I saw this writing prompt from RemebRED and didn't know if I could do this. I am pretty open, but I don't think I can be that open here in this space yet. I still don't really know where this will end up or if I could actually share a specific horrible memory that haunts me to this day. Honestly, I don't really have one particular moment in the last 38 years that stands out among the many sad moments I do have. They are all bad. A few still leave me breathless. Most of them are common to all of us; the death of loved ones, diseases that are suffered, illness or trauma that is unexpected. We all suffer these things at some point in ours lives - it's our common bond as humans and it's hard. Really, really hard.
But some memories come from choices that we make consciously. And they burn us to our cores when we illicit them from the past. These are the memories that are hardest for me. The times in my life that I chose to hurt others or say harsh words or act selfishly even though I was fully aware that I would bring someone else pain and ultimately, a set of their own bad memories. I have done just that countless times. Too many. To say that I would take each and every moment back would be a lie, though. Sometimes I was "living in the moment" too much too really comprehend how much my actions would wound those around me. Truthfully, sometimes I knew but didn't really care until the hurt surfaced on someone else's face. But by then, it was too late. I have vivid images of people in my life staring at me with their mouths wide open, in utter disbelief at my behavior. Moments when my actions stole the light from their eyes. Actions I could have avoided, but chose not to.
Those moments, that awful realization of inflicted pain, are the memories that haunt me the most.