Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stuck in the Blame Game

Many many thanks to all of you for sharing your insights with me on how to overcome the guilt and blame mind-game. Clearly, I've got some learning to do, and I have a good topic for my next counseling appointment. I'm attending Al-Anon and hopefully, some of that wisdom will start sinking in too. I don't know why this is so hard. My mind understands what everyone tells me but deep inside me I am low, still grieving, and finding my confidence as a mother under severe attack. I have always been confident in myself and in my parenting. I probably just need to learn a new way of mothering. New techniques for a new season.

Here is what I hope to remember (from what you all told me):
  • Ask myself if any of the "stupid" things I had done in my life could be blamed on my own mother. The answer is "No" (thanks "Mom trying to Detach with Love")
  • "If outcomes were dependent on Dad and Mom we would all have Einstein's...learn all you can handle about this disease. You do whatever you believe is right for yourself and your son. Every single day you cheer the successes and mourn the defeats. You never give up hope for yourself or your child."  (thanks, Ron)
  • "I wasn't a perfect mom, but I was a good one. I was there, I was affectionate, I loved and adored each of my kids, I did the absolute very best that I knew how to do. " (thanks Annette)
  • "You are a wonderful mother who loves her son with all her heart. Please don't blame yourself, it was nothing you did or didn't do - I promise! " (thanks Barbara)
  • "You can blame yourself for enabling, for not seeing the signs or ignoring them, for focusing on his addiction and not your own recovery. You can blame yourself for not understanding enough, caring too much, loving without action, detaching without conviction. But NEVER for the addiction."  (thanks Jan)
  • "...blaming keeps me stuck in a bad place and it isn't helpful to anyone. The past is over, it can't be redone. What I find most helpful is to concentrate on this day and what I can do to live it well." (thanks Syd) 


  1. The lessons I learned in Al-Anon took a long time to "take." But other members helped me remember that it took me a long time to learn all these behaviors, and that it would take time to unlearn them.

    I was reading a blog, I wish I could remember which one (maybe Sharing Our Spaces?), that talked about how some decisions can change your life overnight, like getting married or joining the service. But others are more like planting a tree. You have to start with a seed and go from there. You can do what you can to feed and nurture the seed, but you can't make it grow any faster.

    I found that I was trying to control my recovery the way I was trying to control everyone and everything else in my life. I had to turn it over to God and realize it would happen in His time.

    I think of my character defects as bandages that are covering up a wound. They served to protect me. Until they didn't. But if I try to remove them too quickly, it would be like ripping off a bandage before the wound has healed.

    Two slogans help me remember that: "Progress not perfection" and "Easy Does It."

    I have an Al-Anon "sister" who talks about Al-Anon being an insidious program. It works so slowly and so quietly that you don't realize how much you've changed until something makes you look back and realize that everything is different now.

    So it may work slowly, but it does work. Hugs to you.

  2. wonderful note, Thank you, Kathy. I will stick with it.

  3. I agree with Kathy. I am just starting to work the steps in Al-Anon and had to order one of the books I needed. I looked all over two different towns for that book, at meetings they either didn't have them or were out. No book stores had it on their shelves. So I finally ordered it from Amazon and I have yet to receive it after going on 11 days. My sponsor told me that maybe it wasn't quite time yet and that God would take care of it, when the book arrived and how fast I work my own steps. So now everyday when the book doesn't come, I just remember that and let it go. It works if you work it for sure and for me it hasn't clicked overnight, it is a long process. Big hugs to you!

  4. Glad that you got some good feedback. Recovery takes practice. The more that I practice the program, go to meetings, talk to my sponsor, work with others, pray and meditate, the better my recovery is.