Helpless, Angry, Hopeless, Healthy

From this article about a very old book, “I’m OK, You’re OK”:

…Transactional Analysis can be linked to ‘blame’, for which Jim Davis TSTA developed this simple and helpful model. Commonly when emotions are triggered people adopt one of three attitudes relating to blame:

  • I’m to blame (You are okay and I’m not okay – ‘helpless’)
  • You are to blame (I’m okay and you are not okay – ‘angry’)
  • We are both to blame (I’m not okay and you are not okay – ‘hopeless’)

None of these is a healthy position.

Instead the healthy position is, and the mindset should be: “It’s no-one’s fault, blame isn’t the issue – what matters is how we go forward and sort things out.” (I’m okay and you are okay – ‘happy’)

Wouldn’t that have been nice?

They want to blame me, be angry at me, and for me to be helpless — to be the scapegoat, the youngest, bottom of the totem pole.

I refused to stay in that helpless position — and got angry myself.

I don’t know that blame isn’t the issue, though.  We’ve gone past the idea of who caused the initial problem (or I have, anyway) and we are now on to the much MUCH larger problem of, why is blame so important in this family?  They started with the idea of who is supposed to be at fault (me) and worked their way backwards, creating a story that fits their pre-determined ending.  How on earth is that fair or useful or even smart?

Why does everyone else get a pass but I get blamed?  Why am I not an equal member of this family?  Why do I not get respect and the benefit of the doubt?  Why does no one care about my side of this story?

Why is everyone too chicken to think about these questions, and answer them honestly?

The answer is, this family isn’t healthy enough to do that.  And I don’t want to be a part of this family badly enough to stay that unhealthy.