Things that you still feel guilty about, years after the fact.

I have no idea why this occured to me tonight, but it did.

One summer, when I was about 11 my family went camping somewhere in Ontario. While we were at the campground, I met another little girl about my age. We spent a whole long weekend hanging out and riding around on a tandem bicycle that the camp-ground had to rent.

After the weekend, she wrote me a letter saying that she liked meeting me, and that her dad was dead.

Just because I’ve never been a very good letter wrighter, I never wrote back. I was always afraid that she thought it was because I didn’t like her, or her dad had died, as opposed to me just being a tool in the letter writing department.

This happend close to 20 years ago, and I still feel bad about it. :frowning:

Writer, perhaps? :rolleyes:

Perhaps you meant “crafting” a letter.
Yeah, that’s it, crafting a letter.

When I was 8 I told my grandma she looked fat in this one dress she always wore. She never wore it again. Thirty years later and I still feel bad about it.

Just to see a friend from high school squirm, and for reasons the Freudians would call projection, I made up a rumor and told him it was going around about him. He freaked out. I never owned up to the lie, and he never came to any class reunions.

Me and another girl punched out a girl. We ripped her jacket. I really like this girl (and was hanging out with a bad crowd). I feel terrible about it, even though the girl forgave me and turned out to be one of the coolest people I know. Shame on me.:frowning:

thread sub-title, “True Confessions; or, Still looking for salve after all these years”

When I was about 12, I took a crawdad that I had caught in the creek and dropped it in a fire-ant mound, just to see what would happen. Ants swarmed all over it, and it began writhing. I felt awful and stomped it out of its misery.

Still feel real guilty about that. We can be so cruel when we don’t stop to think about how others will feel.

About 15 years ago I was sitting in a cafe looking out the window and saw a woman drop her wallet. About 5 minutes later she returned to find her wallet gone. A truck had obscured my view so I didn’t see anyone pick it up.

To this day I cannot fathom why I didn’t jump up and alert her to the fact that she had dropped it. It still haunts me!

Two things:
When I was in seventh grade, a female friend and I picked on a boy who was new to the school that year. It’s not like we were that high in the pecking order ourselves, but we were pretty vicious. He only spent one year there - I don’t know what happened to him after that, but I’ve always felt bad about it.
Sophomore year in college, my roommate and I emptied out a bottle of non-alcoholic beer and filled it with regular beer for my freshman roommate - she didn’t drink because she thought it always made her sick (she never had more than one beer). We were sure that it was psychological. She didn’t get sick - but she was so happy that we’d gotten non-alcoholic beer for her that I’ve felt guilty for a long time about it.

In pre-kindergarten/kindergarten a kid I used to play with, Patrick, punched me in the stomach (I have no idea why.) I was mad and I was a naive 4-year-old – I had no concept of “revenge” but was well-trained in “monkey see, monkey do.” Someone punched me and I wanted to whack someone else.

So as I stood in line to go get one of the cool toys, I was still fuming indignantly about being punched in the tummy. So I spontaneously decided to punch whoever was the closest. I looked at the boy in front of me – he was “big kid” (kindergarten) so definitely too initimidating. The girl behind me was a “little kid” (pre-kindergarten), my age and size. So I hesitantly punched her in the tummy, sort of like slow motion.

I felt really, really bad the second I hit her tummy. She burst into tears, of course. And I’ve felt horrible about it ever since. :frowning:

It had been her first day. She was the only black kid amoung the “little kids,” my friend, Mark, who was a year older than me, was the only black kid amoung the “big kids.”. It had been her first time in a “school” of any kind, away from family, friends and anything familiar. She didn’t come back the next day. She never came back. She never told on me either. :frowning:

I’ve alwasy wanted to apologize. I wanted to say sorry for being mean. And I’ve always been afraid that she thought I’d hit her because she was black, which seems doubly bad.

As a grown-up, I suspect she was a “visitor” because she arrived midway through the year in a flurry of activity. Sometimes we’d have “visitors” – kids who needed some kind of emergency daycare because their usual system for babysitting was temporarily unavailable. So once in a while, we had an extra kid in class for a day or maybe two. She probably didn’t come back the next day because she was never supposed to, but in my mind it will always because I hit her. It’s my fault she didn’t come back.

Being in a new pre-kindergarten environment is traumatic enough without having some little Spanish kid punch you in the tummy for no reason on your first day. I still feel horribly remorseful.

The summer after I graduated high school, I had a lot of freedom. My dad was going away for the weekend (just over Saturday night), and he asked me to be sure to let the dog out when I was done with The Rocky Horror Picture Show (the dog was 12, and that would’ve been a LONG time for him to hold it). Well, I didn’t. I mean, I remebered to, but “didn’t feel like” going all the way home (maybe a mile or so) before going to somebody’s apartment for a party.

Well, the dog just peed on the carpet in front of the patio door. I SWORE to my dad that I had let him out, but “I guess he just had to go again.”

Four months later, our dog died of cancer. And I have ALWAYS felt bad for not letting him out that one time. I’m sure there are other things I’ve done (or NOT done) that I “should” feel worse about, but that’s the one that always gets me.

I feel really bad about casting that spell on my SIL, which resulted in 3 members of her family dying within a month. Okay, maybe it was just a coincidence, but amateurs should stay away from all things magic.

Holly Hannah, HQ - remind me not to piss you off!

I suppose maybe I was thinking that someday bike rider girl might see this thread (hey - it could happen), and know that it wasn’t anything that she did that prevented me from writing.

It’s strange that I still feel really guilty about this - I dunno, there was just something in the tone of her letter that made me belive that kids had been mean about her dad dying (although I find that totally bizzare if it’s true). Gah.

Honestly, with the exeption of a nasty snail incident when I was about 8, I’m fairly guilt free.

I stole $3 out of my sister’s piggy bank when I was twelve and she was six. I have never confessed this to her. I still feel badly about it.

I had a few things that absolutely tormented me for years as a child.

There was this store (it was a Michael’s) that my mom used to take us to all the time. They had this table full of candy, and there were always packages that people had opened, so I’d sneak bits while my mom was shopping. (I was very young, maybe kindergarten.) Then, one day while my mom was making her purchases, I tried to sneak open a box of candy in the aisle. I had eaten a few pieces before I realized that my mom and the cashier were both staring at me. It was horribly embarrassing (and I’m sure my mom was mortified, too.) We had to buy the candy, and my mom threw it in the trash on the way out of the store.

Then, around the same time, I was at the local pool with some friends. We were too young for the regular pool, so we were playing “pirates and mermaids” in the kiddie pool. I started screaming (the pirates were attacking!) and a swim instructor ran over thinking someone was drowning or hurt. We was very mad to find out that we were just playing.

Finally, in kindergarten (actually in school, not just around that time like the other two stories), there was this toy rubber duck in our classroom that smelled really good. Sort of like baby powder. I stole it from the classroom and told my mom that I bought it on a field trip. She didn’t buy it, and I had to return it and apologize.

I have no idea what caused me to act so badly around this point in my life, but for the most part I was really a very good kid. I used to think about these stories at least once a month, and my stomach would turn in knots. Then I had my first confession when I was 15, and I’ve felt better ever since.

My sister and I have always been quite close, despite the 3 year age gap.
Growing up, we played together a lot. As a result of such, whenever the playroom needed to be cleaned up, it was a job for the both of us. This one particular time, we got into this HUGE fight because I just wanted to toss everything into the toy bins, but she wanted to go through everything and organize it all.

We got so mad at each other that she ran up to my room and tore my #1 favourite Corey Feldman poster (he was sitting, hugging his knees which were crossed in front of him, red socked feet). As revenge, I tore up this little book she had written, with pictures and a great story line (for an 8 yr old). Thing is, she had torn up my poster in such a way that I was able to tape it back together, but I had ripped her booklet into tiny tiny pieces, making it near impossible to salvage.

To this day, when I think about it, I still feel horribly guilty. I wonder if she ever thinks about that…
We still get along as wonderfully as ever, though.

To, in chronological order, Jan, Janie, Diane, Audrey, and Pat:
“I could have loved you better
Didn’t mean to be unkind
But you know that was the last thing on my mind”

To, in chronological order, Barbara, Kay and Margaret:
I owe these three for showing me the truth of the saying: “Payback’s Hell!”
I sincerely hope you three feel as badly about me as I do about the five women listed above. (But I doubt that you do) :wally

In pre-school, I filled up a green bucket with sand to make a sand castle tower with. I got distracted and went inside to help make our afternoon snack. Within five minutes everybody was in a tizzy because that same bucket had been carted up to the top of the play structure and dropped onto another kid’s head. It cracked his skull, I think: certainly there was a lot of blood. A bucket full of wet sand can do a lot of damage. I felt sort of like I sold a gun to a murderer or something. Still bugs me a little.

I remember writing a story for an 8th grade creative writing class that was completely ripped off a TV show. The thing is, no one else in the class had apparently seen this show. So I was applauded for “my” good story. I still have no idea why I did that and it really bothers me to this day.