I always wanted people to see what good intentions I had when I was berating them. Couldn’t they tell that I wanted to stop them from making the same mistakes I made? When they often refused the wisdom I forced upon them, I blamed them.
Blame was a big deal for me. I always wanted to know who was at fault. Most of the time, it wasn’t me. There was always something you could’ve done to prevent my ridiculous behavior.
Didn’t like me telling you off? You could’ve done your job right. Didn’t like me taking over your project? You should’ve done a better job. Didn’t like that I was late? You should’ve told me to meet you 15 minutes earlier than the time you wanted me to be there.
I wasn’t willing to admit my faults because I thought you would use them against me. Wasn’t everybody keeping score like I did? Many years of therapy and one rehab later helped me understand that no, most people don’t keep score.
I did. But you have to understand that I was the nicest and most polite person ever…until you refused to see things my way. I would move heaven and earth for you but there was a price to pay.
One of the counselors at my inpatient treatment facility, AKA rehab, gave me the assignment of writing one thousand examples of how I blamed other people for my behavior. I have to admit that it wasn’t hard to do.
It took me years to understand that my partner was right when he said that what bothered me about other people was something I didn’t like about myself.
I have come to embrace the believe that when I’m feeling uncomfortable I must look within me to see what is the real reason. I have to do that now because I know that I cannot change any external conditions. Like we say in A.A., I’m powerless over people, places and things.
The only thing I can do is change the way I view my world. The only tool I knew was a hammer so everything I saw was a nail. I now have a few more choices like meditation, praying to my own conception of God, calling my friends who understand me and of course, going to 12-step meetings.
When I stopped being a victim of the conditions around me and took responsibility for my behavior, I was able to change. I no longer expect you to be patient, kind and loving with me unless I’m willing to give you the same courtesy.
Patience and tolerance is my code.