[SERIOUS] How old are you and what is the most difficult thing you have experienced in your life?

Giving up my child for adoption. My SECOND child, and I kept the eldest. I kept the second baby in the hospital with me for two days before I called the adoptive family. I didn't want to go through with it, but I was poor and could barely feed myself and the oldest. I lived in my car for a few months of the second pregnancy. The father (of both) would leave for months at a time, would steal money from me, cheat, and was horribly abusive when he was around. Both babies are young adults now. The one with me is doing very well and has had no exposure to his father since he was little. The adopted baby is doing well from what i know, but everything i do know is through distant, very sporadic emails from the adoptive mom. I have books and books of pictures of the child as they've grown but I feel like I can't breathe when I look at them, so I don't. The guilt is crushing. I feel like I failed both of the kids and robbed them of their chance to grow up together because I was stupid, and broke, and trying to force family life on a man who just wasn't capable of it. He went to prison eventually after he beat and tried to kill me, a couple years after the adoption. I haven't laid eyes on the man in nearly 20 years, since I had testify against him at trial. My life is a lot different now, stable, secure, and fairly happy and content. I live in a nice place, with a good job, a caring spouse, good kids and stepkids. I wonder how life would have been different if I kept the baby. I know I did the right thing considering the circumstances, but my heart is still broken. I can't talk to anyone about it. The emotion is so overwhelming that I shut down. The only person that I can talk to about is my son, and that's because HE needs to, and I owe him the answers and the care for his questions and feelings. I will never get over this as long as I live. My heart will always be broken over this child I haven't known.

/r/AskReddit Thread