How can you tell whether the blame you feel is valuable or useless? Many are full of blame these days, blame directed at white males, at black males, at feminists, at government, at fundamentalists, at gays, at the police, at the patriarchy. Those who so blame will seemingly continue to do so until all those being blamed change. Such a 100% perfect result is impossible. Do you enjoy the feeling of everlasting blame? Do you want that feeling for the next 40 years? Such blame keeps the blaming person feeling unhappy. Blame is also often becoming unproductive now in eliciting changes (those blamed frequently feel attacked and defend themselves).
On the other hand, I do consider another type of blame to be valuable. One common feeling within trauma knots is childhood blame, which was often hidden, along with many other feelings and words, at the time of childhood traumas. This blame is directed at people (usually one or more parenting figures) for not doing "what they should have done," thus "they caused the trauma." To untie trauma knots it is often useful and productive for the kid within to blame the parent of yesteryear for the trauma. If that is all that happens, then this type of blame too may never end, for other blocked feelings within the trauma knot must also be felt. If all blocked feelings are felt, then the blame at parents for that particular trauma will end. For the next trauma knot, more childhood blame can also be resolved by untying enough strands of that next knot.
When clients start upon a course of early-childhood-trauma work with me, I frequently suggest that for about two months that they blame their parents (of many years ago) for all their hang-ups, all their problems and all their discomforts. I suggest saying such blaming words only when clients are by themselves or with me, not in person to their parents. (Though many do attempt it in person, this results in virtually no success at trauma resolution but sometimes a bit of understanding from the parent. Unhappily, the parent often denies the validity of the blame.) Best results are often obtained when the blame for a specific problem is voiced aloud to the parent of yesteryear with eyes closed and with a picture of that parent in one's mind: for example, "Mommy, Daddy, you are causing my problem with X." Because most difficulties have their roots in early childhood, such blame is usually accurate and helps to loosen associated childhood trauma knots.
Even today, nearly 40 years after starting my own early childhood therapy work, I sometimes need to blame my parents for a new-to-my-conscious unexplored trauma knot. Such blame usually lasts 15 seconds or less and then I go on to other aspects of the trauma knot.
Am I stuck in blame? If childhood blame for a particular problem persists, it is a clear indicator that I am stuck. Any blame I feel about today's life events is also a clear indicator that I am avoiding my own issues.
We all regularly face the choice to remain stuck or to pursue happier alternatives. This is popularly known as the choice between "being right" and "being happy." This author most definitely recommends dropping the shoulds associated with "being right." For self-righteousness alienates others, is often a shaky unstable prop for one's neurotic ego and leads to unhappiness whenever "wrong" ideas, people or actions are in view. If self-righteousness or blame of any sort persists, being stuck and being unhappy also persist. To summarize, temporary blame is often essential to the permanent release of trauma knots, whereas blame that persists is clear evidence of being stuck in unhappiness.
© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze
|Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Another subtle traumatic process often occurs when the child decides, consciously or unconsciously, to become just like a parent in one or more ways. Aspects of the child may be completely denied in the copying attempt."|