Dr E explained that he wanted to discuss with me the issue of regret.
“Have you ever regretted anything?” he asked.
“No,” I answered promptly.
“I see. What do you understand by regret?”
“It is a feeling of sadness or perhaps disappointment over something that you have done or failed to do.”
“When have you experienced that feeling?” he asked.
“If I tell you that most people have regrets, which ones would you remember?”
“Which of their regrets would I remember?” I asked. He looked up at me over the top of his red and black note pad and raised his eyebrows.
“I haven’t had any,” I repeated.
“Why do you think that is?”
“Let me see. Probably because I have had nothing to express regret about. The absence of something tends to be the reason why you have not something, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Okay. Now in your many explanations to me you have explained some of the things that you have done. Yes,” he noticed I was going to interrupt him but he kept going, “I know you detailed those at my behest and I appreciate you sharing that information with me. Those acts of commission and omission led to people feeling angry with you, hurt and upset. Would you agree?”
“Okay. Now I would suggest that one might feel regret at having caused those people to feel that way. Would you agree?”
“You might feel a sense of regret Dr E but I do not.”
“Why is that?”
“Why to which part? Why you might feel a sense of regret or why I do not?”
If he was irritated by my pedantry he was not showing it.
“Because I am not at fault. In all those instances it is the other person’s fault.”
“How about some examples?”
“Okay. Kate’s dog went missing. Do you remember me telling you about that?” He nodded. “If she had cared for it properly and given me the attention I deserve it would not have been lost. Christopher who was fired from his position, he was incompetent. Emily kept asking me the wrong questions so that is why she was treated in that way. Sophie kept asking me what I was thinking so that is why I lost my temper and smashed her television. As for Paula, she was late so I walked off and left her to find her own way home. Do you want me to go on?”
“No, that is sufficient.”
“If people tried harder, if they were more thoughtful then this would not happen. I can do it so why not they? I will tell you why. They become weak and complacent. They think that they can not invest any energy into our relationship, whether intimate or not, any longer. If you do not feed something it will wither and die. They brought it on themselves and they are the ones at fault. My reaction was perfectly natural. I was entitled to respond the way I did. They cannot judge me, they have no jurisdiction to do so, certainly not when they let me down every single time. They bring it on themselves with their weakness and their whining, their reluctance to do what is needed, what I need. It sickens me doctor, it truly sickens me. Have you any idea how difficult it is to find someone who retains my interest, someone scintillating enough to match my brilliance? It is impossible. I try Dr E, I bloody well try to I offer them the world in the hope that just this once they will match my expectations and not let me down. It always happens. I am always let down. She did it the first time and then it happened again and now it is repeated. Why? What did I do that was so wrong to deserve being treated like this? I regret nothing doctor because nothing is my fault.”