Tool For Tuesday: It’s Your Own Fault

Joelle’s daughter is 23 and she’s been in therapy for the past year, blaming Joelle for everything from her big feet to her bad posture, her unhappiness and her lackluster love life. Joelle’s been footing (pardon the pun) the bill and yesterday she realized she didn’t want to keep paying for Madison to complain to a therapist about what a lousy job she did as a mother.

“I did the best I could,” Joelle said. “I really tried hard. No parent is perfect. It’s time for her to stop throwing blame around and start living her life.”

Madison said she was screwed – she got big feet AND she’s not tall – but Joelle said it’s time for her daughter to stop wallowing in self-pity, accept who she is, and get busy living her life. We all have to take responsibility for our lives.

Yes, there are far too many parents who do horrific things to their children. And yes, it takes years for children to heal. Sometimes they can’t. Sometimes they don’t. But there’s a big difference between don’t and won’t.

This is who we are. This is what we’ve been given. This is our only chance — right here, right now — to live our life. We don’t get a do-over on our childhood. All we can do is climb that tree, jump in this lake, re-read Harriet the Spy, volunteer with disadvantaged kids and give them what we might not have had.

We have the power. We can either stay stuck rehashing how our parents did us wrong or start to live. What about you? When did you realize that sometimes it’s your own fault?

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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