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Cycle of blame

Posted by popi (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 10, 07 at 18:50

DD(19) has got herself into a cycle of blame. Everything that happens to her, that she does not like, is blamed on something or somebody.

My question is....what words of wisdom can I say to her, to let her know that this is not the way to be, and she is making things hard for herself.

I have already mentioned this to her a few times, but the message is not getting through, so I think that I have to make it clearer.

Any ideas ?

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cycle of blame

Sometimes a good old case of listening and asking the good old WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW questions (Openended questions)

Let me explain by example (to see if I can get this to make sense).
My boss at work hates me.
WHY do you think that?

Whenever something goes wrong they blame me

HOW do they blame you, give me an example.

When XXX happened they yelled at me

What would you have done in that situation had you been the boss AND it had been someone else, now be truthful.

See if you can keep it going, often if they can put themselves in "someone elses" shoes, they can see things in a different light. THEN, leave the conversation alone. Let them stew on it. No "moral to this story is...", no lesson to be learned (even though there was). What you ARE doing is RE-TRAINING her how to think. Plus she's 21 right, life still revolves around her. Give her a couple more years, she'll grow up more. BTDT.

Vickey-MN


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RE: Cycle of blame

Popi, is she shifting blame away from herself or is she trying to identify explanations for what happens? If it's the first I'd wonder about whether she is feeling overburdened and inadequate. Is she under new pressure that she is not feeling up to?

Sometimes we are faced with situations that just have no explanations and we long for the comfort of simple cause and effect. At her age your daughter could well be dealing with things that defy rational explanation. Is she feeling uneasy or insecure about anything?

And it might help to figure out what it is in this behavior that bothers you so much. You say that she blames others for things that she does not like that happen to her. Are you thinking that she is not taking responsibility for things she causes? Is she being unfair or just picky? Is she blaming you? Is it that she is taking things too personally? What do you fear will be the result of this attitude of hers? Is this a tendency that you have to resist? (Sometimes we are most upset when we see our own shortcomings in our children.)


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RE: Cycle of blame

Just the other day, my 20 yr. old daughter was watching a tape of her last birthday "party" which was at home with the just the family and 2 close friends. She was totally unprepared viewing herself as she really is. I heard the words "I was a real b*tch, wasnt I",more than a few times. It kinda woke her up a little.


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RE: Cycle of blame

Thanks Vicky, I will try turning things around and asking her open ended questions. Good idea.

For instance...she has no car and said I am making her life harder, by going on public transport to work, because I am selfish because I have not bought her a car !

Thanks Linda, you have given me things to think about there.

Zoe...thats interesting, I bet you will notice some changes in your daughter now.

I am rearmed for the teenage turmoil battle now !

Popi


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RE: Cycle of blame

Popi...Remember FOG...she is putting you into (or trying to), and remember she is good at this..GUILT. She is trying to GUILT you into getting her a car. She learned long ago this works with you, and you are now learning how to make her stand on her own two feet. She is goooood at this, she is doing the whoa is me, poor me kind of FOG....(probably because a hissy fit didn't work), so she's shifted her tactics. The Fear she is instilling on you is that she is getting LOW SELF-ESTEEM (I see that fear in other post you've done lately), because of you. Your OBLIGATION is to build up her self-esteem buy GIVING IN TO HER DEMANDS. Why, because none of this is her fault, now is it, making you feel GUILTY. Watch out for this!!! She was gone for 6 months, you got strong in those 6 months, do NOT slide back. That is why she changed tactics on you also. Use the open ended questions, stick to your guns (I bet her tactics change again soon, probably to a more DEMANDING TONE). Good luck.

Vickey-MN


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RE: Cycle of blame

My sister is 27 and still does this. Her whole life it is ALWAYS somebody else who is doing something to her and she NEVER wants to take responsiblity for anything.
If I dont baby-sit for her,I'm selfish and mean and only care about myself.Yet,nevermind the fact she just had

$30,000 and spent it ALL on plastic surgery and now cant even afford to pay her bills and take care of her son.Whose fault is that? Certainly not mine.

All you can hope is that your daughter will grow out of this...and that it isnt her personality like it is with my sister.
And Vickey is right not to let her lay a guilt trip on you.
My sister always used to try to make me feel bad...and it worked for the longest time.Then I went to therapy and now I can say no without feeling bad.


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RE: Cycle of blame

They go through a phase. (been there) Keep talking to her. What you tell her may not register right away, but don't let that discourage you. She has to come to that realization on her own. Things will make sense to her one day when she puts things together. Your words will come back to her, even though she isn't getting it now. Hope that vickey's suggestion works, but don't be surprised if she becomes impatient with you....(to put it gentley). From my experience kids (and adults) just don't want to face the truth sometimes. It's easier to blame someone else. It is very hard to look at yourself honestly. She'll learn. She's got you for a mom and you are a great teacher. Go gently on her and be patient. She'll come around.


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RE: Cycle of blame

Vickey

Thanks for your suggestions, are you studying for a pyschology degree, you seem to have a handle on it all !

And thanks Dirtdvarocks for your soothing comments. I think it will take time to change her thinking...and talking is the way to go. I think discussion when the heat has settled is always a good idea.

You know...I really think this blame cycle is a global problem, when I think about it. Wars are all about blame, and I bet in your day, someone blamed somebody for something.

Perhaps if we all despensed with blame, and just analysed a problem for what it is, and looked at ways of solving it, then this would be a more peaceful way of dealing with it all.

Popi


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RE: Cycle of blame

Popi, I did go to school to get a psychology degree, just didn't finish, ran out of money (yes to be a counselor), double major, second is communication. The second is the school of "hard knocks" and having had kids that did this, and friends with kids that did this stuff. I don't believe in "keeping this stuff secret", as telling helps others.

Dirdivarocks is correct, she will get angry when you ask the openended questions as she will have to look into herself. So she gets angry, seeing this in yourself is a GOOD thing.

The reason too I say "don't dispense advise", is because right now she's at an age, she doesn't want be given advise, she "knows it all" right now..okay at least my kids were the smartest kids on earth (at least if you talked to them their condensendending attitude seemed that way) and I knew nothing!!! This way you're not dispensing advise...at least not that they catch on to!

Vickey-MN


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RE: Cycle of blame

Vickey, I urge you, go back and finish your degree. What a wonderful achievement for you.

Are all these teens the same, worldwide !! Both of mine talk down to me, on occasion, I have to keep reminding myself that I am not stupid, and I do actually have more experience than them ! But I do have a handle on that. Teens do seem to think they know it all...gosh, I have just been through, the learning to drive phase, and it was such a battle of wills sometimes, "don't tell me what to do" from the teen, and me gripping the seat and pushing an imaginary brake !

Sense of humour really helps.


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RE: Cycle of blame

Teenagers are hard...you couldnt pay me to be one again!


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RE: Cycle of blame

It will get better Popi, DD#1 is now 25, with a 4 year old (and mother curse works, she is just like mommy), and she thinks I know everything (Both DD#1 and Granddaughter). I often have to tell DD#1...I don't know, really, you will have to call the doctor and ask them, I really don't know. It is funny how I do know things again. FINALLY!!! And yes I have gotten a thank-you for being a good strict parent..this from a girl who did drugs and got into trouble, but straightened her life out.

Vickey-MN


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RE: Cycle of blame

I am glad, Vickey, that it all comes full circle. I look forward to that day !

I remember saying to my mother, when I had my first baby, "why didn't you TELL ME what it was going to be like !!". LOL. Looking for someone to blame !!

Popi


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RE: Cycle of blame

I know adults with this problem.


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RE: Cycle of blame

"Posted by bnicebkind (My Page) on Tue, Jan 16, 07 at 21:38

I know adults with this problem."

From Mark Sichel in "Healing from Family Rifts":

Characteristics of Injustice Collectors:

Injustice Collectors are convinced that they are never wrong. How is it possible that they are never wrong? It is simple: They are always right.
Injustice Collectors never apologize. Ever. For anything.
Injustice Collectors truly believe that they are morally and ethically superior to others and that others chronically do not hold themselves to the same high standards as the injustice collector does.

Injustice Collectors make the rules, break the rules and enforce the rules of the family. They are a combined legislator, police, and judge and jury.
Injustice Collectors never worry about what is wrong with themselves as their "bad list" grows. Their focus is always on the failings of others.

Injustice Collectors are never upset by the disparity of their rules for others with their own expectations of themselves.

Injustice Collectors rationalize their own behavior with great ease and comfort.


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RE: Cycle of blame

Njtea,does he say how to handle these injustice collectors?


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RE: Cycle of blame

Coolmama, Sichel has many suggestions for dealing with such people (my SIL is one and single-handedly has ripped an entire family apart). One of the main acts we can take is to STOP being a People Pleaser - which it would seem that you have done. However, normally before we can get ourselves out of the People Pleaser state the damage has often been done:

"The unfortunate outcome in the dysfunctional family is that either the People Pleaser has to become progressively more crippled and entrenched in their subservient role in the family, or else they become healthier and stronger and ultimately are accused of breaking up the family. The sad part about this drama is that once the People Pleaser has grown to the point where their self-respect is high enough to not grovel and shake in the presence of the injustice collector, the family remains divided."

There's another good book to read about dealing with these kinds of people: "Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You" by Susan Forward.

Vickey-MN referred to FOG in her posts: Fear, Obligation, Guilt.


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RE: Cycle of blame

njtea...this is what I like about this forum!!! Others have such valuable things to add, that help one another in so many ways. Thanks again for for your post!


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RE: Cycle of blame

I'll tell you, Bnicebkind, that when you have lost a daughter and grandchildren to an abusive controller, you do a lot of searching for answers: where did I go wrong in raising her that has made her abandon her entire family to this jerk? can't she see what he is doing to her? why can't/won't she leave him?

There are lots of answers, some of which we "like" to hear, i.e., Injustice Collectors and some of which we don't like to hear, i.e. the website linked below.

But I can say this to those young parents out there who have cut themselves off from their parents and their children from their grandparents: Don't think you are going to get off scott free from this action, because no matter how hard you think you might be working to avoid the "mistakes" your parents made with you, you will only be repeating them in some form or another. You and your children will pay emotionally and psychologically for the rest of your lives.

Here is a link that might be useful: Emotionally abusive parents


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RE: Cycle of blame

I'm an occasional lurker. I just wanted to say that I've seen a few of the replies you've given to other people and you seem like a such a kind and sensible person. I'm sorry you have this worry but I'm sure you'll work it out.


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RE: Cycle of blame

At this point in life, I am weary of those who never will accept responsibility, blame or be accountable for anything. Everything is someone else's fault, and they are quick to place the blame elsewhere. I have recently become aware of it in all age groups...from retired people, to professionals, all the way down to children. I'm sure that I have also indulged in this.

But I have no respect for this behavior anymore.

I respect the person who is able to be accountable for their behavior and choices. To be able to admit/own up their behavior. To have the guts to be accountable and own up to what they do. That is the kind of person I now respect, and strive to emulate.


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RE: Cycle of blame

Yes, we do all do it and in certain circumstances it's o.k. It's when it becomes a modus operandi that it becomes destructive. Unfortunately, it probably takes years before the "injustice collector" finally gets what he or she deserves - some of them never do and most of them never learn.


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RE: Cycle of blame

njtea...check out the post "Should I stay with my husband" - and scroll down to kareen's post towards the bottom written on Sun feb.03. May it help you to find peace in a situation that you have no power to change, and yet the choices of your beloved daughter break your heart. May you find peace where there is now sorrow.


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RE: Cycle of blame

Bnicebkind, there is acceptance but there never is any peace; there can't be peace when one knows that one's daughter (and by extension, one's grandchildren)is being abused, emotionally and sadly possibly physically also.


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Ahhh...ntjea, I did not understand that she and your granddaughter are in an abusive situation. How heartbreaking for you and your loved ones. I wish I had words, that would ease such pain for you, but I am not able to come up with anything to make something that is so wrong, less painful.


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