So this is what hell feels like. It's fighting guilt - worse still than your own, it's the guilt of someone you love. It's an invisible foe; endlessly unsatiated and utterly unscrupulous. You will never get a full description, but you perceive how insidiously it taunts them with reminders of their misguided choices. And, of course, the happy alternatives that have eluded them. They are to blame for their children's inchoate adulthood, their own unsatisfactory career, the government deficit and the holes in the fucking ozone layer. They are undeserving of the good that might have happened to survive around them. The teaser's verb of choice is shouldn't have; its adjective is fool. They are not allowed to forget and they are not allowed to embrace their past. They must forever wail and gnash their teeth.
We have yet to discover the effective way to tackle remorse. It won't relent with time or gentle encouragement. It dismisses both rational argument and the stamping of feet. It poisons the sense of touch to the point that the sufferer can't find any comfort. It's immune to sugar, antidepressants, puppy-dog eyes and good luck charms. It might just cower under the threat of physical harm - blessed be the adrenaline rush that comes with driving your nails down your forearms! The sense of urgency and despair must reach such a level that it overcomes the instinct of self-preservation. Sadly, though, the effect only lasts as long as the scars and the show may only be put on every so often.
Onwards, then. At least, let's keep rocking back and forth.