Gaslight 1944There are lots of messages out there about how we create our reality and how that means if someone is hurting us or has caused us wrong, we must have called it in. We must be responsible and need to figure out what we did wrong, where we are struggling/broken/mistaken and resolve the issue.  I’m all for introspection, taking responsibility, and recognizing that it takes more than one person to create a relationship, failed or otherwise, but there comes a point where all this introspection tips over into victim blaming.

There are people out there who do not respect boundaries. They want what they want and whether they just don’t get it or they do and they don’t care that they are hurting people, they act in order to get what they want and leave damage in their wake. Sometimes these people are really obvious about it and sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes they work damn hard to not be obvious because they are doing it with intention to get their needs met in unhealthy ways. None of this is the fault of the person who is injured. No one else is responsible for their choices, behaviors or actions.

We as human beings want to connect. We are social beings who are meant to interact, interconnect, to see and be seen. Boundary violators, vampires, drama queens, and the like all know this and use it to their advantage. It’s their stock in trade. Of course there are plenty of people who walk into the arms of these people because they have their own needs, weak boundaries, co-dependencies, lessons to learn and so on. So 6 of 1 and 1/2 dozen of the other. That’s where the introspection comes in. However, instead of leading with the question, “What did I do wrong?” instead we should be asking “Did I do anything wrong?” Because it’s very possible that you didn’t.  You might not have called this in at all, entered into the situation with the right intention, with the right mindset, with all the facts in front of you pointing to this being ok, and with the other person misleading and misdirecting you. So give yourself the benefit of the doubt before you double down by blaming yourself for the damage done.  You’re only culpable up to a certain point.