Had I
been born
without eyes,
or too dim to see the picture,
I’d carry less blame for the way
I lived my life.

I could say
I acted blindly,
but I was clear-sighted and bright.
The decisions
were mine to make,
the prizes were there to be taken
— if not for me,
at least for the sake of my children, —
yet I didn’t realise the stakes
were so high.

Please say
it is not too late
to put right the mistakes I made,
and change the course of young lives
before I die.

The Daily Post #Blindly

©Jane Paterson Basil

31 thoughts on “Mistakes

  1. There but for the grace of God – everyone makes their own choices and mistakes. As parents I think we sometimes too readily accept guilt and responsibility for our children’s choices when they are adults. The best and wisest things we can do for them is to never stop loving and supporting them. Easier said than done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Usually that’s true, but Laura says that what gave her the determination to get clean was me having the strength NOT to support her. It helped her to redefine her priorities.
      I never stopped loving her, and I sent her messages so that she knew.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe we can change right up until our last breathe … but once your kids are about 12 yo they are responsible for the choices they make. As they say, you can lead a camel to water but you can’t make it drink. No matter what you taught them there are so many other influences in their lives – teachers, neighbours, peers, environment, etc – you are not their only guide!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What if you know that the reason they made those choices was because, from birth, they had a destructive influence in their lives – making it impossible for them to grow up in a healthy way – and you could have got rid of that influence?

      Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m often applauded for my courage – but I’m not brave. I think life has put me in a place where I’ve become fearless where my family are concerned. In the end I had to reach that point, but it came at a cost. I’m not afraid to confront a man with 24 convictions for violence, who tried to break my daughter’s neck a few weeks ago, but all the things which are easy for others bring on panic attacks and collapse. It’s ridiculous.

              Liked by 1 person

                  1. Yes that makes sense … but why do you or your daughter go near him? Surely from this incident she has learned distance/no contact is healthier? There is nothing to gain from ongoing contact for any of you except heart ache and injury ….

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. He’s her father and she loves him. She remembers good times. No matter how destructive his behaviour was, she was his favorite. He’s twenty years older than me – an old man with regrets. He’s became pretty harmless.
                      We went to see him because she’s moving away in a few days, and she needed to pick up some of her stuff.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. She broke out of it the moment he punched her in the face. Unfortunately she couldn’t escape his presence until ten minutes later, as he was busy trying to kill her. He told her she couldn’t leave, but greed got the better of him. He stole her phone and bank card and rushed out to the cash point, thereby enabling her escape. She ran straight to me and hasn’t been back there since. In a few days she’s moving to a safe place 100 miles away, where she’ll be well cared for by a friend of mine.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. She only lived with him because she was homeless, with a heavy drug habit. The housing association I rent from had banned her from entering the complex where I live, as she’d been in drug psychosis and was considered a danger to other residents. If I’d let her in I was at serious risk of eviction. I had to shelter her when she was beaten up, whatever the risk, and when my landlords saw that she was going to behave, they agreed to let her stay.
                      She’s clean now.

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can really relate to this and a lot of what you said in the comments, e.g what if you were a destructive influence.
    I’ve found that sometimes the mistakes have righted themselves by virtue of having found peace with myself – it’s rubbed off in the more constructive approach to everything I have now. Self-forgiveness is one of the most positive things I’ve done for everyone around me.
    I also agree that the difficulty of non-support is often the best thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This poem was meant have a different ending, but I thought the breast-beating worked well. That’s the way I used to feel, but, I got over it long ago, when my eldest daughter told me I should try to forgive her step-dad (the destructive influence), and myself.
      However, if I hadn’t hung on to a little guilt, I may not have spent so much time and trouble helping my youngest daughter to recover.

      Liked by 1 person

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