Friday, March 20, 2015

Post Estrangement - 40 Days of Letting Go - letting go of self blame

I am still at it, every day I process another part of "Letting Go"
I am learning so much on this journey and hopefully will be creating a step by step guide to help others.

40 days of Letting go - Day 28

I am a self blamer! 

There I have admitted it. Whenever something goes wrong I automatically blame myself. Most often this self-blame is totally irrational!

I don’t even know for sure when this started in my life, but looking back I always seem to remember feeling tremendous guilt over things I was not able to do or control, did not do well enough or soon enough etc.

And then even worse, at some point in time I started assuming blame and guilt for the failings of others! When I became a parent is when this syndrome got really out of control!

When my children got in trouble, I blamed me!
When my children did poorly at anything, It was my fault!
When my children misbehaved, I blamed myself!
When I could not give my children something they wanted, it was my fault!

It also became a habit for me to apologize for every event that occurred that left my children feeling unfulfilled

If we had an inconvenience on a vacation, I blamed me!
If the kids did not enjoy a holiday, it was my fault!
If the kids had a bad experience with a bully and I was unable to help them adequately through the difficulty, I blamed myself!

When my children became adults and had difficulties…you guessed it, I took the blame.

They made an unsuccessful choice for studies, I blamed myself for not being a better help in the decision making process!
They had a difficult breakup in a relationship, it was my fault for not preparing them better.
They had a negative outcome of a dream, once again I blamed myself for not doing enough to make their dream a success!

And then when my daughter estranged herself from me and broke up our whole family guess who took the blame upon herself!? ME!

That is right, now it was my fault for not parenting better, for not teaching better communication skills, my fault for not teaching better social and behavioral skills…all my fault!

And I carry this “giganormous” weight with me day in and day out and am crushed under the burden of self blame.

But I am waking up!
I am learning to say "It is not all my fault!"

Other people were involved in every choice!

Most critically I have forgotten that as my children became adults they need to do what every adult needs to at some point; take on responsibility for their own actions. I am simply not that powerful that I can fix everyone’s problems!  I have woken up, finally I realize that not everything is my fault.

I resolve to let go of my habit of self blame.

From now on I will look at my course of action. If I do (or did) everything to the best of my ability then I am not to blame when things do not work out.

Stuff happens in life. Things don’t always go according to plan. People make choices that have nothing to do with me and I cannot be their safety net, taking the blame for them so their feelings are not hurt, or so they can continue to feel superior.

From now on if you make a bad choice don’t blame me because I am no longer going to be the easy access scape goat! 

Renate Dundys Marrello 

Photo credit - as marked or unknown

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