Blaming Vs Explaining
“Stop blaming everything on your depression!!!”
Was the sentence just said to me, to which I very nearly responded with a choice sentence of my own but decided on a more constructive retort.
“Actually it’s funny because I’ve been thinking about this today; there is a difference between blaming and explaining”
It’s not the first time this or similar has been said to me. And whilst I get that it might seem that way sometimes I’m here to tell you it’s fucking bollocks. “Blaming my depression for everything” is not what I do
Depression impacts a great many areas of a persons life. You can find a list of the symptoms I personally experience or have experienced in one of my earliest posts, My Depression, Not Yours.
The reason I had begun to think about this is because I was inadvertently introduced to the term Locus of Control over the weekend.
Locus of Control was introduced to me via an article written by another blogger that was published on the I Am 1 in 4 campaigns website
In the article the author explains that Locus of Control is “The extent to which people believe they have power over events in their lives. A person with an internal locus of control believes that he or she can influence events and their outcomes, while someone with an external locus of control blames outside forces for everything.” to use the quote from PsychCentral the author of that post used.
I disagreed with her stance on the matter for much the same reason I disagreed with Will Smiths on responsibility. It was overly simplistic and too cut down the middle
My understanding of Locus of Control is limited and currently amounts to this person article, Wikipedia and Google search. Further reading is needed and believe me I fully intend to. However, as I understand it at this moment in time, locus of control, like a great many things, is a spectrum.
Although I suspect a few would say it’s so, I do not consider myself to have a particularly strong external locus of control. I do not blame everything on external forces. But I do blame external forces for things for which they are at fault.
For example, if I were to cross a busy road whilst texting on my phone and I walk out without checking and I get hit by a car, I will not blame the driver. Or the car. Or luck. Karma. Fate or God. Nor would I blame the person I was texting nor the phone company. I will blame myself because I should have been looking where I was going. It was no-ones fault but mine
IF however I am crossing at a pedestrian crossing, with the light green in my favour and some boy-racer decides the Highway Code doesn’t apply to them then I would most definitely blame them.
In dance, they promote the idea that the follow is never in the wrong but I know that’s balls. True, mistakes often happen because the lead didn’t lead properly but follows make mistakes too. And when I do become distracted or stumble or anticipate the next move incorrectly (never assume!), I acknowledge I messed up and apologise. Too much in fact. I’m pretty sure it’s annoying people!
There are many mistakes I have made and areas I’ve gone awry in over the years that I freely admit that I am to be blamed for. The guilt I feel over some of those is immeasurable
My depression, however, is not one of them.
Nor do I use depression as a scape-goat for all that is wrong in my life. I stress, I do not blame my depression for everything. But it is a legitimate explanation for a great many of my day to day struggles.
I previously confessed to having a victim mindset. I do. In regards to the trauma I experienced, not in all that’s in my life!
. a reason or justification given for an action or belief.
“Freud tried to make sex the explanation for everything”
synonyms: account, reason; More
justification, excuse, alibi, apologia, rationalization, rationale;
defence, vindication, mitigation;
“I suppose I owe you an explanation about Louise”
feel or declare that (someone or something) is responsible for a fault or wrong.
“the inquiry blamed the train driver for the accident”
synonyms: hold responsible, hold accountable, hold liable, place/lay the blame on; More
responsibility for a fault or wrong.
“his players had to take the blame for the defeat”
synonyms: responsibility, guilt, accountability, liability, onus, blameworthiness, culpability, fault; More
Explanation is a reason. Blame is liability
And I will call a spade a spade.
Id say my locus of control swings somewhere in the middle
I do not blame depression, but it is the reason behind a great many things.
I do blame my perpetrators for the trauma I went through, because they are liable. I had very little control over the events that unfolded. The only thing I could have done, and didn’t, that might have spared me my mental health was this;
I could have walked away