Today I was reminded of one of my most egregious mistakes. It hurt.
This is one of the great errors in judgment which affects an entire life, and calls into question the validity of everything which preceded it. The sacrifices I made to commit this act have never ceased to cost me something every day since. Some days it's more noticeable than others, but I know it happens. Some measure of trust is lost, and my word isn't as good as it once was. There are moments of awkwardness when old friends realize what's changed, and then the coldness begins. The friendships I so desperately need to keep myself grounded are no longer available, and this above all else causes the most regret.
Is this selfish of me? I think it is, but I don't see any other way of explaining it. Mine, after all, is the only lens through which I'll ever view the world, or any of my own actions. And though I may mourn my losses unknown, the fact that I lack the perspective of those who I hurt or pushed away only serves to enlarge my sense of wrongdoing.
I've made partial amends, but I know I'll never have back what could have been mine. I know compared to others' crimes, mine is minuscule: nobody died, no laws were broken, nothing was stolen. But there was abuse and destruction, and I am still haunted by this regret. It's true that everyone has moved on, including me, but I still can't possibly fathom why I would ever risk so much for so little.