i had an argument yesterday about family and the idea of blame. i once lived with someone who thought her life was the result and fault of her mother/father/relatives/birth country/brothers/kins folk/mass american populace/ just as her life now was in large part the fault of me.
everyone else was a fault in the composition of her own life. i agree that we are composed of others. that those we are affected by (and they are many) live around us and make-up who we are daily. sometimes we are reminded that they are there but most times they are like spirits we can’t see.
to this extent i agree but where we disagreed tacitly was on the part of blame, fault, and pain. the pain she felt always seemed to be resting with someone’s fault and i saw it as belonging to her like it belongs to the choices we make as to how we take or mis/take the world. it’s related to the ways we choose to be happy even as we are heart broken or the ways we choose to love someone, daily. the aspects of pain that live with us like the spirits of our history i thought belonged to her like mine i thought belonged to me.
i once told someone, i fell in love with, that she couldn’t harm me. she couldn’t hurt me, i said this even though i had been hurt by her and knew i would again. my point was not that i was divorced from being wounded but no matter what happened between us, no matter how wrapped up we both were in the hurt/ing, and no matter how her body will live in constant dialogue next to mine, even long after she leaves…i felt as i still feel that she is not to blame. and it’s related to my saying “you can’t hurt me.” i guess i was saying that the hurt that i might carry with me maybe the cause of us but not the blame of you.
it’s not to rob her of her presence because i acknowledge her body is constantly in negotiation/movement with me as it is also fixed to mine. it’s a statement made with the acknowledgement that i am fragile and she has the power to harm me. but it isn’t her fault. she isn’t to blame and neither am i. our union is felt in me, the happiness and the hurt is hard to judge. but all of it…i see it as belonging to me. a part of me now. i can’t blame it.
even with those who have done irreparable harm, family members and strangers, i find it hard to blame for the pain of my living experience. they make-me-up, they are a part of me and the pain is possible like happiness and forgiveness.
taking me back to the argument yesterday that centered on questions of whether people should be let off so easily to be blameless or that anyone should be expected not to blame someone else. i get it. i get the impulse to blame and hate because i’ve done it and i do enough pouting to know that i enjoy enacting the performance of blame. that’s what happens when i hang my hurt on the clothes line between myself and another. it releases my weight to that lighter space momentarily but check me on it. i’ll take it back.
i’ll admit to the bodies responsible and honor their presence daily as they live with me and compose the skin that covers me, but the feeling…my life is mine, it’s mine.