Sorry it’s late…busy yesterday and this morning
“No, sir. Taking responsibility and being responsible aren’t always the same thing.”
Lieutnant Dallas says this to her boss, Commander Whitney as they discuss the responsibilities of being “in command”:
I’m re-reading one of my favorite on-going murder mystery series right now: J. D. Robb’s In Death series starting Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke.
In today’s book, Treachery in Death, Lieutenant Dallas, Roarke, and their team are working on bringing a ring of dirty cops (who murdered civilians and other cops) to justice. The fact that she’s gathering evidence against another lieutenant and her squad gets her thinking about responsibility, leadership, command, and the responsibilities that go with being a cop & a boss. Hard not to compare how she runs her squad with how this corrupt lieutenant runs hers, right?
That phrase got me thinking…
I survived abuse and traumatic experiences. Many of my guests have either survived or have loved ones who survived abuse and/or traumatic experiences. Here on the blog, I discuss many aspects of life after trauma and skills needed to do more than survive.
One topic I never highlighted, but discussed in a variety of posts, is the idea of responsibility and blame in recovery.
For a long time, I blamed myself for what happened. I believed I responsible for anything and everything bad that happened to me or the people around me. And I accepted that responsibility well into adulthood – especially with my family. It’s what I was taught. It’s what the shame and guilt reinforced.
That plus the physical, verbal, and emotional punishment I received to reinforce these lessons kept me hiding behind a wall of insecurity for many years. Not until I started counseling and therapy with mental health and trauma professionals did I start to understand that being responsible and accepting responsibility – personal or professional – are different concepts.
What is the difference?
The differrence exists, but I can’t put it into words. Only in personal examples of affirmations does the phrase makes sense to me.
- So here are some examples of my affirmations:
- I accept responsibility for myself.
- I am responsible for my choices as an adult.
- I believe that I am responsible for how I act and react to other people.
- I accept responsibility for my words, actions, reactions, and mistakes. And the consequences of those mistakes.
- I am learning not to accept responsibility for people & experiences beyond my control.
- I am not responsible for what other people say and do
- I am not responsible for how people speak, act and react to me.
- I am not responsible for past abuse, my parents, or any other individual.
Reflections for thought…
If I was a parent or caregiver, I would be responsible for the care, safety, and education of the children while they are vulnerable, still learning, and unable to care for themselves.
If I was a parent or caregiver, I would be responsible for teaching the children by example how to be kind, respectful, thoughtful, ethical, and able to make good choices as they grow into adulthood.
But would I be responsible for what the grown child (now an adult) says and does? Do I accept responsibility for the grown child’s experiences if that grown child made those choices?
ABOUT CARING FOR PETS & OTHER LIVING BEINGS
Are these concepts and connected feelings of shame/guilt the reasons why I choose to be alone? Or why I “failed” in the past when I tried to have a (insert pet or something else here)
Is this why I believe that I can’t take care of myself or any other living being (plant, pet, person?)
Is this why I shy away from socializing and letting people into my life?
Is this why my alters and I struggle with feeling safe and spreading our wings?
If any guests reading this post want to use the affirmations or reflections, please feel free to do so. Substitute my thoughts/opinions/perspectives with yours.
Thanks for reading