Friday, February 20, 2009

This might be part of the problem

Last night, my roommate asked us to fill out a survey for her psych class. After we'd completed it, she told us what it's for - she and her group are conducting research on belief in a "just world." Their hypothesis is that people who believe that everyone gets what they deserve will be more likely to hold individuals responsible for bad things that happen to them (car accidents, lung cancer), even when there's not much evidence supporting that.

I realized my results were going to be a little odd. Bad things happen to people all the time and there's nothing they did to deserve it. Children are born into poverty and have deal with the effects their whole lives - not their fault. Their lives may not ever improve much, but that doesn't mean that they "deserve" what ultimately happens. People get cancer and Alzheimers and schizophrenia and diabetes, and it's not an indication that they're bad people. Planes go down. Boats sink. Cars turn left when they shouldn't. Bad things happen to people, but it's not their fault.

Me, however. I'm different. When something bad happens to me, it is my fault. If I get sick, it's because I didn't wash my hands enough or didn't get enough vitamin C. If I get cancer, it's because I didn't eat the "right" foods. If other people gain weight, it's because of metabolic or genetic issues outside of their control. If I gain weight, it's because I'm a fatass and eat too much. Did poorly on a test? Didn't study enough, even if I spent hours at the books. Anything bad that happens to me is partly, if not mostly or entirely, my own fault.

My roommate looked at me after I told her. "Goddamn, that is pessimistic," she said.

This might be something to tell Dr. M. I don't think this is normal.


Cammy said...

I would have messed up her data also, because I do exactly the same thing, if something goes wrong then by default it's because I was deficient in some way that resulted in the screw-up. I think this is very common with ED sufferers, we tend to make a lifestyle out of not cutting ourselves any slack. I think that being able to treat yourself with the same compassion, forgiveness, and understanding that you give to others is a big factor in working towards recovery.

Hang in there, take care and treat yourself kindly.

Sam said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog.
I am the same way, I blame myself for everything.
I feel like I brought the ED upon myself and feel so guilty that I can't get better.
Have a good weekend.
Remember to take care of yourself.

Tiptoe said...

I agree with Cammy that we have a tendency to find fault with ourselves when things go wrong. Sometimes I think it is an inherent ED thing. It seems every single ED'd person I know feels similarly!

But really, I think there are a lot of factors involved as to feeling this way--perfectionism, deservingness, we're the ones responsible for ourselves, etc.

Letting go of some of this is just another extension of recovery.