Why being a grudge collector makes you into a slave and dependent on others for justice and self-worth. Reexamining the duality of praise and blame and how people’s feelings play a roll.
I noticed today that my wife with BPD is a grudge collector. She holds onto blame from others for a long time. Judgments made about her actions and times that she has been blamed about things (especially when she feels she was NOT a fault) are repeated time and time again in our house. I suppose she ruminates on the perceived humiliation from these incidents. She also craves recognition for her “special abilities” such as her large vocabulary and early reading skills. This morning I began to think about the duality of humiliation and praise. I believe that one is the flip-side of the other. This “two sides of the same coin” situation creates dependence on others and, in my opinion, this sense of dependence leads to shame AND to over-deserving behavior (such as excessive shopping). The dependence is an emotional one, requiring external validation (praise) and eschewing external invalidation (blame). Of course, a grudge collector is never really free from the sense of blame and by ruminating on “why did he/she blame me for something I didn’t do?” and getting angry about it, over-and-over, the grudge collector just ends up being a slave to his/her own feelings of humiliation and to the reinforced anger of being unjustly accused. The thing is… if you are a grudge collector, you are trying to change that over which you have no power to change. You can’t change the past. It must be accepted as is. You can’t change others. They must be accepted as is. When you’re offended by someone else’s blaming you, I think it says more about you than it does about them. Yeah, there’s a ton of assholes out there that will blame you for things that you didn’t do. I think most of the time that blame-storming (as I call it in When Hope is Not Enough) is hatched from their emotional reaction to the situation. That is, they are frustrated with the situation and don’t want to face the “as is”, so they go the “if only” route. “If only you hadn’t done THAT, this situation wouldn’t exist.” And that says more about THEM than it does about you.