being blamed 

No matter what I do, it’s wrong!

PREVIOUS: Self-Hate – #3

SEE posts : What is Guilt?
What is Shame?
• ACoAs’ Need for Revenge


There is a lot of talk in the ‘spiritual’ community about forgiveness – ie – that we should not be blamers. Not blaming ourselves (S-H) or others (an attack) is a good rule for us in the present – now that we’re adults. And that’s a discussion for another post.

However, those same teachers & preachers never talk about what was done to us as kids – that among many other types of harm, our parents unfairly, inappropriately blamed us for all kinds of things – and what that did to our tender & vulnerable developing sense of identity!  This post is about what happened TO US as children. A hallmark of alcoholic (& other emotionally unhealthy) families is the mistreatment of their children in all 4 of life’s aspects: Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, Physical.

➼ Parents blaming their children for ANYTHING is ABUSIVE. Blaming us is the same as holding us responsible for their deficiencies & unhappiness.
Remember – abuse is not just physical, in all its forms. It encompasses all the ways people harm others – especially their children – by injuring another’s rights, self-esteem, mental clarity, sense of safety, emotional equilibrium & boundaries. So Blame fits into 3 categories – S, M & E.

Our damaged parents blamed us for things which :Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 5.06.44 AM
a. were NOT our fault (difficulties because of a learning disability, like dyslexia or ADD; the illness or death of a parent; a parent being left by a lover or spouse…)
b. was a projection of what the parents are guilty of (being fearful, irresponsible, lazy, feeling unlovable, risk-averse….)
c. we were not doing what they’re being accused of (being a ‘whore’ when she’s too young to have had sex at all OR seducing a parent’s lover/ spouse, when that adult is actually sexually abusing the child; using drugs, when the kid never has…)

d. we couldn’t do, especially without any instruction, & is accused of being stupid – when he/she legitimately can’t know something (fixing a car or other machinery, shopping by themselves, ‘getting; a hard school subject,  expected to know how to fix a parent’s personal, sexual & financial problems or forced to take care of a drunk or crazy parent, alone…)
e. were actually no one’s fault (an act of God, getting sick or having an accident…
f. one of our siblings or other child did, but we were held responsible for, especially if we were the Hero or Scapegoat (start a fight; steal or break something; get into trouble at school…)

g. our parents were jealous of, because they couldn’t do something we could (a natural skill or gift) & so they made that ability a bad thing
h. was mostly not true – like: always lying (“Kids always lie so we can’t believe anything they say”), always being stubborn, selfish, too sensitive, difficult, disobedient, stupid….Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 5.07.37 AM
➼ This may be a group of normal childhood characteristics which:
— sick parent cannot tolerate because of their own issues
— occur sometimes as a defense in the child because of family abuse & neglect…
— happen occasionally because kids are human ie. imperfect. Those behaviors & attitudes then get demonized – which make them both a ‘sin’ and more likely to continue, while we try to be perfect. We CAN’T WIN in a sick environment.

SOURCES of Parental Blame
a. Projecting their own self-hate, frustration & inadequacy onto us
b. Copying what was done to them – without any self-awareness, considering the effect on us or questioning if their behavior made sense
c. Automatically reacting badly to normal child behaviors which trigger their own old pain (their denied traumas, still unresolved)

d. Another way to take the focus off of themselves – making us responsible for their unhappiness allowed them to keep their denial in tact, thus perpetuating the ‘disease’ of alcoholism & narcissism
e. Parental Narcissism – seeing us as an extension of themselves, rather than as separate individuals, & their need for us to be perfect – in order to keep up the illusion of their personal & family OK-ness.

Kids are too young & vulnerable to fight back, stand up for themselves or even understand exactly what’s being done to them – only that it HURTS! And when they’re old enough to try – if they dare – they’re punished without mercy!
➼ Pushing away intense S-H & shame —> creates the need to BLAME someone or something else for ones own fears & lacks.

Now when others blame us (if were victimized that way as kids) :
a. we believe what that person is accusing us of (boss, parent, lover, friend…) because it agrees with our Negative Introjectblamed
b. we take that blame on, which feeds our self-hate. We feel terrible, & try to ‘be/do better’ BUT we may not have been at fault in the first place and one can never win, anyway, when dealing with a blamer!

c. we continue to choose (unconsciously) those people as friends, lovers, bosses… who already have the habit of blaming others – TO:
• keep us connected to / locked into our family system, from a sense of loyalty, love AND denial about how much that system harmed us
• validate our self-hate: after all, if our family told us over & over that we’re a mess – and see – all these other people tell us that too – then it must be true !
➼ THAT WAY we never have to hold our parents responsible for their verbal & emotional abuse, because it feels ‘safer’ to keep blaming ourselves, even though it’s self-destructive! (review: “They did the BEST they could post, #2, b, ii.)

NEXT: ACoAs’ need for revenge


10 thoughts on “PARENTS BLAMING US 

  1. My mother used to emotionally and physically abuse me. Even now, she says I “caused” the abuse.
    At 3, I threw a tantrum, and pulled my mom’s hair in front of others – that is a proof that I deserved to be locked up and beaten for days, and years to come.
    Also, she sites how I hit my younger sister at a party once, and in grade 2.
    Does that really justify years of beating? She says I was evil, and deserved it.
    Now that I have my own children, I am telling her it is not ok to hit a child, despite their behaviour. Also, “decipline” or “spanking” is one thing, and completely losing ones temper and beating a child and blaming a child is not right. My mom still insists that she did nothing wrong, and I caused it.
    I am afraid to have my twins around her, as she does not see anything wrong with how she was with me, and I am afraid she will behave the same way towards her grandsons. God forbid they pull their grandma’s hair, or throw a tantrum!
    My mother and the rest of the family insists that it has always been my doing, even till this day. =( I am getting confused. In my head, I know this is still the “emotional abuse” and “victim blaming”, but I cannot help feeling like a monster for feeling anger and resentment, and they keep telling me that I’m the cause of it all.


  2. Hi Mary-Ann, thanks for writing. I’m so sorry to hear about how cruelly your mother has treated you. The worst is the mind-f–ing, becasuse it lasts much longer than the physical torture!

    SHE IS NOT RIGHT ABOUT YOU! Your inner child has been brainwashed, so it’s up to your adult self to keep reminding your kid part that NO child is born evil – so neither were you! Hold your inner little girl, every day, & tell her she is wonderful, beautiful & a gift from God. She won’t believe you easily or soon, so you have to be persistent.

    Some suggestions: (You may already be doing these things) Please keep reading all the post of this blog, and as much other literature you can find about narcissists, and about sadistic parents. Over & over. Also, participate in Al-Anon meetings – on line or by phone, if you can’t get to any in person. It teaches us how to focus positively on ourselves even when dealing with crazy people & how to live well. Also, the books “Compassion & Self-Hate” by T Rubin & “The Recovery of Your Inner Child” by Lucia Capacchione.

    I don’t know if you can allow yourself to do this – but I highly recommend you limit (eliminate) all contact with your mother & anyone who agrees with her. You are right to be afraid for your twins! but also for yourself. In order to heal we must STOP re-wounding ourselves!
    It is the same as if you has a big gash on your body that has been stitched up by a doctor – but then you keep bumping it, picking at it…. which keeps pulling the wound apart. How can it heal? Talking to & seeing your mother just keeps reinforcing the sadistic message you grew up with. Any healer or therapist will tell you the same!

    Again, thank you for writing. Please keep coming back.
    Sincerely, Donna Marie


  3. Just discovered you today. Looking forward to spending time reading and learning. I’m not alone. I began attending ACA meeting in July. Started new meetings where I live in September. I’m going to make others aware of the List group and you. There is so much here. I have time since I’m retired for the most part but busy in AA service and ACA service. I also attend an Alanon and Coda meeting weekly. Life is getting better. Thank you.


    • Welcome. Glad to meet another fellow-grower.
      One of the ‘best’ days of my life was when I was introduced to Al-Anon! I cried for the first 3 years, releasing so much pain & grateful to have finally gotten the answers I had been praying for.

      Thank you for your interest & for passing the blog on. Keep in touch.


  4. A web site should be started , My parents didn’t want me , she got pregnant to remove self from home, I’m now 45 with a 8 year old child by myself ,due to the choices I made in life. Both parents toxic, they’ll never get it. I’ve seen some of the patterns come out in my parenting, but I made choices and changes for the highest good for my child. My mother never wanted me always chose a man over me, she and my dad haven’t been married for 40 years, he still takes her side on things I have never done, Shame and Blame, a majority of my life I have purpously avoided my family, my dad exposed me to things a little girl should never see or hear. My mom always came across to me as a whore all of my life. I’m really having a hard time with it , not the part that i want them around it just hurts that I never had a supportive loving protective parent Like I am , I wonder what I would have became if I had that, instead of me a widowed parent, with low self esteem and confidence, haven’t been able to break through that wall that would allow me success. I have a high school education, a lot of ambition, trouble with follow through. I came to a self realization, of how I have sabotaged and kept myself from or kept good things from myself, due to how I was treated and programmed to now have that “lack mentality” . Therapy? Drugs? How can you forgive people who have done this ? They want me to forgive, I just hope they have a better life the next time around, and maybe learn their lesson.


    • I like that website title! When our parents don’t want us it’s very hard to feel safe in the world – but the value of your mother being so blatant about it is to know that it’s not your fault – you didn’t cause the damage in her personality that made her reject you! Keep up the work of Recovery – getting well is the best revenge. Al-anon is a great resource – attend either in-person or Phone meetings.


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