Exploring what happiness is; what makes me and others feel happy has turned me to exploring blame. Looking back it is blaming that brought on so much hurt and anger. I liked the following analogy. “Blame is like taking poison and expecting it to affect the other person.” In addition to this, I found the following quote. “Resentment is like a poison we carry around inside us with the hope that when we get the chance we can deposit it where it will harm another who has injured us. The fact is that we carry this poison at extreme risk to ourselves.” I had never heard this analogy before. However, this made sense to me. Through examining my feelings over the years I recognized that I spent years wanting my ex to finally get it, for him to acknowledge what I felt he had done to me, his contribution to my hurt and anger. I spent years talking about what he had done! Trying hard to understand. Solving nothing!
I still hold him responsible for his words and actions. But I could never shake my own responsibility for my own words and actions. I firmly believe that what is true of me, is also true and possible for others. We were blaming each other because we were hurt and angry. Being caught up in what we came to believe about one another because of those words and actions was a big part of our problems. We were not communicating. How we communicated was not on the same level. My expectation then was he should understand me, we speak the same language. I wanted to have more time together so we could talk. The reality was there was no time. he worked as a farmer. The way a farm can be run is a part of the mix. Often it needs more workers, and this can not happen due to finances. My ex loved farming and hoped it would get better, and that we would have more time. There are many things we learn about our partners. These things get set aside when you are angry and hurt. The fact is we can not control everything in our lives. Time lets you remember such things. Blame can change but it needs us to examine why we are blaming. We can only do something about “us” (the self). Change does not happen until you see the need to change. I wanted happiness but did not understand how to be happy.
For years my cycle was to not show I could be happy in front of my children because my thoughts were about what had been done, my circumstances, etc I saw it as me soaking them up when we got together. I felt I lost the everyday chance of grabbing special moments in time. Divorce means sharing time, no longer full-time togetherness. The reality is you both lose out on moments that could be a great time together. Kids often feel they have to take sides and somehow they are part of the blame for their parent’s lack of happiness. If they were happier then they would not be divorced.
I blamed him because it had mainly been me and the kids on this island called home., He worked all the time! Very long hours! I took care of the house, daily chores, and kids. Fed him when he came home… This was how I looked at it.
Divorce: I had to share time. My anger was about the time he couldn’t make for “us: prior to the divorce____ now he could find time to parent when he had left it up to me to do that bit? He couldn’t of course and needed help other than me! Fuel for my fire.
I am someone who did not understand for a long time that there is good and bad anger. Through counseling, I learned that good anger is when you say what you need to say. Bad anger is when you rehash it over and over. I kept things alive to justify them. I believed through my experience with my husband that he did not want to listen to me. Did not care or love me! That he did not respect my role as a mother. That he wanted to make me less than who I was.
He did not give me much information about who he was when we did have time together. I was interested in who he was after all. I believed knowing someone well is to love someone well. After all should we not want to know each other. Had we not committed to one another?
These thoughts I am using are examples that reflect how I felt. Thoughts and beliefs change.
The conclusion then? Blame robs us of feeling good! We take on being “the victim” even though there are other choices. When something happens there is a period of time when things are crazy, However, we need to move past these things matter what they are so we can be happy. We can live fully. We can take control of our choices by not giving up what makes us happy. We can do things in new ways.
Others do what they do, and yes we can be right about their words and actions, but there is always more we don’t know as well. Holding people accountable is something between you and the other person. Letting them know you do requires just a one-time acknowledgment, not a lifetime! However, what is good for the goose is good for the gander! You should not forget you too are accountable for your own words and actions. Blaming lets no one off the hook. It is poison for the soul.
Best wishes! Pejj