It's been many years since I've felt that feeling, but I have teenagers, and they must learn their lessons the same way I had to learn mine. As a mother I can feel the internal betrayal feeling of my children as if it were my own. And my heart aches for them. I wish I could wash clean their decision making slates and take away from them that sense of, "Oh, no... what have I done?" and the oozy feeling of their consequences in play. But I cannot. I must let go, and let them choose, and let them choose poorly, so that they can feel their own sorrow and shame. It's greater punishment than any I could dole out. I can love and support them through it. I can listen and relate. I can hope that next time they remember how they suffered and make a better choice. But I cannot keep their dues at bay.
It happens to us all sooner or later. Our innocence is lost. The pricetag is pain and suffering, but as with all things, there is reward as well. There is wisdom and more peaceful living if we learn and understand, if we pay attention, and connect the dots. We can choose better. We can feel satisfaction in our decisions and pride in our integrity. We can honor our values and the lives we live, and we needn't ever betray ourselves again.
I pay attention to my moral compass and live in integrity with myself. I quiet the voices inside my head that would justify misbehavior, and I choose to do the next right thing instead.