The Blame Game

If today’s post is semi-incoherent, blame my virtually non-stop reading of The First Law series (starting with The Blade Itself) that I recommended on Monday. I’m about a quarter of the way through the last book and I am not going to let a trivial thing such as sleep deprivation and Hapa Papa being in NYC until Thursday deter me. No, sir. I’ve got priorities. (Also, I really should finish the latest Pat Rothfuss novella, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, since it is due on Thursday but it’s hard for me to get into but now I’m getting off-topic.)

Anyhow, it has come to my attention this past year or so that I’m very keen to blame someone or something when things go awry. Whether it is something as stupid as a blown out diaper or as serious as the car dying in the 2nd lane of the freeway (as in, the engine just cutting out and me barely making it to the side of the freeway) while I was driving back from getting ramen at 9:40pm two Friday nights ago (I’m looking at youHapa Papa), I always seem to look for a person to blame. (Looking at Hapa Papa again. Sorrynotsorry.)

I zone in on whether or not the diaper was properly put on, wrapped, or whatever. And then I am quick to accuse and berate and verbally harangue my poor husband. And then sometimes, I realize after being a jerk that it was I who diapered Glow Worm last and then I mumble an apology and try to justify my assishness. (Is that a word? Enh, it is now.)

My children have now picked up on this bad habit. (Well, let’s be real. They probably would have done it anyway – but I’m sure they’ll lay the blame at my feet when they, too, are in their mid-to-late thirties and in therapy.)

And well, lately, it has occurred to me that perhaps this quick to blame and find fault part of my personality and character is perhaps not a good thing.

Here’s the thing: I think I do it because I want to feel in control of my life. Like, if I could just find that moment, that tipping point, then next time, whatever it is I am so keen on avoiding will be avoided because I will have not done whatever it is that caused the thing in the first place.

You get me?

The problem is, lots of times, shit just happens. Maybe if Hapa Papa had paid more attention to the low oil pressure light in his car or got the tiny leaks that Jiffy Lube noticed that morning fixed immediately instead of sitting on that information, maybe then the car wouldn’t have died while I was driving it at 65mph on a late Friday night.

Then again, maybe the car was just old. (It was.)

We can never really know.

But man, it sure feels good or at least, less terrifying, to hang the fault on Hapa Papa’s actions versus just random bad luck or bad timing. (To clarify: I’m not mad at Hapa Papa about the incident. I just like to give him a hard time because that’s the kind of supportive, caring, loving wife he married. Try not to be too envious of the man.)

It is far easier to get mad or point a finger than to accept the unpleasant reality that life is unpredictable and at best, they are just annoying hiccups to deal with and at worst, they are life-changing in a final and horrible way.

I deflect a lot of my feelings in order to feel in control. Control of myself, my feelings, my life. I blame others. I blame myself. I get angry. I scream. I make a joke. All so I don’t have to feel afraid or sad or lonely or adrift or small.

I find this illuminating because you know what? I do all these things multiple times a day and I never really realized that until just now.

Does this mean I often feel afraid, sad, lonely, adrift, or small?

I’m not sure how I feel about that.