Are you a self blamer? I am. When things do not got to plan, it is practically always my fault. I grew up with this self blame notion and am pretty sure I have an it is all my fault gene. I could and still can apply it is all my fault to pretty much anything. From not being picked to join a team even though I had trained so very hard to blaming myself in moments of being bullied. My fault gene in my head told me. “You are being bullied because you don’t fit in. You have braces, bright red hair and are fat therefore you are a target. It is all your fault”
I become a mother, the richest playground in the world for the fault gene to operate at fall steam because mother guilt thrives on the fault gene. The overload of blame I inflicted upon myself was constant. The fault picking by others on my parenting fuelled my fault gene to the max. My daughter doesn’t sleep through the night – my fault. My daughter takes all her clothes off every where – my fault. Everything was my fault.
I started blogging and let loose the conversations in my head; snippets of my life, my mothers’ Alzheimers, her passing away my work as a child behaviourist all open to public comments or lack of comments, again interpreting everything and nothing into it is all my fault.
Meeting with mothers and friends I know it is not only myself that has the it is all my fault gene. Of course there are certain things in life that I am fully accountable for as we all are, this is part of our makeup and the intrinsic values that personally we strive to live by, the majority of us have a good heart, we are trying to do the best we can. Some days are better than others, some days are horrendous, on those days just making it to bedtime is good enough.
Fault and blame are harsh words to keep applying to ourselves day to day. Wait, you forgot to wash a uniform. Does it require a self flogging of fault and blame? No, spray your child with some deodorant and send them on their merry way. Forgot to bake the cake for the fair. Buy one. Stop with the beating yourself up on a daily basis. Personally I believe that many times we have to accept exactly how we are feeling before we can slowly move on through the fog.
Looking at the bigger picture can help. Although this too has a double edge darker side as we can end up beating ourselves up even more as we look at the bigger picture, and of course inside our heads we know we should feel grateful for all we have, there are people so much worse off. So now we feel even more at fault because being grateful does not make our depression, anxiety, or the emotions we are feeling disappear. It would be great if it did, we would all be able to feel great, but is does not. Sometimes reading quotes make you feel even more depressed. It is impossible to be grateful when your mind will not let you. I can only suggest being kinder with yourself, deal with the current issues and feelings at hand the best way you can, save being thankful once you feel better.
We have to accept many of the imperfections of our life as true perfection is a fallacy. I’ve been looking for it for years and I can assure with a hand on my heart that it does not exist. Even those we may see as perfect will have a quirk, a crappy day and yes they too can lose their outer calm and snap. Mrs Domesticated Organised Super Mum has a messy draw somewhere. My imperfect chaos is who I am, we have different talents, abilities and passions. I know I am not a domestic goddess and I’m ok with that, if it upsets you, it is now I know it is not my fault.
The list of things we can blame ourselves for is never-ending these are just some of my personal ones
- Any emotional or physical abuse or trauma I have suffered and endured is NOT my fault.
- Depression is NOT my fault.
- Anxiety is NOT my fault.
- Baby not sleeping through is NOT my fault.
- My children are on a constant learning journey, they will do stuff that is NOT my fault.
- So and so doesn’t like me this is NOT my fault.
- People may not follow through on a promise this is NOT my fault
- The house is not as tidy as I would like it my children are messy NOT my fault. Yet they are good-humoured, well mannered and loving this is my fault a good fault.
This year I’ve made a promise to myself that I stop as soon as the it is all my fault starts to rear its tone with me. I replace fault, with it wasn’t meant to be or “Oh shit I forgot”.
I will strive to keep looking at the bigger picture, I will be more gentle with myself and I will continue being imperfectly me.
Do you beat yourself up? What do you blame on yourself? On Wednesday 6th February 2013 at 9pm Melbourne time I’m having an open discussion on depression, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed over on the Easy Peasy Kids Facebook Page. If it goes well I will form a closed support group where we can support each other on a more daily basis.
Not everything is my fault or yours…