It's Not My Fault!

by - December 08, 2009

Dave and I were having a conversation this morning about people who put the blame on everyone and everything but themselves.  You know the type: when anything goes wrong in their life, whether it's trivial or a big deal, it's never their fault.  When they take a wrong turn somewhere, they will turn to their partner or friend or whomever and exclaim, "Well you told me to go that way!".  Or when they have done something wrong, they will rationalize it to themselves by thinking "I only acted that way because this person acted THAT way, which made me mad". 

Now, don't get me wrong, I have done this many times in my life as well.  I have been told that my natural defense mechanism when someone gets upset with me is to get upset back, claiming that if they hadn't of done X, then I would not have done Y.  When I heard that, I could not disagree.  I also couldn't help but feel a little bit embarrassed that I had been caught red-handed, acting like a child.  Because let's be honest here folks, it is childish to opt out of accepting blame for something you have done wrong.  It's everyone one else's fault but your own right? 

When I was a kid, I acted out a lot towards my parents becaue I had Middle Child Syndrome.  I capitalize it because it's a thing.  IT IS.  Not something that was mostly in my own head, but a real, tangible thing that ate away at my child-soul on a regular basis because I thought my parents treated me differently than my sister and brother.  Turns out they did, and they will freely admit to that, but I also now understand that there is no handbook when it comes to raising a child.  They spoiled my sister because she was the first born, and decided not to do the same when it came to me.  I appreciate that now, but I certainly did not as a child.  And then my little brother came along and well, that just speaks for itself doesn't it?  So to get their attention I took things apart to see how they worked, I flung myself off of things to understand better what would happen, and in the process, broke or maimed many of their possessions (and myself).  And everytime I would get in trouble for it I would firmly yell "But it's not my faaauuullt!".  This led to years of my parents blaming me for many things, even things I did not do, because as my mother aptly put it everytime I demanded why it was always ME who was in trouble, "Because 99% of the time Katherine, it IS your fault!".  To which I would curtly respond with, "How do you know that this time isn't in that one percent window?  How bad would YOU feel?".

Yeah, I didn't make it easy for my parents. 

Now that I am a grown up (ha! Sort of), I recognize my behaviour and I work hard at placing blame on myself when it is due.  I would love to be able to take the easy way out of things by blaming others, always flinging 'why me's' all over the place, but I don't want to be that kind of person.  I have worked hard to build a life I can be proud of, and I understand the beauty of making a mistake and learning from it.  But it is a hard thing to do, I will admit.  Growing up vying for attention all the time has left me with a bad case of the 'why me's', absolutely, I have just had to learn to keep them in check and accept responsiblity for my own actions. 

I think I have done an OK job.  And if I haven't, well, it's not my fault!

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