Thursday, September 20, 2007

My slightly off topic comments on society

I probably shouldn't even post this. But I'm going to because it is on my mind.

I can't even watch the news lately. It seems our society is going deeper in the hole. No one, and I mean no one will take responsibility for their actions. Everyone it seems can blame someone else, or is able to say, "But it's not fair I get in trouble because....."

It's not just the news. I work at a place where I am exposed to a number of children and their parents. I see the same thing. No one is teaching their kids to accept responsibility and face the consequences of their actions anymore it seems.

This concept was drilled, literally drilled into my head as a child. Besides being kind, it was probably the value my mother found most important. If my siblings or I got into trouble, it was rarely referred to in those terms, it was referred as facing the consequences of our actions. As we got older, if we chose not to do homework, or stay up late, my mother would not spend a lot of time trying to make us do it. She would remind us we were making a choice, and in the morning at school, we had to face the consequence of that choice. The wrath of the teacher, bad grades (which would come with their own consequence come report card time) and feeling exhausted the next day, which we then were not allowed to use as an excuse for not doing chores after school. Every action we chose, had a reaction.

The news and the children/parents at work at been bugging me for awhile, but I started to think about posting about it after attending our infant loss support group last night. A woman was speaking of the guilt. It was her fault, she didn't do this, she did do this, and so on. I think most of us who are in this boat, know exactly what she was talking about. When I spoke at the meeting, I admitted of all the things in my grief journey I have dealt with, the guilt and the blame are the concepts I haven't made much peace with. I spoke of not feeling M move right, of thinking he was too quiet in the days before we found out. And I did nothing. I didn't call the doctor. Last night was the first time I truly admitted those things. It was my fault. The consequences of this were, M died, and he had already been dead a few days by the time he was born.

Now of course, I know, in a logical sense, it wasn't my fault. But we are talking about feelings here. I probably will never truly forgive myself for not listening to my intuition. In case your wondering how this post connects, it's because last night I started thinking about how I shoulder the blame for something I probably truly could not control, that did not happen because of choices I made, but I can't seem to really accept that as truth. While the rest of the world is responsible for nothing. Maybe my mother's lessons worked too well.


niobe said...

This post definitely struck home. In my job, I see an endless parade of people completely unable to accept responsibility or to understand that actions have consequences.

Monica H said...

I completely understand where your feelings originate. I don't blame myself for the death of my two sons, because I know there isn't anything I could have done differently to save them. However I feel like it is my body that killed them, making it my fault they are not here. I'm sorry you feel this way too.

Beruriah said...

Well you certainly can't work with college kids either and not have these thoughts sometimes.

Funny how I know you're not at all fault for M's death, yet I an still blame myself for my son's. Such is the pattern of cognitive dissonance.

Julia said...

You know, from the beginning I was very grateful to not have the feeling of guilt because in our case there was no warning, and nothing that could've been done. As I read more and more people around the grief community talk about their guilt, I am so sad for all of you. I imagine it to be a heavy burden, and I wish I had the words to make it better for you and all the others who carry it.

meg said...

I have the same feelings you do...exactly. I feel so much guilt and blame and those are the things I can't seem to work through.

I had some intuitive thoughts too and I will never forgive myself for not listening, for not wanting to make a fuss. This time, I don't matter how crazy I seem!

I hope we can both come to some resolution on this--I think it's just going to take time.

Carole said...

It's so true. As a culture it seems no one wants to take responsibility for anything.

I hope you find peace on this journey. I don't have any great words to say...but I'm thinking of you.