Photo by Josh Hild

Why Bother Not Playing the Blame Game?

Recently, I had an encounter with another mad mother. This time though, the conversation did not go well. Let me rephrase that. There was no conversation. Instead, imagine yourself up against a wall and someone turning on a fire hose aimed solely at you. It takes every ounce of your energy just to stay upright and you dare not open your mouth because if you do, it will prove to be futile and fatal at the same time. 

      Refusing to Take the Blame

Thankfully, I was not left alone with this mother, the principal attended the meeting as well.  After introducing ourselves to each other, Mom’s mouth opened and did not close for the next thirty minutes. It took every ounce of my energy to stay seated, upright and quiet. Opening my mouth would have proved futile and fatal at the same time. 

It was clear from the get go that Mom was not there to listen, to dialogue until we came to a consensus or to imagine a workable solution. Instead, she was there to unload her anger. But I detected that this anger was not recent anger attached to new circumstances. It was from her past, old and unresolved. Ancient wounds seem like the worst kind. They ooze with infection, smell of bitterness and won’t heal without getting proper treatment. But this mother was not interested in getting any help. She was only interested in blaming. 

 I’m not a psychologist nor am I a triage nurse, but it was apparent that Mom was not there on behalf of her child. Instead, she wanted to press charges for an old offense, place the guilt on someone and  have them pay for a misdeed they’d never done.  But, neither I nor the principal could take the blame and this only infuriated Mom all the more. Whoever her perpetrator was from the past was not us. As a result, the meeting ended with Mom just as enraged as when she’d entered the room. I felt empathy for her, her child and her family. 

But, I did understand this mother’s desperation, her pain, and her wounded heart. I’ve been where she is. I’ve played the blame game, had a victim’s mentality and held onto grudges as if they could keep me afloat.  But blaming others for events they had no control over only prevents us from healing what only we can heal, owning what only we can own and respond rather than react. 

Why bother not playing the blame game? Playing the blame game only prolongs a person’s healing. Whereas, refusing to play may eventually cause them to take a closer look at themselves. One can hope.

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