No ones fault

I process my emotions in an outward fashion. It helps me gain distance and perspective. It means that people share their processes with me. I’m struggling with the Godmama separation. I’m processing that in a variety of places and ways. In one arena a kind friend suggested that I explain it to the kids as, “Sometimes people just can’t get along.” I said that I have not reacted well when people have said that to me and I don’t think I could say it believably. I’m not saying it is a bad suggestion or a wrong suggestion–it’s one I can’t really deliver.

I want to emotionally react to the phrase. Not because I’m attacking the person who said it (reasonable to share how you would respond! You didn’t tell me I “should” do it–totally respectfully suggested) but because I want to parse why I’m feeling feelings this big.

I cannot count the situations in my life that have ended with people saying, “Sometimes people just can’t get along.” I get told that a lot. My needs and issues are too complicated and big and people don’t have the spoons to devote to adapting to me and that is phrased as “people can’t get along.” It hurts me a lot.

I don’t believe in no-fault divorce. I think there is enough fault to go around. I think it can be both peoples fault and that’s ok. I have never had a break up in my life where I was blameless, and I’ve gone through a really high number of break ups. Do I think that I am completely and totally to blame for the friendships or romantic relationships that go south? Of course not. But saying “it’s no ones fault” is saying I didn’t do the shitty things I did. I’m not going to pretend I did everything right and by some magic of the universe it didn’t work out.

Do you know what is no one’s fault? Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Break ups are because of people.

I don’t want to tell my kids that sometimes things just don’t work out and people evaporate from your life. That has made me incredibly paranoid. It is part of the reason I don’t god damn call people to ask for help (unless I am desperate or I don’t really NEED the help–when the help is optional asking is easy) even though a variety of people have told me I am allowed to ask for help.

When I’m desperate I tend to throw a rope out into the universe not knowing who will catch it. I don’t pick a person and go to them. I don’t trust people enough. I don’t have the spoons to ask multiple people if I get told no. It hurts too much. So I don’t go to Person A and ask for help. I say, “Can anyone help?” and somehow magically Person P shows up. They say, “I was really bored today–I’m happy to get out of the house.” I may never see Person P again. That’s how a lot of the help I have received this lifetime shows up.

I’ve even gotten help grading papers that way when I was a teacher. Throwing a rope to the universe is the best approach I’ve used.

But my friends tend to be people who are barely sustaining their life and they don’t have spare spoons if you show up to ask for one. So I don’t walk up to specific people and ask. That results in people dumping me for over stepping.

I tell my children that sometimes people don’t want to be in a relationship with me because I am not an easy person and people have the right to make that choice. It doesn’t mean I’m wrong or bad or that no one can have a relationship with me–it’s just not something that is worth the effort for that person. Why? I don’t know. Life is complicated.

I can scare people. They have the right to opt-out of being scared. I do not “deserve” to make people feel that way. They have the right to opt-out of knowing me. I’m not going to pretend to my children that this isn’t true. I want them to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they do not have to stay in relationships with people who are hard for them and they don’t need to feel bad about being too hard for some people.

There are seven billion people on the planet. You won’t be too hard for everyone.

I believe that we all bear some fault. There is enough to go around.

Noah regularly tries to get me to believe that I care too much about blame. He thinks it is irrelevant. I say, “Awwww, what a position for a privileged white boy to have. ‘No one is to blame for bad things happening. They just happen.'” Nope. In my little corner of the world I can god damn point at why things happen and it isn’t because nature made it so. It’s because people acted. They made choices. Some of those choices sucked and had negative consequences. Fuck this “no one is to blame” bullshit.

People do things. They hurt people. It happens. That’s not “no one’s fault”. White politicians enact laws that harm people of color and want to claim it is no one’s fault too. Bullshit.

I’m not angry with the Godmamas for splitting the blanket. I’m hurt and sad. M in particular has been one of the Wise Elders of my adulthood and I feel very sad that I managed to not show this person enough respect. I feel very sad that I did such a bad job of demonstrating my love and devotion that she now feels the only way out of this bad situation is to not know me any more.

I’m not going to say there is no blame here. Instead there is enough blame to go around. I clearly did not meet the needs of the people I was in a relationship with. I tried and I failed. That happens. I’m not going to say it is no one’s fault. It is the fault of both sides.

You need more than one person trying very hard to have a relationship. You need two people trying hard and communicating about what they need. If you lose the communication or if you don’t have people try hard… relationships can’t be carried by one person. That’s not how they work. Is that a blameless situation?

I don’t blame my Owner because he was less invested in our relationship than I was. He was invested to the degree he wanted to be invested. It wasn’t enough for me to stay permanently. I need to have a partner who is more enthusiastic and devoted and he didn’t have that to give. I’m not angry with either side of us for the break up. But I’m not going to say it was no one’s fault. It was his fault he didn’t want to get married and have kids and it was my fault that I consider those things deal breakers.

I don’t think we are bad for each bearing our side of the break up. I think we want what we want and that’s ok.

I see a lot of good reasons for the Godmamas to feel hurt. I’m not pretending they have no right to feelings of their own. I’m not going to blame the break up all on them. But I can’t say it is no one’s fault. I did things wrong. They didn’t communicate about their needs. Sometimes things fail even though people are trying. To me that is materially different than “Sometimes people can’t get along.” I don’t know why it feels so different. I have to feel the acknowledgment that you tried and failed. I don’t want it to feel like some magical intervention is the reason it didn’t work out.

Sometimes Things Don’t Work Out.

Meh. Sometimes people can’t make things work out. One person can’t carry a relationship.


2 thoughts on “No ones fault

  1. inflectionpoint

    I’m glad you process your feelings. I wish this hadn’t happened.

    I run into dudes who say, “sometimes things happen,” and I find the phrase rage-inducing, because I’m tired of being the human being on the other end of, “well, sometimes things happen.” I notice that these dudes are usually not on the bad end of the things that “just happen,” perhaps if they were, they would sing a different tune.

    Lately I’ve gotten into saying, No, things don’t “happen,” rather people make choices that have results, and those choices add up to things that you say, “just happen.” And people build environments that support and encourage what “happens” or at the least, allow it to “happen.” And that’s something to look at.

    And I head into, dude, if you value something enough to prevent it from happening, you work to make sure it doesn’t. And I go into the examples from engineering and product safety and common sense. If you’re elderly and at risk of falling, you try to eliminate trip hazards. You get rid of those damn throw rugs that skitter out from under your feet. You learn to watch where you step. And on and on and on. Because you value minimizing the risk (you can’t eliminate any risk 100%, you just can’t) of falling and breaking a hip and screwing up your life…

    And they get defensive as anything. I guess when I point out that only natural disasters “just happen,” it makes these kinds of dudes uncomfortable, because I’m highlighting their responsibility for the things that “just happen,” and that makes them feel bad. But I do bring it out.

    It isn’t that having responsibility for things that happened means you are bad and awful and made of evil, but I notice that some dudes react like that when the least possible imagination of responsibility is suggested to them. I find this really hard to be around, but as we all know, I’m Too Angry and Alienate Potential Allies.

    I wish taking responsibility when things that suck happened didn’t come with feeling bad and awful, but it sure does seem to go together, and I don’t understand why.

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