I see a pattern in myself that I am embarrassed about, and am hesitant admitting to (both a sign that there is more to see there).
I sometimes set up situations where I fail or don’t get what I want, go into victim mode, and then blame others or life.
When I applied for residency in the US, I wanted to go back to Norway to finish my degree but a Norwegian friend of mine said I couldn’t apply from there. I thought it didn’t sound right, but accepted it and later found she was wrong, felt like a victim, and blamed her.
I hired an engineering firm to help us stabilize our house some years ago. They sent an inexperienced engineer right out of school, he suggested some large concrete retaining walls on the downside of the house, and again it didn’t seem right to me. And again, I accepted it, it ended up being a very long lasting, stressful and expensive project, and completely unnecessary. I set up the situation by following his advice against my better judgment. I went into victim mode. And I blamed him.
I took a sabbatical from my graduate degree so my wife could do hers. My advisor said it was fine and there would be no problem going back. I kept checking with him, while feeling what he said wasn’t correct. And when I said I wanted to return to the program, he said I couldn’t since they had restructured it. Again, I set it up, felt like a victim, and blamed him.
My first girlfriend was someone I wanted to marry and have children with. She gave me an ultimatum saying “either we get married or it’s over”. I felt hurt and misjudged. didn’t clear up the situation. She ended the relationship. And I blamed her. Again, I set it up (by not clarifying my side, that I too wanted to get married), went into victim mode, and blamed her.
I met with a friend to go to a talk a few weeks back. Against my better judgment, I decided to wait with eating until she came. And again against my better judgment, we went to a restaurant even if we didn’t really have time to eat before the talk. We asked the waitress if we would have time to order and eat, she said yes, and I went along with it knowing she was most likely wrong. I got the food a couple of minutes before having to leave, so had one bite of a quite expensive meal and then left. Again, I set it up, went against my better judgment, felt like a victim, and blamed her.
In another relationship, that also felt deeply right, we had to be apart for a while, and during that time she seemed to go into some major misperceptions. I said some to clear it up, but didn’t do all I could have done. It caused the relationship to end. I set it up, felt like a victim, and blamed life.
There is a lot of other examples.
I just did a Living Inquiry session on self-hatred, and it seems to be connected to (a) a familiar contraction in my throat, and (b) frustration in my relationship with my mother from childhood. I wanted to be closer to her, and also didn’t want to because of (what I sensed as) emotional turmoil in her. She seemed preoccupied and distant, and also dealing with something unresolved emotionally. (And at the same time, obviously caring about me very much and wanting the best for me.)
I am not sure if self-hatred is the right word here, although it does seem to capture something. The pattern I described above is a form of unkindness to myself and others, and the blame – whether directed to others, life or myself – is the same. And it’s also all innocent, and comes from misguided love – an attempt to protect the imagined self. It also comes from a wound, most likely from early childhood.
Note: It’s a pattern of strategizing to shooting myself in the foot, and setting it up so I can blame others and life, and go into victim mode. It’s a shoot-myself-in-the-foot-and-blame-others-for-it pattern. I sense it has to do with my mother, and perhaps some deep despair in her which I somehow responded to by creating this pattern in myself, probably very early in life. It does feel like self-hatred, a deep painful wound, and a deep blinding despair. As any wound, it asks for love and for the stories creating to to be seen through.
Another way to put it: I find myself at the threshold of something that feels deeply right (a relationship, study, work, place to live), I see an opportunity to make it fail (for instance when someone gives me advice I know is not right for me, or someone misperceives me), I allow it to happen, or actively act so it will happen, go into deep despair, and blame others and life.