- Unsplash / Xavier Sotomayor
British journalist Emma Freud posted a soul-searching question to Twitter, asking “What is your biggest regret?”
Seeing her 20-year-old son off to university in America, Freud – who also happens to be the grand-daughter of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud – said she found herself contemplating her son’s journey into adulthood and how she might help him to make decisions that he would not regret.
It prompted her to tweet: “What is your biggest regret. Asking for a friend.”
And she received over 300 replies.
“I had casually asked a question that, surprisingly, a lot of people really wanted to answer,” she wrote in The Guardian as part of an article she penned on the experience.
Responses ranged from the funny to the deeply moving and harrowing, relating to anxiety, grief, sexual abuse, and terminal illness. Most fell into the latter.
Freud has since responded to them all.
Here are some of the most powerful replies to the question: “What is your biggest regret?”
Not calling my dad on my 30th birthday, the day before he suffered a massive brain injury. I called him every other birthday year.
— Sarah Loader (@SarahLoProducer) September 24, 2017
That I didn't say to the consultant you aren't listening & wish I'd known that some breast tumours could be occult & not show up in ANY scan
— Moss (@Mossflorist) September 24, 2017
Not buying flat I rented in London in 1992 for £60k . ????♂️
— Angel (@AngelOTheNorth) September 24, 2017
That it took an incurable cancer diagnosis for me to learn respect for myself, realise who my true friends were and lose the toxic ones.
— Emily Sarah Wang (@EmilySarahWang2) September 24, 2017
Being sick in my father-in-laws hand. After 21 years I still haven't lived it down!!! ????
— mrs (@Mumsta17) September 24, 2017
Letting my barriers down & falling in love. Because now I can't be with her I have to live each day knowing I wasn't good enough.
— Dabe1971 (@dabe1971) September 24, 2017
Only 1:being induced @ 5ish months & not going full term w our baby girl who had terminal cond. Almost everything is a choice w consequences
— Patricia Beech (@Traf_40) September 24, 2017
Listening to teachers who said I stupid etc because I can't spell currently on degree 4 & at age 36 after 2degrees was told I'm dyslexic
— Catflap (@_catflap_) September 24, 2017
Giving up on improv when Mike Myers was my teacher.
— johnlenahan (@johnlenahan) September 24, 2017
Not having the courage to speak up as a teen victim of sexual abuse.
— Caroline Juggins (@Crinklebum) September 24, 2017
Being scared all the time
— Susie (@Susan1Fulcher) September 24, 2017
Not speaking up sooner about step father. Took the Savile situation for me to realise i would be believed
— Kim Holmes (@KimboBrandt) September 25, 2017
That I never stayed in Germany with the woman who adored me ????
— dawn (@dawnshiell) September 25, 2017
Allowing depression and anxiety rule my life since teen years. Now 59 and taking serious steps to control it. Can't waste any more time x
— Martin Ellison (@eightbass) September 24, 2017
I was too scared to risk failing at something I loved doing, so I succeeded at something I had no passion for.
— JoyAnn Jenkins (@fearlessjoy) September 27, 2017
not travelling the world at 18 before joining police force I am now a desk bound accountant with a constant urge to travel !
— cath pittock ???? (@arcticpixie) September 24, 2017
Only having one child. My brothers are a big part of my life. My daughter won't experience that, and it's my fault.
— Amy Coop (@theamycoop) September 25, 2017
Listening to my dad when he said my voice was too weak to be a singer. ????
— Sophie H (@sophable) September 24, 2017
that my mum died too young to see me turn from ungrateful, truculent teenager into a person and father I hope she'd be proud of
— Terry Payne (@TerryPayne_) September 24, 2017
Doubting myself, only owned who I was after reading Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
— Dawn Mead (@DawnMead) September 24, 2017