7. Responsibility and Rescue

I have repeatedly stated that you do not seem to take responsibility for your actions regarding your treatment of other people. I mentioned several examples back on page 11. You seem to feel that you have the right to be hostile toward other people and treat them badly, but they are not allowed to respond in anything but a kind manner back toward you. If they become upset or display anger back toward you, you simply see that as further proof that you shouldnít have been nice to them in the first place. Can you see the circular reasoning behind this?

I cannot help but think of Sandy. I wasnít there, but I have a strong suspicion that you treated her in a similar way to how you treated me. I think that the only reason she dumped you more times, was that she simply had less tolerance and patience than me. I recall your telling me how you had some kind of confrontation over raspberry (or some other fruit) flavored coffee. I think you snapped at her over making it, and you displayed anger to me over her response. Yet when I asked you, "Well, did you ever tell her you didnít like raspberry coffee?" you said hesitantly, "Well, no..." Then how was she supposed to know??!! If you snap at people for reasons that are unbeknownst to them, can you blame them for being upset?? You did this repeatedly to me--suddenly snap at me for unclear or unjustified reasons, then completely refuse to take any responsibility when I became upset.

Besides not taking responsibility for how you treat other people, I can also see that you have trouble taking responsibility for your life decisions and how you treat yourself.

Again, I must bring up Sandy. You complained bitterly about how poorly she treated you and how she dumped you eleven times. Yet you did go back to her, ten times! You did not have to do this--it was your choice. Whose fault was it, that she even got the opportunity to dump you eleven times? Perhaps you should have left her--ended the relationship for good. That would have been treating yourself better, donít you think? I donít see how you can feel so hostile toward her and continue to blame her for a lot of things, when it was you who always got back together with her (or allowed her to come back to you), of your own free will. It is your own fault, for not treating yourself better.

Another example of not taking responsibility for yourself--your job and salary. Several times you expressed to me your dissatisfaction with being in a "dead-end" job in which you were unappreciated and underpaid. You stated with some bitterness, "I could be making twice as much in industry." I genuinely feel that you indeed could get a better job that offered more opportunities and that paid more money, if you really wanted to. But you do not even lift a finger to better your situation. What is even worse, the few times I tried to broach this subject with you, you became irritated and snapped at me. "What am I supposed to do?--I canít do anything!" This is not true! You can do a lot of things!! You frequently snapped at me over money issues--the fact that Sandy "wiped you out of your savings" (you wiped yourself out of your savings), that you didnít have money to see Mary, that you didnít have money to see doctors, etc.--yet you never ever made any attempt to find other sources of income. How about a part-time job? Or doing something on the side? It accomplishes nothing to complain about this and to snap at your partner over it, when you have not even made the most slightest effort to help yourself.

Another example--your health. As I discussed before, you complained incessantly about your ear and stomach, yet you resisted any of my suggestions to see specialists who might be able to offer you something more than Dr. Ford. This was another issue over which you would snap at me, thus effectively ending any further discussion. Yet you cried about how your chronic ear infections were slowly destroying your hearing. If you never make any effort to get to the bottom of it--to address the underlying causes rather that to just treat the symptoms with antibiotics and decongestants--and then you go completely deaf in twenty years, whose fault will that be??

I find it highly ironic, that one of your favorite pet peeves, is when people "victimize themselves." Have you ever considered, that perhaps you victimize yourself a lot of the time?

A related issue is the notion of others (i.e., me) always having to step in to take care of you when you victimized yourself. One example: My providing emotional support and sometimes actual physical meds, for your ear and stomach troubles. Initially I wanted to do this because I cared for you, felt sorry for you, and wanted to help you. But after a while it became clear that 1) if I didnít do these things (and often even when I did) I was yelled at because you "werenít feeling well," 2) you derived something from the sympathy and attention these conditions garnered, and 3) you had no intention of ever trying to improve them, i.e., you completely ignored my pleas to get further medical attention. About your chronic ear infections--I am truly concerned about this and donít want you to become deaf! It makes me sad to see you essentially ignoring the problem. Donít you think you deserve to hear well? Donít you ever want to be able to hear Kitty crunch her hard food from the next room, or to hear her purr from two feet away?? It is little things like this that enrich life.

These are just some specific examples of your not taking the responsibility for making your life better. There was one telling remark you made to me, that was a testament to your global attitude regarding your life. I mentioned it before, and I will repeat it again. It was back in March, when you were relieved that I came back to you, because, "Whoís going to make my life better?"

There is a difference between helping and rescuing. No one is going to come along and "make" your life better. This is your responsibility, and yours only. No one is going to save you. Only you can save yourself.


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