If I could turn back time, would he now walk differently?

Todays Daily Prompt is: I did it my way.
Describe the one decision in your life where you wish you could get a “do-over.” Tell us about the decision, and why you’d choose to take a different path this time around.

When I read this first I smiled to myself and thought “I wonder what I would change?”
Maybe work harder in school? Then I would not have had to repeat my final exams in order to get into nursing?
But then I thought “No”, because if I’d not been in the year I was, I would not have gone away with my friends, and so I’d never have met my husband, my best buddy, nor had my four great children.

Maybe I’d have not taken that extra breath in the last swimming competition I’d entered, the breath that cost me qualification for the Olympics. photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/beth19/4721798240/">Βethan</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
But then I thought “No” because not qualifying meant I gave up swimming, and had a lot more time to spend at home. That was the year we found out Dad had motor neurone disease. It was also the final year in which he could speak, walk, or function normally. It was comforting, after he died, to remember how much time we’d spent together.

Maybe I’d have listened closer to my friends worries about her young sons tiredness, and realised something more sinister was going on.
But then I think “No”, because I do not think it would have changed the final outcome. It would have only meant him being diagnosed two weeks earlier. His “normal” life ending earlier. That I do not regret.

Overall I was feeling very content with myself. A lot of patting myself on the back went on. Life was good, and my choices had been the right ones. Until I had a chance conversation. It led to me discovering a person I knew online, had been taught by the same swimming coach as myself. When I read that my heart sank. When did she swim? Was it after me? Yes it was.
Had anything happened to her?

Just at that moment my internet went down. My mind was spinning as I tried to get back online. What if she swam in the years after me and something had happened to her? Was she okay if it had? I felt physically unwell. I had never, ever felt guilty before, for not coming forward immediately, but now the reality of such a delay really struck me.

Eventually, after what seemed like an age, the internet reconnected and I discovered she was not affected. I felt relieved but the sense of responsibility remains. Don’t get me wrong I do not feel responsible for what he did, but I do know at least one of his later victims is a very unwell survivor. If I or the many before me, had come forward sooner, she and others would have been spared.

Maybe I was just a bit too sure of myself, to think there is nothing in life I would ever change.
Yes, of course there are things I would like to change, but for the most part, they are decisions I made, the consequences of which I can live with. However if I could turn back time, I have now decided there is one thing I wish I could change.

I wish I had spoken up six years earlier.

I also wish I had done a little research before speaking out, and discovered the names of any individuals who might have been more than a little mad at what this man had done to so many children. I then wish I had told these individuals my story, and maybe perchance, I’d have let slip the name of his place of work (and abuse). Perhaps these individuals would have gone to visit him and speak with him about what he had done. Maybe even pointed out to him the error of his ways!

But we cannot travel back in time and change the past in any way. I am fortunate that life has worked out very well for me and I am lucky that the many decisions I have had to make along the way seem to have been good ones. Maybe it is lucky that I did do it my way and that I cannot go back.

But…. I wish…..and as I do, I wonder, “If I could turn back time would he now walk differently?”

photo credit: Βethan via photopin cc

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35 thoughts on “If I could turn back time, would he now walk differently?

  1. We can’t go back. Even that one thing that you would change, can’t be changed. Unfortunately, what is done is done. But, we can use those experiences to help others now, which is a wonderful thing.

  2. Funnily enough I was watching a DVD called About Time at the weekend and it dealt with going back in time and changing things but ultimately the guy (Domhnall Gleeson) realises that he can chop and change all his likes but eventually he has to face up to the reality of life, that problems must be faced not erased.

    I think most people have one thing we would change for one reason or another but maybe if we did we would never learn, maybe someone will read this and it will prompt them to say something thereby ensuring that someone else does not fall victim to a similar situation.

    1. I don’t think it would have been possible for me to speak sooner, but I’d love to have left him with a limp! 🙂
      I have very much moved on and whilst I do remember occasionally I don’t mourn my past.

  3. If he was living in the wee, black north, he would have been knee-capped.
    Did you ever look at the blog – Words, Thoughts, Feelings? I think she’s following your blog now. She suffered abuse as a child also.

    1. Wise words MM. To be honest I don’t fret about it often but when this happened today it made me wonder, and it was lovely to imagine me doing things differently, and perhaps him facing a different court of justice!

  4. There is no point in thinking about what I wish I could change since there isn’t any way to do it. I try to remember how I f*** that up and use that information to prevent it from happening again.

  5. I understand the ‘wondering’ about the ‘ifs’. No matter how well we are now, and how much control we have now over our lives…. I don’t think we can help but wonder on a rare occasion the ‘ifs’.

    And when you were able. You spoke. I respect your journey Tric. Imagine all of the thousands and thousands of children over the years and years….who never spoke. Or spoke and weren’t heard. Or never had a chance….

    And I’m pretty sure the limping you refer to wouldn’t have come from knee capping, but KNEEING.

  6. There is so much we coulda, woulda, shoulda when we join in that game, isn’t there? It jumps out at me every once in a while, but like you, I mostly decline to play. I learned long ago that we made the best decisions we could with the knowledge we had at the time. I’m sure you did too.

    1. Yes even though I may wish I’d done some things differently, I know I wouldn’t have. Today is what matters, and being able to live with yesterday.

  7. i think it’s okay to think back, knowing what we know now, and being stronger, but perhaps you were not yet ready until it was your time, and there is no changing that. you have moved ahead and lived your life as a good and fair person, and that is the best redemption.

  8. I am so sorry that you had to go trough that… I wonder sometimes, if we could really go back in time and punch in the face those who did us VERY wrong and molested us, would that make it all better? What if it didn’t happen at all? Some say, that those things and situations that hurt you make you stronger, but do they really? Or just traumatised..

    1. I was traumatised for quite some time, but I do believe I am a stronger person for it. It would not be my choice for it to have happened but I’ve survived.

  9. The act of telling at that time might have changed the course of your life in unknown ways then too. It’s impossible to know what we should have done at any point in time. Those moments when my heart races at the memory of doing or not doing something that I regret or wish I had done differently are always the moments that teach me to be a better person in the future.

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