>No shame. No blame. It's all good. :)

11:16 PM


I made some profound realizations about myself and how I have been perceiving various situations in my life. Some statements from The Psychology of Happiness (Najemy) really struck a chord with me today:

There is a great difference between fault and responsibility. The word fault indicates there has been some wrongdoing or mistake. It is not our fault that we are not as well as we could be. It is a matter of evolution... A flower bud is not at fault because it has not yet blossomed. It will eventually bloom and become a flower. We do not look for the fault that has prevented it from becoming a flower. We do not reject the bud. We accept where it is in its evolutionary process. We know it is just a matter of time.

I think it should be added here that the bud is never going to blossom if it does not receive adequate sunlight and water... in fact, it will die. We each have a responsibility to water and sun our "buds" if we hope for them to ever bloom. This is what inner work is all about.

Another interesting note I made today:

What's the difference between blame and responsibility? When we blame someone, we are usually saying they are directly responsible for the consequences their actions have on others. When we place responsibility with someone, we are saying they are directly responsible for their actions period - not necessarily the effect those actions have on others. Blame has a focus on outside elements that are beyond our control, while responsibility has a focus on inside elements that are well within our control. Therefore, who is to "blame" for an occurrence does not matter at all in the grand scheme of things... all that matters is what you personally are responsible for and can change.

In The Psychology of Happiness, Najemy also notes:

Thus, taking responsibility for our life doesn't mean feeling guilty for what we have created. It simply means moving forward and blossoming in to the flower that we latently are.

This is why while apologies are certainly appreciated by others they don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. "I'm sorry" and guilt means nothing if you do nothing to make the changes in your behavior that need to be made in order to move forward and "blossom" so you don't find yourself in the same position again.

I will even take it a step further and say that apologies are not necessary at all... "I'm trying to change so this is no longer a problem for me" is a much more productive, positive, and healthy outlook to have than "I'm sorry I did this".

There were some important questions I asked myself today as well. I will make these in to a list as one question leads straight in to another:

  1. I could not control this abuser's actions no matter what I did to try to help or appease him. If I could not control him, how can I possibly be to blame for what he did?
  2. If I'm not to blame for what he did, how can I possibly be responsible for preventing him from repeating the same actions with someone else?
  3. Was I unhappy because of his actions or was I unhappy because his actions reflected the way I already felt I should be treated?
  4. Was I at least partially pinning some of the unhappiness with myself on to him and using his abusive behavior to actualize how I felt about myself inside?
  5. Knowing his nature, could I really blame him for taking advantage of me when I was such an easy target?
  6. Can I really blame myself for being such an easy target when I was not only groomed from childhood on up to be one, but also was lacking the knowledge and tools necessary to change my codependent behavior?

Some other logical realizations I hit upon:

It does not make sense to apologize to her simply because I have realized that it is not my responsibility to help her realize he is an unhealthy and destructive individual. She can see that for herself just as I did. She chooses not to; she isn't incapable of it. Her behavior alone has shown she is aware of it but chooses to make excuses for his behavior and blames others for it just as I in the past have chosen to blame him for the effect his behavior has had both on me and her. As for the children, as much as I hold the belief that we are all responsible for the well-being of our offspring and not just the parents alone (communal parenthood), I am not close enough to the situation to do anything about it and the primary responsibility still lays with them; any ill effects their unhealthy behavior brings to the psychological development of their children will be on their heads and most certainly not mine. It's not exactly like I can call DCF and report abuse I can't physically see in the first place and it's not like I can change their minds for them in regards to their behavior! I have done exactly what was needed to protect the best interests of my own children (including those deceased!) and I have done exactly what was needed to protect the best interests of all the children I come in contact with. Why hold it on my conscience that I cannot help those children that I do not come in contact with?

Speaking of those deceased... the blame, the guilt, the shame, etc. stops here. There are several factors that lend to the fact that no matter how coerced/forced their abortion may have been and no matter how deeply their father had a hand in me being put in such a situation, the early termination of that pregnancy was the best decision for all involved.

  • I would have faced court battles and they would have faced serious abandonment issues had their father denied his paternity as he has already done in the past. Ah, let's not forget that I would have been raising not one child but twins by myself.
  • We all would have faced further psychological and possibly physical damage had he been involved in our lives, especially since when he does accept the paternity factor he does not hesitate to call the mother (me) a "whore".
  • Assuming that the suspicions I and counselors have had of him having anti-social personality disorder are correct, there's a good chance the children would have it as well since it has a genetic basis. The last thing the world needs is more sociopaths. This seems callous at first but keep in mind that something like .001% of sociopaths recover from their condition much less actually want to recover from their condition, and this is the primary disorder that is responsible for the existence of murderers and serial killers.
  • The conception itself I suspect was a last ditch attempt of his to keep me under his control since I had made it clear I did not want to be with him any more and it was not fully consensual to start with.
  • I was homeless with no possible housing options in my area and no transportation that could get me to any of the adoption agencies in other cities that offered housing for pregnant women. Ah yes, let's not forget the unwanted status of black babies for adoption in the U.S. (something that never fails to elude me... people will adopt foreign black babies but not native black babies? WTF?)
  • Brennan would have never existed. A child who does have a lot of good things going for him; perhaps most importantly, parents who love him just as much as they love each other and who are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that he has a happy and healthy foundation at home from which to live and learn.

I think that last point is perhaps the most important, because in order to argue for one set of lives that would have been faced with an amazing amount of hardship and dysfunction, one has to argue against the existence of a life that is faced with an equally amazing amount of blessings and health. One would have to argue that life itself is more important than happiness... and what life is really worth it without happiness? There are millions of people today wanting to take their own lives at this moment because they know that life is not worth living if one cannot be happy. And more than anything, God wants us to be happy.

I have found true blue happiness. It's a feeling I have never felt before. It's absolute satisfaction with and acceptance of myself. It's trust in my judgement and ability to fulfill my needs and wants. It's self love. It's the freedom to be myself, to control my own life, to make mistakes, to ignore and get away from those people and situations that would cause me more harm than good, to express myself in any way I want to express myself, to dream, to believe in myself, to refuse to take responsibility for the actions of others, to hold my head up high and be proud of everything that is me. I can't imagine any drug in the world matching the ecstasy I feel from all of this. I feel like I have been reborn.

A friend warmed my heart today. She looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I've seen the change in you. Even when I just see you for a few minutes, you're glowing and I can tell you are much happier. I am so proud of you... you have worked hard on this and it shows." It really meant a lot to me.

Now that I know what this feels like, I don't ever want to stop feeling like this. It's all I can do to keep from dancing around in public sometimes. And well... sometimes I do it anyways just because it feels so good to express myself and not give a damn what anyone thinks about it. ;)

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