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Blaming myself for... *everything*


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Even though I'm getting treatment for my depression, I've found that some things have still stuck around. They may be less than they were before, but they're still there...and it's still pissing me off.

Especially one of them.

I have a tendancy to blame myself for *EVERYTHING*. I don't mean abstract events...I just mean like.... well if I'm talking with a person and they're obviously distracted or not in a good mood... or some such, I automatically think that I'm responsible, that there is something wrong with me, and this drives me into a really bad spiral of sadness and such. It is really hard for me to accept that there are outside events, unrelated circumstances, that affect other people's moods/behavior/interactions. It is so much easier to blame myself than to think that something else is affecting things. I have this feeling that if I am not blaming myself, I am deluding myself. Sigh.

I've often said that even if I am across the world from someone else, had no interaction for a while, and there dog died - that I would still feel responsible if they were in a bad mood - because obviously it's my fault! Sad part is, I say it as a joke....but it's not that far from the truth.

I can't really seperate myself from this. I just want to know if any of ya'll are dealing with something like this too....and.....how do you handle it? How do you set yourself straight?

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Danica,

I don't blame myself for natural distasters or auto accidents I'm not part of, but pretty much everything else I do.  Especially other people's moods.  If they're grumpy, I must have done something to make them grumpy.  My T and I are working on this.

Tommy

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Might I recommend a book to you both?

It's short, simple and makes so much sense.

It's called "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz.

Amazon has it, and it really helps with the type of things you guys are talking about. It is a great book. It has really helped me.

Breeze

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Might I recommend a book to you both?

It's short, simple and makes so much sense.

It's called "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz.

Amazon has it, and it really helps with the type of things you guys are talking about. It is a great book. It has really helped me.

Breeze

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks Breeze,

I just put a hold on it at our library.  I get it next.

Tommy

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I blame myself for mistakes I haven't even made yet.  I go ahead and get it out of the way because I know that I am going to screw up anyway.  While I am talking to someone I keep waiting for myself to say or do the wrong thing.  It is inevitable that I will screw it up.  Whilst making decisions, I do what I think is right all the while thinking it will probably end up being wrong.  This whole reply is probably stupid and should never have been made.

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Danica, you cannot possibly be to blame for everything...I am!

Seriously, though, I don't think this is an unusual feeling -- I know that I've often had it as well. Everything is somehow my fault, if I were a better person than bad things wouldn't happen to me, or to anyone around me. I'm still a bit vulnerable to this, but I've been learning to let other people be responsible for their things.

Fiona

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Must be a really big trait with depression.  I too do the blame game.  Comes from upbringing and also a husband who likes to blame everyone else cept himself.  I also have justify everything I do, like "I did A because of B", is that okay?  I'm gonna do this or that, is that okay?  It's also from growing up.  I'm almost 42 and I told my mom last night my family was taking a vacation to Arizona she said "can you afford it" (ya right - never), and "why Arizona".  Now can you see why I have the need to justify?  God families!!! Oh, and I'll also chime in on the bullying part.  I was also forever bullied - one girl bullied me cause I was quiet and in her eyes I was "a goody two shoes".  BITCH!  Between my family upbringing and the assholes all through school - tada - I'm MI!  Oh well, that's life!  Kris.

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me too.....urrrgggg.....

but then, my father blamed my mother and I for everything that didn't go quite right in his world, everything we did was wrong to him, so it kind of got conditioned and drilled into me.

I'm working on it in therapy too......It IS getting better. I have a thread about a similar kind of thing going atm too.....

"A gift to myself" by Charles L. Whitfield about inner child healing is my book recommendation. Depends on your background of course, but its proving a great support to me in my therapy. powerful...quietly so.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I do that too!  I think for me it comes from being raised by a parent who was very tough on me and very anxious.  So I always felt like everything was a "big deal" and my fault.  I wish I could be more laidback!

One thing I have tried is a writing exercise.  It's losely based on the Feeling Good book exercises, but not quite as structured.  I will right down a thought that is making me feel bad and then "talk back" to myself.  For example:

"No one likes me."

Then I'll argue against that thought and describe why that's probably not true, for example, that "I am exaggerating, two friends called me this week," etc. etc. and usually I start to feel better and realise that I am catastrophising.  Maybe this would help you too.

Also, I try to keep careful note of times when I jumped to conclusions about someone's behavior and ended up being totally wrong.  This helps me to avoid jumping to conclusions.  And lastly, I do a lot of reality testing with my therapist.  I'll tell him an upsetting situtation and usually he reminds me of other possible explanations.  For example, I tend to get very depressed about dating because I feel that I'm rejected a lot.  But he just reminded me that this happens to most people and that having things not work it is "more the rule than the exception" for everybody.  So although I still get down about specific situations, I try to remind myself that maybe everyone feels this way from time to time?

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Heya Danica,

Count me in.  Up til I was in school I would sarcastically yell at my mom that "The war in ... ?  That's my fault too!"  while not really feeling sarcastic.

Now it's more that I cause pain to everyone.  Even when there's no discernible way in which I could conceivably have hurt them.

Working through some of the Feeling Good book and the When Anger Hurts book is helping.

I'm learning that (not sure if I buy into it yet, but my *own* MI worldview isn't helping) we are each responsible for our own anger.  Like, if you say something and I feel hurt, those feelings are because I interpreted your words as hurtful.

I guess there are people who interpret everyone's words as nonsense, so they never get hurt?

I think if I can figure out this for *me,* and stop blaming others for my pain, then I can extrapolate to others --

-- They have their own feelings, their own issues, their own cognitive distortions, and their own pain, and that's *not* all about *me.*

Like, being less self-centred I guess.  I'm *not* the centre of the universe, and I'm *not* the only thing people think about all day long.

Sounds good on paper, but it's gonna take a lot more journaling/therapy/something to make me stop beating myself up.

Breeze, I'll check out that book too, when I get back to the land of noise and rain and smog and crowds and dim sum and bookstores.

I guess just looking around this thread and others helps us -- hey, we can't *each* be responsible for causing *all* the pain.

--ncc--

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I pretty much blame myself for all the problems in the world.  Sometimes I am truly overwhelmed by feelings of suckiness.  "I'm not good enough at ________.  I can't do ________.  I do ________ wrong.  I suck in general."

If someone around me is in a bad mood, I just think they'd never come to me for help because I am too insignificant and not a good friend.  I assume that people don't notice me.

~CS

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I say the same things to myself that been mentioned in this thread.  If something isn't going well, whether or not I'm directly involved, it's my fault. Take some of my posts to CrazyBoards, e.g. I'm not good with social interaction, so I have to prod myself to say something, anything, when all along I'm thinking "God, how stupid, how irrelevant, how obnoxious, how nutty is this going to sound?!"  I've been the last poster to a few different threads that were quite busy before my post put the pox on them.  This is how I think.  I see a small group of people huddled around laughing and chatting and having a good time and I saunter up in a spirit of camaraderie and attempt to contribute something to the conversation.  The room falls silent, there is much clearing of throats and darting glances.  People make their excuses for leaving and I walk into the kitchen a few minutes later to find them laughing and conversing again, only quietly this time, hoping I'll go away so they can resume having fun. 

I naturally assume that I've screwed up something somehow whenever things aren't going well, come to an abrupt halt, or are otherwise confounding and discouraging. 

Sorry, no advice.  Just commiseration.

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