Why I Blame Myself

I can’t sleep.  I’m too busy freaking out about the roommate situation.  I’m afraid I’m going to end up in another bad roommate situation.  (I’ve had several of those, including one who didn’t wear clothes and didn’t pay her half of the rent.)  I’m afraid having to get a new roommate I don’t know will exacerbate my PTSD to unbearable levels.  I’m afraid that I won’t be able to find anyone else and won’t be able to pay the whole rent by myself, so then I’ll end up homeless again.  (Long story I don’t feel up to explaining right now.)

And somehow I feel like this is all my fault.  Like if I’d just planned ahead, I would’ve somehow solved this problem before it arose.  Like if I could just get ahold of my crazy PTSD shit, I wouldn’t have to freak out about living with people I don’t know.  Like if I’d just stop being so goddamn lazy and get a job already, I could afford the apartment on my own and wouldn’t have to worry about all this shit.

It’s illogical, I know that.

But I’ve always blamed myself for everything bad that happens.  I mean, Christ, when someone rear-ended me at a red light one time, I apologized to the guy!  I blame myself for my psychological distress, my isolation, my lack of support.  I blame myself for the UC and arthritis and fatigue.  I blame myself for my poverty.  I blame myself for all the abuse I’ve suffered.

It’s fucked up, but I think it’s comforting, in a way.  It’s easier to believe that all the bad things that happen to me happen because I deserve them than to believe they happen for no reason, because the universe is unfair and people are cruel and uncaring.

There’s this line from my favorite TV show:

“You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.”

–Marcus Cole, Babylon 5

I wish I could believe that.  I do, for everyone but myself.  But when I’m talking about myself, I’m not there yet.  I still believe it’s all my fault.  It somehow seems less painful, but probably it really isn’t.  I wish I knew how to let go of that.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Why I Blame Myself

  1. I can not imagine that having to find a stranger to be a roommate would sit well with anyone over the age of 18. You like your landlady and vice versa so maybe she would offer advice or help screen people?

  2. happilydpressed

    I say it all the time, everything happens for a reason. So do I believe that? Most days. It’s the only thing that helps me cope with certain situations. And then there are other things that I cry wondering what the reason could be. So maybe there is no reason. Maybe life really is unfair. And that’s the conclusion I’ve come up with. Nothing ever goes as planned…sometimes it’s better and sometimes it’s worse.

    Life doesn’t owe us anything. Were at it all alone. Some people just walk besides us making it a little easier.

    I can assure you, even though I don’t physically know you, that you don’t deserve what you’ve been put through. Sometimes people make certain decisions, so yes, the path they’ve reached is their own fault. But when it comes to health and mental health, you have no choice. You didn’t do this to yourself. Maybe there are things you’ve done wrong, we all have. But the past is the past. You can’t dwell. It only makes your life harder.

    The problems with your stomach, the depression, none of that is your fault. And so much comes with it that everything else is a blur. It’s hard to hold into a steady job when you feel the way you do. You’re not mooching off people…you’re trying. And that’s what really counts.

    Remember your socks? Go on etsy. Make an account. Sell stuff and you can make a few extra bucks from home. (:

    • I’ve never been big on the “everything happens for a reason” philosophy, at least not in the metaphysical sense. Everything happens for a reason, but those reasons are science, stuff people (including ourselves) do, or both. That’s actually much more comforting than the idea that crappy things happen to make us stronger or teach us a lesson or whatever.

      But it does lend itself somewhat easily to self-blame, especially since that’s already my tendency. For instance, I blame myself for the UC because I was severely bulimic for many years. I haven’t found any research about it, but it’s probably a pretty narrow set of people. I know bulimia alone probably can’t cause an autoimmune disorder, but I keep thinking maybe that was the tipping point.

      At some point I will make an etsy shop, but it probably won’t be until after the election. I don’t have any finished that I haven’t worn, and when I have spare time, I need to work on the shawl for my sister’s wedding gift. But it’s definitely something I’ll do eventually.

  3. Dear Hope, I wish the poem Desiderata that I posted yesterday meant Truth to you…that you felt that you had a right to exist and that the universe was unfolding as it ought to. SO much of that poem is or supposed to be uplifting and calming, and IS, but it made me tearful because like you, I don’t and can’t be gentle with myself, and I blame myself for everything. The thing is, where does it get you, really? Does it serve any purpose to blame yourself/ Esp when not blaming yourself but instead accepting the situation and trying n

    No, no group home. that would be suicide. But maybe you could find a stranger that would work out,,,If you choose with an open mind and carefully. Or set some FIRM ground rules before she moved in. DOn’t take someone without the first month’s rent already paid, for instance. You don’t need to be a wuss! (Spoken by someone who is the world’s first class wuss by the way.) But there is nothing wrong with setting limits and explaining why before ANYONE moves in. There are a lot of people out to take advantage of a kind hearted needy person and you needn’t be one of those who are made a target of this again. Bless you, I know this struggle. Once I put an ad in a local paper asking for a room in a house for a struggling starving artist, and actually got an attic room that was quite nice for a few months…Things have a way of working out IN THE END…..even in my experience homelessness. But I do not want that to happen to you. So I send you my best wishes and will keep track of what is happening via your posts. Take care of yourself first of all. And keep yourself open to experieces that might seem scary but might open a world to you. Will be thinking of you. Yours Pam

    • A dear friend have me a copy of that poem about a year ago…great minds think alike! Like you, it’s something I want to believe, but don’t yet.

      I think for me, the self-blame does serve a purpose–it lets me feel like I have some control. The thought process is that if I could just stop screwing up, bad things would stop happening. I know it’s not rational, but it is emotionally compelling.

      I’ll definitely have ground rules for the new roommate/s. I think I’m pretty easy to live with, but I’ve had a few bad roommate situations in the past that I’m eager not to repeat. I’ve gotten pretty good at setting boundaries in situations like these.

      I’ll figure out a way to make the situation work. Right now I’m just trying not to get myself all stressed out about it, which I have a tendency to do.

  4. The self-blame and the shame. We should start up a show and go on the road! I totally hear what you’re saying. It’s not a problem I have even been able to address in myself, so I won’t try giving you advice. Just ((hugs)) and hope that deep down, you KNOW you’ve got this.

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