a few months later, heart wasn’t in it. Plus I had given/thrown away my entire life. I think at the end of the day we both had kids for our own agendas. Me to fix the past and her based on her biological clock and parents hopes to have grandkids.

    From all this I became a great Dad and proof was my daughter telling me 1st when she got her 1st period at age 13. But all my bad habits got exposed along with the fact I wasn’t good at IT and it wasn’t my passion so I struggled with holding jobs. and here I am years later living with regret. I am a completely different and better person today. I am well respected in the community here winning awards for my volunteer work over the years. I have this affinity for people with special needs and have high empathy due to all my struggles but what’s really bothering me is my lost career/pension. My future and what will come of me? I have paid a price/losses and there are moments especially recently when it all becomes too much in my head.

    So the regret starts with “if I hadn’t left”..

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