My previous partner blamed me for most things that went wrong. Him feeling stressed on the ‘holiday of a lifetime’ we took together to the far east to attend his brother’s wedding, his stress at me moving up to live with him (read; me leaving my job, my home, family and friends to leave everything that had been familiar to me my whole life to go and live in his house with him), his feeling unwell, his headaches – etcetera. More than once he summed up his year of us cohabiting as ‘stressful’, ‘hard work’ for him (just as a reminder, that’s the one where I’d left my job, my home, family and friends to leave everything that had been familiar to me my whole life to go and live in his house with him). This year had in reality involved a lot of happy, loving and wonderful times – but he destroyed them in his summing up. The second time he did this the words ‘I cant do this anymore’ came out of my mouth. I left a month later.
Men direct their blame and hate outwards, unlike women, who direct it onto themselves causing untold emotional and often physical damage.
Of course the above example is extreme and bordering on abuse – I would not advocate treating anyone this way. But being treated this way myself taught me a valuable lesson – nothing is my fault.
There’s nothing like someone else thinking everything’s your fault to make you realise nothing is
The issue at the moment is;
Men blame women. Women blame themselves. And women take on men’s blaming of them, not even in ways we are necessarily aware of. Again, this is such a well-entrenched form of misogyny that we take it on board assuming (without questioning) that we are at fault, there is something in us that needs to be better, to be stronger, less anxious, less whatever.
The one piece of advice I can give – not even that, as I don’t know if you can choose to do this, it’s just something I noticed over the last few months. Basically now if I don’t feel happy I just don’t believe anymore it’s something in me that needs to change – I’m looking round me to see who else has caused it.
Fuck self-help that tells me only I feel things, no one else causes it – bullshit! Of course they fucking do!! It’s their fault I feel this way – so I’ll let them go from my life and my life will be better for it. Maybe I’m pissed off I didn’t get to go on that date (or whatever) – it’s his fault for letting me down. Maybe I’m struggling to deal with my mate at the moment – cos she’s being a fucking pain in the arse (doesn’t mean I don’t love her). Maybe I’m stressed – because my family is putting pressure on me again to – as the single woman – be the family carer. That’s their fucking fault, their fucking problem.
You have to detach people’s expectations and demands of you from yourself, they are separate to you even if people make you feel they are not, and though you may actively choose to do them, they are not your obligation.
This may sound harsh but as women we really need to start pushing back against all this blaming & forced responsibility for things. The first step is to recognise how much it happens, the next is to get angry about it.
Just watch what men do, and copy. They are our role models in this sense.
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