Wednesday, July 20, 2011
My alcoholic boyfriend likes to blame everything on me......everything and anything he can think of, and it really brings me down, very down...and eventually leads to further resentment of him...
I have a full bubbling boiling pot or resentment deep in me that poisons me and makes me angry, that leads to me being sad again because I hate being angry and resentful and bitter, which leads to negative thought after negative thought......it's a muck of anger and pain and hopelessness that is cyclic and doesn't go away. I am tied of being blamed. I am tired of being angry. Any suggestions?
Blame shifting is one of the most frustrating things about alcoholism. It is done not only by the alcoholic but also by the person who has a relationship with the alcoholic. Blaming is really about trying to get away from uncomfortable feelings. If I blame someone else, then I don't have to look at what I am doing or admit that I am wrong.
In the situation you describe, your boyfriend can keep deflecting blame back onto you, coming up with excuses why it is YOU or the rest of the world who has the problem, not him. Blame shifting allows him to stay in his disease, tucked safely in his denial, so he doesn't need to ever work on himself. One of the biggest hurdles in recovery is humility. Those who work the twelve steps and are humbled will stop with the arrogant antics of blaming others around them.
I am able to see the blame shift now for what it is. Before when I was unaware of my feelings, I didn't know what was happening. I would be blamed or I would start blaming. It was an automatic response. I didn't even know it was happening until it was too late.
Whether a person is alcoholic or not, I don't think anyone likes to feel cornered or blamed. The solution is to change my reaction when something bothers me and the blaming is right at the tip of my tongue. I do my best not to react immediately if something bothers me. I count to ten, take a few breaths, walk away for a few minutes. In short, I let it sit and figure out how I want to approach it. I used to shoot right from the lip which generally caused a huge escalating argument. But sitting with the feeling and pausing before reacting is not easy. I am better at it some days than others, depending on where I am spiritually and emotionally.
When I have sat with the feeling and something is still bothering me, I will say how I felt when the event or situation occurred. I don't say, "You made me feel like crap when......." but will speak about my feelings: "I felt angry when you yelled at me for ..........". If he shifts the blame to you in the hot potato toss, which is a favorite game that alcoholics and Al-Anons play, I would walk away and say, "It's how I feel." No further need for discussion. Once you stand by your feeling and take away the argument, there is nothing more to say.
Another thing that I have learned is that most of the blaming does not need to be taken personally. I know that is really hard but blaming shifted to me isn't really about me. What your boyfriend is doing is HIS to own. It is his disease talking. If I realize that I can separate the alcoholics in my life from their disease, then I am not as quick to react. What I need to do is work on my own shortcomings and get better at detaching from the disease of alcoholism when it is in my face. Good luck.