Someone fairly well known in a related field died and his obituary is making the rounds. I read it and saw that he had had the life I wanted: fascinating research, wonderful dissertation students, warm colleagues here and abroad.
I am in a constant state of grief about having thrown good years after bad, hoping I could make this happen for me, and about not having jumped ship to an alternative path toward an intellectual and creative life when I could.
Now that I also know I will not have a comfortable old age I really wonder about my life. I love the small child I was and I am so sad to have done her so much harm. And to have wasted her, who could have acted so well in the world.
I have to remember that my actual task in life is to recover, to learn to recognize mistreatment, to learn to stand up to it. I have not been able to do the things I wanted to do in life and will not be, but at the very least I can do this.