Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adult Children Learn to Assume the Blame

Christians weighing in on Botkin Syndrome:
Excerpts from "Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves" by Drs. Stoop and Masteller.

From pages 246 - 247:

We regularly see an interesting phenomenon occur among adults who were abused as children. Thy experience an overwhelming need to cast blame somewhere. Because of the dynamics of childhood – where adults are bigger and more powerful, and therefore perceived as “always right” – abuse victims invariably place the blames on themselves.

But they soon start accepting the fact that they were only children, innocent, unable to either chose or prevent the things that were happening to them. “For the first time I realized that I wasn’t to blame for all the problems that existed in the world,” one woman said. “I felt I had to blame someone. I couldn’t blame the adults, because after all, they were adults. So the only one left to blame was me.”

Once this realization hits, they often start blaming others with a vengeance. Some are simply programmed to blame others for everything. One man named Jerry, remembers growing up in a family where everything was regarded as someone else’s fault. He can remember times when they hoped for a sunny day and it rained. His father would say, “Even God is against us today.” Jerry grew up very confused about the matter of responsiblity. If he himself didn’t bring about the wrong, then he had to point an accusing finger at someone else.

A more mature understanding of the world tells us that sometimes things just don’t work out the way we hoped. There are disappointments, unexpected developments, changes in plans, that are no one’s fault in particular... Being able to accept this reality, without always having to point the finger of blame, is an important component of personal maturity and emotional health.

Excerpt from
Dr. David Stoop & Dr. James Masteller's
"Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves:
Healing Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families"
Regal/Gospel Light, 1996 (Servant, 1991)
. .