I suffer from the imposter syndrome and I have spent my whole life on the outside looking in.
“I regret my entire life. My parents raised me to be a good little coward – totally obedient and ever afraid of judgement. I have always been intimidated by authority figures and anyone with a normal level of confidence could assume that stature and intimidate me.
For my first 47 years I was unconfident and angry until I spent two years getting anger management therapy. Now I’m not angry and somewhat more confident, but still not as confident as “normal” people.
I regret how I behaved as a result of all this. With the combination of anger and low self-esteem I was a pathetic, passive-aggressive asshole who became very good at sarcasm without realizing that my sarcasm was actually effective. I behaved, figuratively, as though I was going into a knife fight armed with a nerf-gun but not realizing that it was actually a real gun. So I’ve probably left a trail of either pissed off, confused or hurt people.
I’ve treated so many people like crap, including my wife, who is a wonderful woman who I don’t deserve.
The sad thing is that I have the basic qualities that should have allowed me to be more successful and happy in life: I’m reasonably intelligent, I’m fairly good looking and I’m tall, but my self-esteem is such that I have always gone through life with the ambition of surviving, never thriving. I was an officer in the military for 32 years but I never aimed to do well. I only aimed to not fail.
There are probably many, many people who think that I’m arrogant when the truth is that I don’t want to impose myself on them. I could meet people in a professional setting, who could be good friends, but can’t help but assume that they are simply tolerating me.
And now I’m 58 years old. I’ve done reasonably well materially (technically I’m part of the “1%”) but I am so unhappy. I suffer from the imposter syndrome and I have spent my whole life on the outside looking in. There’s also some mental illness in my family as well. I have a first cousin who is bipolar and I have siblings (I believe myself included) with some level of functioning mental illness.
So the great miracle that is sentient life has been wasted on me. I’ve got about another 25 years to go and I continue to look at that remaining time as something to survive and endure”
“It’s hard to look on the bright side of things when you live in the darkness of your own past…”
I regret treating someone like trash when I thought I deserved the best when the best has just walked into my life, now that I’ve realized that he was the best, its too late, he has changed because I was horrible to him I regret everything, if I had realized that he was everything at the time I wouldn’t have lost him, He wouldn’t have gotten away, I wouldn’t have spent the late nights of many months and years crying in my blankets that we used to lay in. After I lost him I lost all sense of purpose, this wasn’t just some fling it was it, and I ruined it. Towards the end, he would bring up many memories that weren’t pleasant and it would bring us both to tears and I would apologize and apologize, do everything I could to save us, but there was nothing else I could do… I held on for too long after he gave up, I didn’t know when to let go, I couldn’t just give up and just never see, touch, kiss or even look at him. It was as if he was dying and now I had to mourn someone who was still living. People who say that they don’t need a man to be happy, that’s right you need companionship, love, and support. For some, it comes in a form of a woman and some a man, but deep down we all need it, I need it. It’s hard to look on the bright side of things when you live in the darkness of your own past. It’s hard to move on, you never know what you had until its gone, you never knew it was true love until it walked away forever… I regret everything that left me with nothing.
“I regret leaving the foster home that I grew up in from the age of 2 till I was 15 and moving back with my biological family who never cared about me all those years. ”
Age Now -50
I’m in the process of something I know I’ll regret down the line. And I know that at any point in my time line, I’ll never have the courage to say this. I know you’re in love with me, and I’m so in love with you too, but I’m happily married. Not being with you kills me deep in my core.
“I regret not asking for help from my family when I was at my lowest.”
“My biggest regret….marrying a man I wasn’t truly in love with. I let the man I was in love with get away. My heart says to leave but I don’t. We fight all the time and are falling apart so why don’t I have the guts to leave?! I have lost all hope and struggle to get thru each day.”
“I’m 43 years old and I’ve been in a monogamous relationship since I was 23. I regret not sleeping around when I was young and hot.”
“I regret ever becoming a parent. We adopted our daughter at a young age from another country. We had this romantic notion that we could make someone’s life better, give them the chance they wouldn’t have had, give someone a family, and a home. We thought we could make a difference. I was wrong. I am in shock in how little impact we have had.
I should have never been her parent, apparently I don’t have the patience or fortitude for it. Everything we do seems to be for nothing. She is a source of grief and stress in our family. There is no joy in her and I am deeply resentful of her because of it. She is most comfortable when she is miserable and she makes those around her miserable. She never fully trusted us nor really became part of the family. She saps our resources and gives nothing but heartache in return. She has impaced our lives for the worse. I knew parenting would be hard, especially with an adopted child, what I did not know is that there would be no reward in it. I don’t know if I love her, I have very few positive feelings towards her. I do know that I don’t like her. I hate myself for failing this way and not being big enough to overcome all of these odds. I have never worked so hard at something only to feel totally inept. I resent her for fighting us in everything we try to give her and help her with. I hope to just get through it. If I had it to do all over again, I would have never been a parent.” F43
“My biggest regret in my life is sleeping with someone else when the love of my life and I were seeing each other – despite us not being officially in a relationship, we still loved each other and I slept with my ex. I will always carry that guilt with me forever and how it hurt you. And thereafter, maintaining contact with my ex – for what reason, I do not know! Having a further encounter with him whilst being in a relationship torments me, as he is nothing and you are everything. I made a mistake as I did not want to let him go yet until I was certain about you – what I didn’t realise is that you were exactly what I have dreamed of since I was born. I love you, and I pray my guilt subsides as I will never again do such things.”
“I regret not telling my mom’s family that I’m an atheist, and I regret not telling anyone in my family about my boyfriend of a year and a half. I married young and religious and “right” in my family’s mind, and it ended very quickly and dramatically. Now I’m happy on my own terms but frozen by the same fear that got me married in the first place – fear that their conditional love will once again snap into incredible disappointment and embarrassment, just like every other decision they can’t handle.”