We’ve all had events happen in our lives where we felt it wasn’t our fault. We think to ourselves: “Why did this happen to me?” It could be a trivial thing (not trivial at the moment!), where you couldn’t find your keys. You know exactly where you put them …. They aren’t there!! Or – and this has happened to us all in the work field, where we were over-looked for a promotion that we knew we deserved.
We then start to play The Blame Game. We tend to find reasons why they got promoted and we didn’t.
Then – and this could take a long time – we get to the point where maybe it wasn’t anyone else’s fault. Maybe it was ours.
Perhaps (and probably) the person who got the promotion was the first one at work and the last to leave. Maybe he/she really worked harder – whether he/she be a waitress or a Wall Street executive. Could they actually have deserved it more than you?
Once you get over the fact that the keys were exactly where you had put them the night before, or that person who got the promotion did deserve it over you, you can get on with your life.
After my accident, I was the king of “The Blame Game.” I blamed everyone for putting me in this chair, even my beautiful wife, Shondell. Why did it take her an hour to come look for me?
Had she come sooner and had I been life-flighted to the hospital sooner, the doctors would have had more time to see if indeed my spinal cord had been severed or just twisted – and, in time – could have unwound itself. We would have had to wait 6 months to know for sure – but there still would have been hope……..(As it turned out, it had been severed as soon as the bale of hay fell on me, but we did not know that for six months).
I even blamed those 8 men who finally lifted that one-ton bale of hay off my head. They had a crane coming, but they all knew I wasn’t going to make it that long. Each breath I took was harder and harder.
I had been breathing in gas fumes and hay for an hour as that bale of hay had pinned my head to the steering wheel on the tractor.
I kept thinking and tried talking – “Cut the strings ….. just cut the strings.” I felt that if they just cut the strings, the bale of hay would have just fallen off.
As I stated before, they knew I had little time left, so those wonderful farmers, ranchers, friends and firemen got around that bale of hay and lifted it off. Most people say “Impossible.” For eight men to lift 2000 pounds off a man – impossible. But not for those men. They saved my life, and what was my thanks to them? Blaming them!!!!
Boy, my head was really screwed up……what it came down to was me owning up to the facts and start making decisions about the rest of my life – in a wheelchair.
I needed some help getting to that point. I needed someone to help me quit feeling sorry for myself; I needed someone to lay down the facts – who loved me enough to tell me the things I didn’t want to hear; that things weren’t going to be ok.
And that someone had to be someone who loved me enough to tell me the truth.
That person was my dad. When I think of that day and the courage it took for him to tell me the cold hard truth – that I had a real trial ahead of me, I still get choked up. He laid the facts on the line and said what I did from then on was up to me. I still had a family that loved me, that would support me, that would even put up with me when I would have those
“Why me?” moments!!
As I had stated earlier, I was an expert on blaming others. Once I had owned up to the fact that I put me in this chair, I was able to acknowledge and accept it; then decide what my course of action would be.
I had a lot of help from my family, friends and neighbors, but more importantly, I had a best friend – my dad. He was willing to say the things I didn’t want to hear, but had to hear in order for me to go on.
Now I find myself grateful for the life I have and I that when I own up to mistakes that I made (and still make) in my life, I’m a better person. That’s a great feeling.