Ask Bon,  Blame,  Borderline Personality Disorder,  Emotions

Ask Bon: Why does this person blame me for everything?

You might notice that when dealing with someone with BPD, everything that he/she feels and everything that goes wrong seems to be your fault. You probably feel blamed for many, many things including things over which you have no control.

Being blamed for everything is tiring to say the least. Coupled with the BP’s inability to take responsibility (and blame) for his/her own actions, this aspect of BPD is maddening. It is impossible for one person to shoulder all the blame for everything in a relationship. One of my therapist friends once told me, “If you are responsible for everything, you are responsible for nothing.” I truly believe that it is impossible for anyone to take all the responsibility and blame in a relationship.

Why does a person with BPD seem so fixated on blame-finding? (Which I like to call “blame-storming” in a nod to “brain-storming”). Why does he/she go to great lengths to assign blame to anyone else (including God, the world, everyone, etc.) other than his/herself? The reason seems to be similar to that of the inability to take responsibility for his/her actions. He/She does not want to be seen as the “cause” of problems or of pain. This would again make him/her “all-bad” and in being “all-bad” he/she deserves nothing less than death. It is easier to find someone else (or something else, like karma or life itself) that is a more acceptable cause of his/her pain and problems. Some books call this “projection,” but I don’t think it is projection per se. It is more the fear of rejection, ridicule and emotional pain if he/she is at fault. It confirms his/her shame and that he/she can do nothing right. Through black-and-white thinking, if he/she is a bit at fault, he/she is doomed.

Sometimes I will hear my wife say that she “hates everyone” or that she feels “everyone is out to get her.” Clearly, these statements can be seen as paranoid or misanthropic, but ultimately she is expressing her belief that forces outside herself are to be blamed for how she feels.

Adapted from When Hope is Not Enough

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