Ever since I went away to college the first semester and had conflicts with roommates, I was certain that I must really be a terrible person to live with. I mean, what else would explain the shunning (no joke) and harmless, yet hurtful pranks? In all of these relationships, it was easier for me to say that it was my fault, that I must have done something (or not done something), that my expectations were off, and that I was being unfair in the situation, that there were things happening in their lives that I wasn’t being sensitive to that caused these conflicts. I replay moments and situations and tell myself that it's all my fault, that somehow I deserve what I got. And to be fair, there probably were, and I probably did, to one extent or another.
Turns out I do the exact same thing when I’m dating…or more correctly, when it’s over. And family is no different (though in all honesty I’m probably worse to my family than to any other person or group – that MUST change immediately…and the problems legitimately are my fault!).
This week, I did something that was very hard for me, but it turned out to be the MOST freeing thing in the world. I put the “blame” – not sure on what word should go there - on someone else. Please don’t misunderstand, I STILL take most of the “blame” and am highly aware that I am accountable for all of my choices and actions within all of these relationships, but here is the key, the piece I have been missing for all of these years. I wasn’t the only one there. There was ALWAYS at least one other person…every.single.time. Even though there is much work I need to do on myself, coming to grips with the fact that taking responsibility for every trouble, conflict, and unhappy ending isn’t helping me in any way has lifted this burden. It has given me some peace, some hope, some confidence in the future. It has given me an even surface to jump from. In my quest to be accountable, I see now that being honest in my "blame" is an integral part of that process.
I am not a perfect person, but I am trying. I’m doing the best I know how today, but I’m hoping that through my experiences I exceed that level tomorrow and the next day, and that I continue taking progressive steps to becoming the person I’m fighting so hard to become.