I will say that In epi2 “The Thing You Love Most” Regina says to her father that everybody already thinks she is nothing:
Evil Queen: Daddy, I don’t know what to do.
Henry I: My dear, please. You don’t have to do this.
Evil Queen: I have to do something.
Henry I: Then move past this. I know this may sound self-serving, but you don’t need to enact the curse.
Evil Queen: But I can’t keep living like this. What Snow did to me, what she took from me? It’s eating me alive, Daddy. Her very existence mocks me. She must be punished.
Henry I: But, if the price is a hole that will never be filled, why do it? Stop worrying about Snow White and start over. We can have a new life.
Evil Queen: But what kind of life? All I’ve worked for, all I’ve built, would be gone. My power will disappear. They already think I’m nothing.
also with Malificent:
Maleficent: Don’t do this. This…curse. There are lines even we shouldn’t cross. All power comes with a price. Enacting it will take a terrible toll. It will leave an emptiness inside you. A void you will never be able to fill.
Evil Queen: So be it.
These two scenes sums up the EQ/Regina in a nutshell. She is bent on punishing SW to the point that she can’t think clearly enough to save her own father from her intent, even though we just saw her rescue him from Wonderland. Guess family wasn’t more important than her own vengeance. Also, there is a void in her heart that cannot be filled, which Rumpel reiterated on when talking to Charming and which Malificent stated as well. Lastly, the comment they already think I’m nothing somehow came about between Charming’s capture and his and Snow’s wedding, because everyone was at the wedding celebrating when Regina showed up with her promise of no more happy endings. So we have yet to see what circumstances turned everything around for Snow and Charming, and how Regina was brought low.
In Regards to getting rid of Emma — I think she could have done that for 28 years, she could have gotten rid of people, but her goal is not to get rid of but to control people and their destinies to an unhappiness she can relish in, knowing she provided it. Look at what she did to poor Jefferson. Looking through his telescope at his daughter all those years, waiting. It was his curse, he said. I’m wondering if FT characters can even die without some type of magic involved. Maybe that’s why Regina can’t touch Emma.
I do think sometimes she is conflicted but when she remembers what she has set out to do, it sets her course. The goal is not to get rid of but to rule over and control the destinies of others with unhappy endings.