Behaviour: Beating myself up. It is all my fault. I only have myself to blame.


Are you a self blamer? I am. When things do not got to plan, it is practically always my fault. I grew up with this self blame notion and am pretty sure I have an it is all my fault gene.  I could and still can apply it is all my fault to pretty much anything. From not being picked to join a team even though I had trained so very hard to blaming myself in moments of being bullied. My fault gene in my head told me. “You are being bullied because you don’t fit in. You have braces, bright red hair and are fat therefore you are  a target. It is all your fault”

I become a mother, the richest playground in the world  for the fault gene to operate at fall steam because mother guilt thrives on the fault gene. The overload of blame I inflicted upon myself was constant.  The fault picking by others on my parenting fuelled my fault gene to the max. My daughter doesn’t sleep through the night – my fault. My daughter takes all her clothes off every where – my fault. Everything was my fault.

I started blogging and let loose the conversations in my head; snippets of my life, my mothers’ Alzheimers, her passing away  my work as a child behaviourist all open to public comments or lack of comments, again interpreting everything and nothing into it is all my fault.

Meeting with mothers and friends I know it is not only myself that has the it is all my fault gene. Of course there are certain things in life that I am fully accountable for as we all are, this is part of our makeup and the intrinsic values that personally we strive to live by, the majority of us have a good heart, we are trying to do the best we can. Some days are better than others, some days are horrendous, on those days just making it to bedtime is good enough.

Fault and blame are harsh words to keep applying to ourselves day to day.  Wait,  you forgot to wash a uniform. Does it require a self flogging of fault and blame? No, spray your child with some deodorant and send them on their merry way. Forgot to bake the cake for the fair. Buy one. Stop with the beating yourself up on a daily basis. Personally I  believe that many times we have to accept exactly how we are feeling before we can slowly move on through the fog.

Looking at the bigger picture can help. Although this too has a double edge darker side as we can end up beating ourselves up even more as  we look at the bigger picture, and of course inside our heads we know we should feel grateful for all we have, there are people so much worse off. So now we feel  even more at fault because being grateful  does not make our depression, anxiety, or the emotions we are feeling disappear. It would be great if it did, we would all be able to feel great, but is does not. Sometimes reading quotes make you feel even more depressed. It is impossible to be grateful when your mind will not let you.  I can only suggest being kinder with yourself, deal with the current issues and feelings at hand the best way you can, save being thankful once you feel better.

We have to accept many of  the imperfections of our life as true perfection is a fallacy. I’ve been looking for it for years and I can assure with a hand on my heart that it does not exist. Even those we may see as perfect will have a quirk,  a crappy day and yes they too can lose their outer calm and snap. Mrs Domesticated Organised Super Mum has a messy draw somewhere. My imperfect chaos is who I am, we have different talents, abilities and passions. I know I am not a domestic goddess and I’m ok with that, if it upsets you, it is now I know it is not my fault.

The list of things we can blame ourselves for is never-ending these are just some of my personal ones

  • Any emotional or physical abuse or trauma I have suffered and endured is NOT my fault.
  • Depression is NOT my fault.
  • Anxiety is NOT my fault.
  • Baby not sleeping through is NOT my fault.
  • My children are on a constant learning journey, they will do stuff that is NOT my fault.
  • So and so doesn’t like me this is NOT my fault.
  • People may not follow through on a promise this is NOT my fault
  • The house is not as tidy as I would like it my children are  messy NOT my fault. Yet they are good-humoured, well mannered and loving this is my fault a good fault.

This year I’ve made a promise to myself that I stop as soon as the it is all my fault starts to rear its tone with me. I replace fault, with it wasn’t meant to be or “Oh shit I forgot”.

I will strive to keep looking at the bigger picture, I will be more gentle with myself and I will continue being imperfectly me.

Do you beat yourself up? What do you blame on yourself? On Wednesday 6th February 2013 at 9pm Melbourne time I’m having an open discussion on depression, anxiety,  and feeling overwhelmed over on the Easy Peasy Kids Facebook Page. If it goes well I will form a closed support group where we can support each other on a more daily basis.

Not everything is my fault or yours…











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Nathalie Brown

Child Behaviour Consultant at Easy Peasy Kids
Child Behaviourist and researcher. Creator of "Less tantrums. More smiles". I look at the bigger picture and think outside the box when working with children and their behaviour. Their world is different. As adults we sometimes forget this. Happiness Creator in my spare time. Eater of chocolate and cake.

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  1. You are so insightful. I couldn’t love this post any more and will join on the chat too. Xxx

  2. Alison Burns says

    Ohhh how I can relate to everything in this post. I would be very interested if you created a closed group xx.

  3. Michaela Fox says

    Love this post Nathalie. I think there are many women out there who will identify with this. I totally agree that we all need to be more "gentle" with ourselves.

  4. This post could've been written about me! xx

    • Darling I think there are so many of us that feel this way. Life eh? Full of so many things that it’s a wonder we are still standing at the end of the day. Much love to you xx

  5. Mrs Woog says

    You read minds. Obviously xx

  6. Everything is my fault – I don’t think anything ever happens that isn’t. Should have seen that coming, shouldn’t make made this mistake, that didn’t LOOK like a mistake but I should have known it would turn out like this, wow that was dumb shouldn’t have done it, should have done this other thing…

    My husband is lovely, and takes all my BS in stride… I have this feeling that a therapist would tell me that in a desperate attempt not to be mad at my mother (of whom I have no memory), I made everything my fault. It wasn’t my fault, I was a baby when she left. It wasn’t my fault she didn’t come to my wedding, it wasn’t my fault she didn’t respond when I opened a line of communication after my first daughter was born. It’s not my fault… It’s not evil to be upset with her, it’s OK to feel like she didn’t do the right thing by me.

    Keep repeating it, maybe it’ll start feeling real?

    • Yes it’s ok to be upset with her, even super pissed off. I don’t think it will start to feel real, it doesn’t with my personal past trauma and I’ve learned that I don’t need to forgive or forget, but I can move on slowly. Some days are awesome. Some days are not so good. As long as I keep moving a little then that is OK for me. Thank you for sharing, love

      Nathalie x

  7. I so know what you mean. I blame myself for everything…Thanks for posting. Zanni Heart Mama x.

  8. While reading, I was thinking, she’s talking about me. Gosh the blame on myself and the horrible, breaking guilt. I’ve decided to go there too. I’m going to try and keep the words from my head ( as best as I can). Thanks for the reminder to be kinder to ourselves this year ( and forever)

    • So many of us have the it’s my fault thoughts it must switch on as soon as we have kids. As long as we rein it in as much as we can we have a chance to keep moving forward x

  9. Michaela C says

    I would love to be a part of that group.

    The “everything is shit and it’s all my fault” theme is a big one for me. I’ll never forget when I’d been living o/s for a few years, came home for a visit and my mum told me “I hope you’re not forcing x to buy that thing. You know I have to protect everyone from you”.

    Well at least I know what she really thinks of me.

  10. Oh Nat! This is a post I needed to read, and I know I will be back later to read it again, because it’s just something that I need to sit with, and then come back to and see where I am with it.
    I blame myself for EVERYTHING, and it’s escalted to the point that I can see how I am going into everything set up to fail because of my negativity.
    I am going to join you with your goals. I need to step back and just let shit happen a little more and stop taking it so personally. That it’s ok if I let things slide a little because I’m having a rough time, or I’m busy living life, or even because I’m not busy I’m just fluffing about. That how others perceive me isn’t THAT important. It’s more important that I have a good relationship with myself.

    I hope that YOU are feeling ok though. You really are one of the most amazing women I have ever met. xx

    • Beautiful Miss Pink we are so very tough on ourselves we form these patterns in our head which really don’t help. I am feeling Ok and OK is my new good. Hope that the Wednesday night chat helps and thank you for calling me amazing but I’m not, I fumble along like everyone else xxxx

  11. I try not to beat myself up but one though creeps in there from time to time. We need to train ourselves to have more balanced thoughts and be more rationale with them.

  12. Cat Elizondo says

    I will join, even if it means waking up at my 4am that day and then RUN to work!! =) Thanks, Nathalie!!

  13. There’s something about hearing words and thoughts that go on in your head, said out-loud by someone you respect. Thanks for sharing x

  14. It is so easy to fall into the ‘it’s my fault’ thinking! Sometimes I can happily stay away from it, but little by little I can fall back into it ~ I try very hard to be conscience of this kind of negative self talk and somehow, juggling work and home life has actually helped (although I had expected the opposite!). I think I had to come to the realisation that I simply cannot do it all in every space in my life, so I allowed myself that and the self blame started to (mostly) slip away.

  15. I try to say to myself "it is what it is". Not saying that I don' try to improve things, but that I don't get hung up on how they go that way in the first place. Focus on the future, what you can change, rather than on the past. But trying to say this to myself doesn't mean that it always works, and mother's guilt creeps up on you.

  16. Thank you for the timely reminder. I think as mum’s sometimes we can take on far too much responsibility – as you said, everything is NOT our fault.

  17. This is such an important post and I think more people, especially mothers should read it. I have shared it with my mothers group. Thank you.

  18. Your posts are always so thought provoking! I have struggled with this for so many years and although i am striving to beat it i know thoughts similar to those you just discussed so beautifully are what continue to contribute to my depression. I love the sound of your closed group and will also try to remember to stop by for your chat. Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts and words with us Nat.

  19. This sure hits home! I am constantly blaming myself for things that I cannot control. What about children? My son had started the “it’s all my fault” thing when things go awry. Any suggestions?

    • With kids I normally ask open ended questions so that they can see a little clearer it is not their fault or break down what they can learn from what has happened. e.g.: If you feel it’s your fault what can you do differently next time. Let’s have a look together and see why you think it’s your fault .

  20. Oh how we blame ourselves. I blame all the crazy messes and mishaps on myself sometimes. But it’s just kids being kids and sometimes me not being present enough that allows the opportunities for the crazy messes!
    Laney | Crash Test Mummy recently posted…Danger Zone: She’s not a black dog, she’s a seductressMy Profile

  21. This is a wonderful post Nathalie and I can so relate. I either blame myself or unnecessarily blame my husband (however much he was involved!) because in that moment I can’t bear to feel the blame myself!! Both are issues!! What a wonderful post and a wonderful promise you’ve made yourself! I’m going to join you and laugh things off/see the temporary and minor nature of such problems! Hugs x
    Bek @ Just For Daisy recently posted…Photo Shoot with Vanessa Jane PhotographyMy Profile


  1. […] when it comes down to the crunch. I can beat myself up over pretty much anything and the words “It’s my fault” replay in my head on a daily basis. The irony that I work with behaviour is not lost on me. If […]

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