Who is to blame
I have done things in my life
Some of them are wicked cool
and I can’t wait to tell everyone about them.
Some are not so sexy but not heinous.
I may speak of these to my friends,
but with some embarrassment.
But what of the heinous things?
What of the things that I feel the most shame about?
The things that hurt others? Or that may hurt them still?
I speak about them to no one –
Or at least not until you’ve known me for years
and your motives have been thoroughly vetted.
And who is to blame?
No matter how the events unfolded,
I accept full responsibility.
In my desire to control what happens,
to accept the reality of it,
I accept full responsibility
Last night I spoke to a friend at length
And after more than a decade of friendship,
I uncovered my deepest darkest point of shame.
My Scarlet Letter revealed
“You were a victim,” he said.
We discussed the thing that most deeply plagues me when it comes to shame:
“Who is responsible for that?”
Followed in short succession by:
“How can you be responsible for anyone’s decisions other than your own?”
And that machine gun of questions kept going
Bullets I would take only from him.
It riddled me with holes,
riddled my old method with holes.
As I sit here today –
looking at my old security blanket of “responsibility”
now shot to smithereens,
I listen to a song that I loved back in the 90’s,
Verve Pipe, Freshman, about a woman who got an abortion.
I listen and weep.
Today I mourn the loss of that old blanket …
and I consider making a new different one.
One that is less self-sabotaging, self-battering, more realistic, healthier.