(Had the grandbaby last night…sorry for late post!!!)
Quote is from “Daily Reflections” A Word to Drop: “Blame”
To see how erratic emotions victimized us often took a long time. We could perceive them quickly in others, but only slowly in ourselves. First of all, we had to admit that we had many of these defects, even though such disclosures were painful and humiliating. Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought.
-Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 47
I held others responsible for my behavior, for a very long time. It was always because of “others” that I had problems. Coming to terms with my own part in my problems, took a very long time. I don’t really think that I accepted the responsibility for my own actions until I was attempting to “work” the Steps. I blamed my parents, the “world” at large, my siblings, my friends and those who were not my friends. My list of resentments was almost as long as my list of defects, and there was a surprising connection between the two. I now understand that acknowledging my resentments gave me a list of people that I owed an amends to, in some form or another. My inability to recognize the truth brought about misplaced resentments and misguided feelings of anger towards those I felt had treated me poorly. My father, for one, I also resented deeply. These were confusing feelings of love and resentment, and I had little understanding of the relationship between the two. I just felt that he did not care about me, nor love me, or he would not have been so mean to me. There were times of being whipped with a belt until huge red welts covered my backside and legs. I resented this treatment and felt that it underscored his lack of love for me. I never thought about my part in this – my inappropriate behavior, the lies I told, and my unexpressed anger towards him – these were buried deep, and forgotten – I did not know what else to do with these feelings. As an adult I drank away the memories of those times and all the negative feelings they caused in me. It falls on me to accept responsibility for my life and my behavior – and I do. Acceptance of this responsibility also affords me the resources to choose what I need to effect these changes in my life. Blaming others does not give me the means to change, it only delays the healing process we call recovery.