When “support” goes wrong

When I go through challenging circumstances of any kind, my first inclination is to blame myself. I look for ways that I must have been at fault to cause the hardship. This is even more the case when the challenges are from difficult relationships.

In fact, the single biggest thing that gets me in trouble in relationships is that I am so tuned in to what I think other people are wanting, needing, thinking, feeling that I am unable to honor my own wants, needs, thoughts, and feelings. This leads me to ignore my intuition under the assumption that I must be the one that’s wrong when there’s a conflict between what my intuition is telling me and what someone else wants.

The ironic thing is that time and time again when I actually get the courage to speak up about something in a relationship not feeling right to me, people around me tend to also assume that I must be in the wrong and that I must not have adequately considered the other person. Not only does this push me even farther from honoring my intuition about the situation, it puts the blame back on me no matter how badly another person is treating me.

I’ve learned through this pattern that when I am going through relationship difficulties, I am better off keeping it to myself so that I can attempt to listen to my intuition without the outside pressure to be “nice” to someone who is treating me poorly.

I thought I was alone in this experience, but I came across a powerful blog post tonight on A Deeper Story by Alece that tells a similar story. It’s called On his affair being my fault, and it’s a story that I recognize. Although I have not faced the exact circumstances she tells about, the experience of being blamed for someone else’s bad behavior toward me when I have already done more self-blaming than is healthy was a familiar one.

I know well the feeling of being judged for “being resistant to taking a close look at my own shortcomings” even after having analyzed and blamed myself to no end and taken on more than my share of the fault in the situation. I know well that experience of having all the wrong things said to me in the “right” ways that poison my soul as deeply (if not deeper than) the original situation. I know well what it’s like to reach out for support and encounter deeper wounding instead.

Alece’s vulnerability and honesty in sharing her story (and the many similar stories echoed in the comments) tells me that I am not alone. This makes me incredibly sad, but it is also comforting to know that I’m not the only one who has experienced this. It’s not me.

For anyone out there reading this who has had similar experiences, I share this with you tonight to let you know that you are not alone either.

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.