As I get healthier, I’ve experienced obstacles not just from within (my own difficulties with change), but from the other people in my life who don’t like the changes that I am making. I’ve been told that I am selfish, that there is “something” wrong with me, and although this is never specified, it is implied that it is some mental health issue. I’ve had my own reality denied–I’ve been told that I didn’t experience what I experienced. I have to admit I had a nice little laugh about the second one–the mental health issue, because I was diagnosed at one time with PTSD due to growing up in an alcoholic household, but I digress.
My point is that people resist change, and given that I was the one changing things, my family blamed me for the problems brought up for that, for their anxiety with that change and have used any form of manipulation or guilt to get me to come back into the fold. And even though it hurt, I came to the rooms to talk about it and work through it, and I eventually was able to let them go.
On the other end of the scale, I need to watch my own tendencies to blame. “When I blame(d) others, I didn’t have to feel my deep sense of shame.” (Hope for Today, pp 104).
I’ve recently been dealing with a situation with a friend with her blaming me for things going wrong on a project we have been working on together. She’s said a lot of not so nice things, and it is hard not to blame her for the situation. Now, I can choose to do that, I can choose to be a victim, or I can choose to take responsibility for my side of the street. I can choose how I feel, what I think about the situation, and how I want to act. I don’t have to just react.
I don’t know yet how I will specifically handle the situation with my friend, but I don’t want to choose blame. I don’t want to choose fear or anxiety. I don’t have to accept unacceptable behavior, but I also cannot resort to unacceptable behavior to protect myself.