“Would you take credit for anything wonderful he has done in this past year”
She shook her head.
“And yet you think it is your fault if he does something bad.”
A quotation from a novel “The Long Way Home” by Louise Penny.
As I read it, I was struck forcibly. It describes me and how I react and respond perfectly.
I wouldn’t dream of claiming credit for anything that has gone right or has been a success; but I would always assume it is my fault if things have gone wrong.
I wonder how common that assumption is? I have honestly never considered it before.
Accepting blame, seeking blame even, knowing that the bad things are a result of my actions or inactions, are so deeply ingrained I have absolutely no idea how to deal with it. And until reading this novel, had never considered it a possibility because I had not even thought of it as a “thing” to be considered.
I suppose the closest I can get to explaining more clearly is that old advertising slogan: “Because I’m worth it”
While I can understand the sentiment, and the reasoning behind it, cashing in on the feminist movement which in 1971 when this phrase was coined, was particularly militant – as indeed was I. And I remain an old-fashioned militant feminist to my core… and yet I never ever believed this phrase included me. Certainly, I have never related to it.
I have never loved myself enough to feel I could accept credit; I have always considered myself worthy only of accepting blame.
These last few months I have been more depressed - and even suicidal - than I have ever been. Although I read the blogs daily, I hardly ever read or add to the comments. Why? Well, it is obvious to me - I’m not worth it.
I read voraciously. Hide in the novels I read. Anything. Everything. Some are amazing. Most are not. But reading is so much safer than real life.
Then the words I read in the novel by Louise Penny have re-lit my fire. It is still spluttering; not a bright blaze, but there is some heat coming, some determination. Easy steps, small steps. I realise I do like myself. I am worth it. I can take credit for things I have done and what other people do is their responsibility; not mine.
This awareness of my own self worth, is my great leap forward; although only a quantum leap, it is nevertheless, real. The idea of me accepting praise or acknowledging that I have done well, is still rather odd… but I am on the right path after all this time.
And this is in no small part because of you, Moodscopers. You have been there every day, the Blogs are always heartfelt and worthy of much thought; which I grant them; your generosity of spirit has been there always; and you have brought me back from the absolute brink. Thank you.
A Moodscope member.