The general default, for most people, when it comes to relationships with other people, is to blame those others if something goes wrong in the relationship.
And, if we can’t somehow blame that specific person, we take it into our heads to blame a generalized grouping of people who have commonalities with the person we really want to blame.
Blame is an effective way for many people to escape taking responsibility for their own lives and their own choices. We all do it, because it is only our own consciences and ethical principles that will stop that blame in its tracks when it truly is our own choices causing the problem (or at least a portion of the problem).
And it is why so many people who have been conditioned to be co-dependant are so willing to take responsibility for things that are truly beyond their control. Because they have routinely been blamed for things that are not their responsibility.
As a defense mechanism, it allows us to claim that these issues are out of our personal control, so we shouldn’t have to be responsible for whatever it is.
Especially if we feel our life sucks, it is very, very easy to blame others. It’s far too easy to forget what blessings we have in our lives. It’s like so many of us become addicted to feeling miserable. I have this problem myself, and I was given a book a little over a decade ago that still occasionally helps today. The book is When Misery Is Company. There may even be some people who did wrong us, who have caused our pain and destroyed our lives.
But, while there may be a person (or a set of people) out there who caused our original wounds, it is our decision what to make of those wounds. We can choose to dig in them, picking at them like a child picks at a scab (and yes, there are adults who still pick at scabs…sadly, my sister is one of those people…..sigh). But if we keep digging at them, they don’t heal. Oh, they may still scar us, but we shouldn’t still be bearing the original wound decades after it was inflicted. When someone does that with an actual physical wound, it eventually becomes gangrenous and requires amputation. Trust me, emotional amputation is not a good choice.
Maybe this sounds hypocritical coming from me. You’ve read posts from me talking about what my ex-husband did to me, what nameless men have done to me, and even what choices my parents made in raising me.
The thing is, when most people lay blame, they want SOMEONE ELSE to deal with the problem so that they don’t have to. They want the original offender (or someone similar) to make amends for the original wound. You may be offended by this comparison, but this kind of expectation is no different than the anger-retaliatory serial killer, who is killing someone as a substitute revenge.
I expect no change, no apology from any of those who have wounded me. My work on myself, while admitting there were wounds caused by others, is focused on what perspective I had at the time. Dealing with my past perspectives on my parents or Grandma Rose, for example, helps me to see them as human beings…not some ideal that I eventually discovered had feet of clay. When you are a child, your parents tend to be seen as perfect, and if something happens or choices they make destroy that perfection….it destroys your emotional foundation.
Relationships that mirror certain aspects of your parent (whichever parent, or both), can be defined and responded to in exactly the same way you react to that parent. It has become a habit to react that way.
Finding those habitual reaction requires you to be willing to take a clear and honest look at your perspective not only about the person(s) who mirror your parent(s) but also at your relationship to that parent.
It’s not easy, and it often hurts. But, wouldn’t you rather not repeat your previous mistakes with someone else? Wouldn’t you like to choose to have a better relationship?
You cannot control anyone else’s choices, even those who have caused you harm. Remorse means absolutely nothing unless it is honestly felt. You can only evaluate your own emotions, and choose to either carry that wound forever or to allow it to heal. Just because it heals does not mean there won’t be a scar. It only means that you won’t have an open, bleeding wound.