What kills me is the feeling that a decent life was possible for me, if I’d just made better choices. I made a lot of terrible choices. I’m still making a lot of terrible choices. The thing is, past a certain point, you become your choices. For me to turn around now and start acting like a decent person…it just wouldn’t work. I don’t have the brain of a decent person, or the life experiences. It would be an act, and people would see through it.
I believe there are reasons I made the choices I made, reasons that ultimately extend beyond me. There were reasons why I felt extremely socially inhibited during my formative years. Partly due to my own faulty biology. Partly due to mistreatment by others. Partly due to random circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Every time I made a bad choice, it made sense to me. Every time I avoided doing something because it scared me, it felt like what I needed to do to survive.
So I don’t really believe I could’ve done otherwise. If I had been a different person, with a different brain, then sure. But given the cards I was dealt, it was only going to go in one direction. If those around me had acted differently, then maybe. But that would’ve required them to have had different brains, and different life experiences. And on and on, back to the beginning of time.
So, given the random spin of the universe’s dice, this chain of terrible decisions was going to be my life. But in my mind, it feels like if I could just reach back and nudge myself a little, it all could’ve worked out ok. It feels so close, like I can almost touch it. A worthwhile life, with just a few small adjustments at key times. And I could’ve enjoyed at least some of existence, instead of constant regret, despair, shame, & guilt. Imagine not being alone. Imagine having real hope, meaning, purpose.
It leaves me desperately wanting to do something, to break through into that alternate reality, to make it my own. But there’s nothing to be done. I have the mind, the body, the past, the life experiences of this world. A vast chasm separates me from the worthwhile life I imagine. I just can’t seem to bring myself to accept that.