The Blame Game

At certain points, I find that I take a more passive role in developing my pieces by simply taking a step back to practice some observation. It’s true that I can relate to many mental health topics out there. I can also identify with a number of experiences that are disclosed by other writers. I frequently encounter different faces of “the beast” that is mood disorder. My world has been flipped, flopped, and turned on its ear by the ceaseless roller coaster. My closet is also riddled with skeletons, and I dread the mere thought of even approaching that Pandora’s box gathering dust in the corner of my mind. Finally, in all truth, my childhood was quite troubled.

I too have been enticed to play the Blame Game. In fact, there was an enormous chunk of my life where that was all I knew. As a child, it was easy not to feel as if I had any control over my life. That being the case, it was logical to collect my woes and place blame on those who surrounded me. My parents were very distracted by their own issues and those of my brother. I grew accustomed to the role of being “good”, which often led to me sliding off the map entirely. I was a ghost in my own home.

Naturally, this resulted in a particularly turbulent adolescence. I asserted the blame onto my family for my emerging disorder, and the entire traumatic experience that occurred as a result of the way it was handled.

Others are also entangled in the Blame Game even more so that I was, because it can’t be a game without a certain number of players. Being that I was an idyllic child, the seemingly overnight transformation into that perpetual nightmare was determined to be my choice. All of the resulting behaviors were seen as awful deeds I intended to commit. The familial problems brewing in the past became volatile, all at my hand. According to them, I was hell-bent on destroying the entire family for some kind of personal gain.

I could blame my awful choices in my early adulthood on my parents. In the past, I did. I was convinced that I was entirely a product of my upbringing, and that I would always remain a damaged person.

We can choose not to play any mind game out there. Quitting the Blame Game does not mean forfeiture in any way. Actually, it means winning altogether. We win command of ourselves.

Addressing the skeptics, I’ll agree that it’s not as simple as walking away from the table. The table is infinite in its existence. There will always be people who will make the attempt to entice us back into the game. But, that’s all it is. Remember the old saying from childhood? It’s just a game.

Here are some steps to cashing out once and for all:


Mourn all that was and all that could have been. It’s not easy to let go of those painful emotions and memories. It might even be more difficult to release the ideals and expectations. But, we can understand that the past is in the past. We can’t change that. What we truly desire is not always feasible. The people who caused the hurt in the first place might just be incapable of providing the kind of closure and / or emotional nourishment we crave.

I mourned the warm, nurturing childhood that wasn’t mine. I allowed myself to feel the sorrow of a lonely child and a misunderstood teen. I truly suffered the continual disapproval in my young adulthood. And I grieved the absence of the parent / child relationship in my adulthood. I released all that was, all that could have been, and all there never was or will be.

And the emptiness inside of me closed in. The black hole that was seemingly infinite in my heart vanished. It felt like I could fully experience the very moment I existed in, through and through. I finally could just be.


Release the resentment, and the blame will lift with it. Try to see the other side of it, even if it’s speculation. It is not rationalizing their behavior, but granting pardon for their transgressions. It’s not about determining whether they are worthy, but making the conscious decision to permit ourselves the freedom of that burden. We are entitled to the right to live our lives.

I forgave each member of my family individually. Not because I determined that they shared no fault, but because I released myself from it. It was too cumbersome to allow the past to be my present. And it was unrealistic to hold onto the hope that the future would become something any different. I am worthy and my life is too precious to ensnare it in the unending Blame Game.

My shackles released, and I was freed. For the first time, I truly felt like I could do anything.


Those persons with troubled youths are likely to have faulty foundations. Maybe there is something that wasn’t there or something that has rotted away. In any case, we are already painfully aware of the malfunctioning portions of our own structures. It’s time to do some inspection into our infrastructures to rebuild and repair from the bottom up.

Important note: It is not wise or even advised to “scrap it” and start new. I’ve watched a few close friends “reinvent” themselves dozens of times to end up in exactly the same condition, and probably worse for all the wear. In my formative years, I’ve even attempted it myself. In reality, all it does is condemn and identity and destabilize a personality. As a result, a whole new set of problems is piled upon the original, grander issues.

I cannot be summed up by my past and present roles, or by the quantity or quality of experience. I am simply me. And I strive to be the best me, each and every day.

Anyway, for me, it was a tangle of perused and outdated materials. My parents didn’t hesitate to impose their own values and beliefs on me, while denying my own perspectives and opinions. It became commonplace for me to assume I was “wrong”. Then, it was habitual to allow others to do the same.

It took a lot of self-examination to determine what was actually mine. And when I say “self-examination”, I don’t mean introspection. There was no judgment involved. Instead, there was a deep and lengthy determination between the parts that resonated with me and those that caused me harm. My goal was to be me, and only me, through and through. That’s not to say I discarded anything that didn’t originate with me. I integrated them as working parts of a fully-functional, but always perfectly imperfect system.


Refuse to return to the Blame Game. Decline any invitation, and be wary of any temptation. It’s easier than anticipated to return to the same habits. No one can use force in mind games, and that’s all the Blame Game is.

I have a temper, and I find it difficult to back down from a fight. I have to be vigilant with each interaction, especially with new people. But, that doesn’t mean I let it slip from my mind when engaging with those close to me. I don’t shut the people out who are prone to it. I simply refuse. If they want to win, then so be it.

What would they really win if there was no one to play with? Nothing. Not even the satisfaction.

Instead, I get to walk away with that satisfaction and everything functional and intact. And that is truly progress in this grandiose game we call “life”. Because in the end of that one, no one wins. We are all the same.

10 thoughts on “The Blame Game

  1. Thank you for sharing your life and guidance. Writing and sharing my stories or struggles with the world has helped me so much over the years, I find it liberating and encouraging.
    I needed the closure and assistance this week with the Blame Game and those in the past which have hurt me. Thank you for this post!

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m touched when I’m able to aid someone. Many of us have had a long hard road. Down this road, we make our own mistakes, suffer grievous injury at the hands of those we trusted most, and endure some seemingly cruel twists of fate.

      I think it’s the most important for a person to be able to truly live their life, one moment at a time. I’ve always been a person who looked at the greater scope of things, and it’s always created a great deal of anxiety in me. I had the fear of repeating mistakes from the past, or allowing myself to be harmed again in the future.

      In the last year or so, I realized the importance of living life in the present. And to do that, there has to be resolution of the past combined with refraining from speculating about the future. All we really have is the particular moment that we are in. The people who surround us are the people in our lives, for better and / or worse. And some of the time, we can’t choose those people. But, we can choose how we exist in those moments.

  2. Grieve, forgive, move on. So succinct and a message to enable many. A beautiful share.x

    • Thank you! I think a lot of times, we get so caught up in the jumble that we end up “stuck”. When I started my last job in October 2013, I held true to a lot of my own values and practices. By the time December rolled around, I had already been ensnared in the rat race. I was surrounded with surly people who showed no respect or gratitude. And that kind of toxicity is contagious, if we become susceptible to it.

      Actually, it was so toxic for me that I literally broke out in an unexplainable rash. Despite all of the allergy medications and creams, it remained and tormented me. The “just a job” became all consuming, and the source of all of my frustrations and anxieties.

      After a particular incident, I decided to walk away. But, I realize that not everyone has that luxury. I was not the breadwinner, and that was not our sole income. I had the opportunity to heal, recenter, and seek employment that I felt better suited me.

      Again, not everyone has that luxury. Many people out there are “stuck”, spinning their wheels and running the same courses of depression, anxiety, and just plain hopelessness. I just wanted to remind everyone that there is hope. There is a way to move forward, even if it feels like standing still.

  3. This is such a good post and exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you 🙂 I play the blame game all too often…

  4. I know this is a fairly older post, but it resonates with what’s been on my mind lately.

    I’m wondering if we actually share the same closet! Recently I’ve briefly considered some of those skeletons and have wondered if I will ever be able to air them at therapy or on my blog. In many ways, I feel this is necessary to achieve ‘healing’, but the thought of dealing with all the hurt is enough to make me want to run a mile.

    I’ve been considering what blame I take for myself and the parent’s responsibility. In my mind, there’s a cut-off point; a time when they were responsible for my development and a period when I gave them something to moan about! A product of their dysfunction, I certainly wasn’t easy to deal with. Sure, they made mistakes, but so did I.

    Forgiveness is something I’ve grappled with since the beginning of time. Some people say it is necessary, while I tend to feel it excuses the behaviour.

    What you wrote, “It is not rationalizing their behavior, but granting pardon for their transgressions”, is really helpful.

    • After reading your post, I thought, “She gets it. She’s been there.”

      Half of the battle has been making the attempt to get through those walls my mind constantly throw up when I get to the subject of my parents and my past. Prior to my son being born, I really couldn’t remember any of my childhood prior to 12. I knew events as how people retold them to me.

      My son has brought some of those back, but it’s hard. There’s so much emotion that goes along with them. But what’s worse is the conditioning that seems to remain. I was always told that I was being overly dramatic when something happened, and that worse things happen to other people. How ungrateful I was, because my parents seemed to think that they gave me the moon. And how it was my fault in the first place.

      I think it’s important to acknowledge the bad stuff, because there’s a grieving process attached to it. Denial becomes repression. I spent a lot of time being angry and depressed about it. I found myself asking, “Why?” a lot.

      In the end, I just accepted that it was the way it was. Any rhyme or reason will just end up in my mind as an excuse or weak justification. I’ve had my parents actually admit fault in a vague way, but then attach some kind of rationalization to it. And the cycle of blame continues, because they would demand that I confess my transgressions, only so that we could circle back again.

      I refuse. It’s abusive and cruel, and it will continue to go around and around, never allowing me to heal and get on with my life as a healthy adult.

      • My memories of childhood have always been sporadic. I didn’t have children, but when my nephews were growing up, it automatically dragged a few skeletons out the dusty closet. What I struggled to comprehend was how someone could hit out at a child so small and vulnerable.

        My parents also think they gave us everything and the conflict of opinion is even more gut wrenching than the abuse… oh, and I was also ungrateful….. We’re like two peas in a pod!

        BTW, last time I looked, I was actually a man!

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