Who’s to Blame

Shadow of my iphone, powercord and fingers.
Shadow of my hand holding my iphone and power cord.

Last week, after the high of thinking we had found the perfect person to rent and possibly buy Old Bedlam Farm and then the low of realizing it was not the deal it seemed to be, I was disappointed and angry and I wanted to blame someone for making me feel the way I did.

First I blamed myself, I should have known it was too good to be true, I should have seen the signs.  Then I moved onto the Real Estate Agent, she should have seen what I didn’t , isn’t that her job?  Then I brought the blame back to myself, and with it came the feelings of victimization and shame.  Or maybe it’s the feeling of shame and victimization that led me to look for someone other to blame than the person responsible.  Like the child who is abused and believes she did something to deserved it.

Yesterday, when Jon told me he would have to treat his Diabetes with insulin, that feeling of injustice rose up in me again.  I knew Jon had Diabetes when I married him, and yet, somehow the idea of insulin made it real to me for the first time.  I know there are so many worse chronic illness a person can have, and this one is very treatable, but I still didn’t want it to be true.  So instead of being grateful and knowing that since his diagnosis, Jon is healthier in lots of other ways then he was before, I found I was once again angry and looking for someone to blame.  Because I had been denying it, because I didn’t want it to be true,  I felt once again as if I hadn’t seen what was right in front of me.  I should have known.  Then my blame reached out, first to the Nurse Practitioner who diagnosed the blood tests and prescribed the insulin.  Then, by the time Jon got home, I was blaming him, for not eating better or getting more exercise or letting me help him more.

In the deal  with the Old Bedlam Farm, I wanted something to be true that wasn’t, with Jon’s Diabetes, I wanted something that was true not to be true.  And instead of just feeling angry or sad or hurt or scared, I tried to avoid those feeling by finding someone to blame.  It was easiest to blame myself and hardest to see the true source of  the problem.  But in either case, blaming doesn’t help.  It’s good to understand what happened and who is responsible for what, but blame just muddies the water.  It’s a smoke screen that confuses the issues and evokes misplaced emotions.

Blame is like guilt, maybe in its truest form it serves a purpose.  But, for me, I can see it has become a way to be the victim or avoid responsibility for how I’m feeling.   Knowing this, maybe next time I can skip the blame or at least recognize it when it’s happening. Then I can just let myself feel what I’m feeling, then try to let it go.



18 thoughts on “Who’s to Blame

  1. Oh Maria, I know how you felt, I used to work in a cancer centre and spent a great deal of time with newely diagnosed patients who wanted to know who to blame for their diagnosis. It’s human nature and is get-overable eventually, like my patients I’m sure that you and Jon will just get on with life as before with the small addition of unsulin, as you say it could be a lot worse and you are both such positive people, you’ll both deal with it, I’m thinking of you both.

  2. What a powerful post Maria. It’s good to see how you handle frustration and work through it to a place where you can just let it go. I needed this today with a situation at work and I thank you!

  3. Maria, you really express yourself well. I would have probably felt much the same way facing these issues yet I doubt if I could be able to put it out there for others to read so well. And for the record, from what I read in Jon’s blog, he has done a wonderful job controlling the diabetes for quite a while now and I commend him for it.

  4. Maria, I appreciated your introspection and honesty in this post. Your words were very wise and you were brave to write them. You reminded me of things I need to pay attention to. Thank you.

  5. Beautifully honest. I think so many will relate to this. I usually go dark before I go light…just a mere mortal.

  6. Maria…We are all learning and perhaps the oldest of our coping skills are the most difficult to let go of.Be gentle and nurturing to yourself today the feelings are real and painful so as you would be to anyone else feeling pain be kind and forgiving…to you.Louise from Massachusetts

  7. Reading a great book by Brene Brown called “Daring Greatly”. A good deal of it talks about shame, blame and the rest of the game. Worth the read. Blame is an endless game. You’re right. Focus on “just the facts, mam” as Dragnet used to say. The house did not sell – redirect and move on. Jon’s diabetes is worse and needs insulin – thank goodness for insulin. Yes, he could do better etc – we all can. The fact is we don’t. His choice – his results. Trust me it is hard. I know what I need to do for myself, and I don’t. So I suffer the consequences and when I am sick and tired of suffering I just redirect and do what needs to be done (most of the time). No blame, no shame, just acceptance of my own facts. Good luck! I hope the house sells before fall. That’s my wish for you.

  8. Maria, you are not to blame for these unfortunate events. You reached out and blamed the person closest to you, and that is you. It seems to me by posting this message, you realize the problem, and already are on the road to forgiving and forgetting. I know you love Jon, I’ve been lucky enough to follow BF for years. When I “met” you, I started following your blog. Let me tell you,I wish I’d known you sooner, you brighten my day, and make me see things through different eyes. If you were not related to Jon, I would read your blog anyways. Just don’t tell Jon. Much love to you both.

  9. Maria, I so love your honesty here. Telling it how it is. Saying how you feel. Being self-aware in order to understand, learn and move on. I love your last sentence – we should all give ourselves permission to feel what we feel. It’s sometimes horrible to realise what’s behind our emotions but how else can we grow into a better human being if we don’t first own and then deal with them. Good for you Maria and thank you.

  10. I used to be a hospice social worker, and there was an awful lot of “blaming” going on, a lot of what did I do to deserve this, kind of talk. And sometimes you just Need to talk, to get it out, to feel it, whether you really blame yourself, or the “sick” person, or the diagnosing person, or God, or whomever. Now I work as a dialysis social worker, and there is still “blaming”, also a LOT of diabetes, people blaming themselves for causing the kidney failure by not controlling the diabetes and high blood pressure and such. I believe that as human beings we need to try to understand WHY…and blaming is a way to try to figure out WHY…WHY me, WHY us…the answer needs to be refocused as “WHY NOT Me?” Vomit out the emotions, hide under the bedcovers occasionally, then realize we all deal with unfairness, love your support, and move on as best you can.

  11. Your piece is lovely and the aching of its message palpable. Know that there still may be
    other options if it is indeed Type II Diabetes. Try to watch the short film Raw for 30 days with Dr Gabriel Cousens
    He has also written a book “There is a cure for diabetes”. The film follows 5 people
    who opt to try the 30 days at “Tree of Life” centre and the results
    were astounding. However if the lifestyle change is seen as too radical
    or fear of the changing too hard there will be resistance. Just a thought
    and wishes for a peaceful and genuinely honest outcome that makes you both happy and keeps you well.

  12. Dear Maria! Have you missed your calling as a counselor-therapist?!? Not at all! You can give us group therapy and still make beautiful quilts! (and potholders, and scarves, and pillows and wall hangings…) How I Thank You!! Annie

  13. Maria, what you say about blame is true. I don’t know why, we as humans, reach for blame first, then, if we’re able, we look at ourselves and in the end, acceptance comes if we’re lucky to be able to find it. From what I would feel in your situation with Jon’s diabetes would be the fear of loosing him and that gets back to yours and my own stuff…not theirs. And he’s right, it’s his problem, in his family, something he was aware could happen to himself. Isn’t it interesting how we can know about something yet in our minds, not accept it until it hits us over the head like a brick with reality.
    You’ve posted a wonderfully insightful posting and I think to myself, this blog is a wonderful thing, because of your honesty, we can face our own realities in a more honest way…if we can get beyond blame.
    SandyP in Canada

  14. Hi Maria – thanks for sharing your experiences and your extraordinary insight into blame. It’s given me something to think about and use in my own life – how using blame masks our true feelings.

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