Doing My Best - Ramblings from a Conflicted Mind

Submitted into Contest #165 in response to: Write a story that includes the phrase “This is all my fault.”... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction

Doing My Best - Ramblings From A Conflicted Mind

“Did anyone ever tell you, you have a hyperactive sense of responsibility?” - Probably not an exact qoute, but one of my favorites from the Jesse Stone movies. It struck me. 

I don’t want to be a mind reader. In fact, I try very hard not to be, but - 

It’s all my fault. This is all my fault. Everything is all my fault. At least, that’s how I felt about everything and anything that ever happened. It’s not like anyone ran around, pointing fingers and saying, ”It’s all your fault!”

I just knew. 

I shouldn’t have been such a good girl. I shouldn’t have always been so quiet. I shouldn’t have told the truth. I shouldn’t have wanted things. I never should have listened. I never really did want to be a mountain climber, anyway. I never did like baked beans, or chicken on the grill cooked with gasoline …

That’s why everything is my fault. Not because I didn’t like baked beans, but because I believed everything you told me. It’s always been my fault. Everything will always be my fault - I’ve grown comfortably in that role - and now I always have an opinion to go along with my self-flogging. The audacity is usually unwelcome, but I want to discuss more than the rain. Why do you take it so personally?

This wise woman constantly reassures the naive’ little girl that it wasn’t her fault; that she did the right thing, but those feelings of responsibility remain forever crushing. A hug and words of wisdom are never quite enough anymore. It’s too late for that. The soul is soothed only for a moment by me.

In my childhood logic, the only reason I could imagine no one ever hugged me, that little girl, and told me it wasn’t my fault is because it was my fault. It was all my fault. It still is.

It’s my fault that the family fell apart. It’s my fault that my parents grieve parents. And I grieve Grandparents who never really existed. It’s my fault the dog died. It’s my fault I’ve been exiled - I carry too many opinions. And truths. Apparently, I talk too much. I’m too much of a lot.

So go ahead, pile it on - the blame with which you don’t want to burden yourself. I’ll take it. I’ve learned how to carry it well. Silently, with no tears, because I’m tough. Don’t worry, you’ll never see my bruises or scars anymore. It is not my intent to see you uncomfortable. I’ll keep my opinions and truths with me, away from you. I will never blame you. 

It’s my fault my dreams remain distant; my nightmares chronic. It’s my fault I think too much. It’s my fault Hallmark movies make me cry. Why do Hallmark movies make me cry? Maybe because was born under the Birth Sign Aquarius and the stars were aligned for craving the ideal.

My attempts to burst your delusional bubble of safety were, of course, unwelcome. I refuse to live there, though, because history has proven it’s not safe for me. I guess that’s my fault for making you feel insecure. I didn’t mean to do that. 

Don’t worry. These words are as close as you’ll get to unraveling this mysterious mind. And it’s your choice to read them. Or not. It’s always been your choice.

It’s my fault you didn’t love me deeply as I started to grow from “silent, smiley good girl” into “independent, mature woman.” My opinions and truths made(make) me unlovable to those who are only comfortable within silent smiles. Twisted words, tone and inaction told me so. Patterns tell me so now.

Because of my silence, more were hurt, that was my fault.

Because of my declaration, many were hurt. That was my fault, too.

The results were unpredictable and unexpected. I should have known better. In the aftermath, I have developed self-reliance. That’s also my fault.

I know it’s not your fault - you only coped, still cope - the best way you knew how. It’s my fault for not drowning in your damage, no matter how many times your silent waves tried to crash me into the surf. (Maybe that’s why I’m apprehensive of the water.)

It’s my fault I can’t swim. I know you tried to make me learn one summer for a week, but it was cold. The thought of splashing in the water was not inviting. I still hate splashing water. And butterflies. Although, I love butterflies, I can’t stand it when they touch me. 

I do love animals, though. Animals are much more reliable than people. And honest. I limited myself with the belief that I wasn’t smart enough, or wealthy enough. That’s my fault. 

It’s my fault for coping the way I do, with expression through words, with beverage, with opinions and truths, with the need to do what’s right - according to me, not you. Doing what’s right it not often easy. Or convenient.

It’s my fault you no longer see my smile. You also won’t see my tears. It’s my fault you don’t find me funny anymore (I’m still funny) …

 Or maybe some of that is your fault. Or no one’s fault. Maybe it was the bloodletting.

I know this rambling sounds confused. I’m sure it’s obscure to readers. This is just my way of trying to make sense of the thoughts in my head vs the actions of my world. This chaotic mind is my fault, too.

Sometimes, I lose my way. That’s my fault. I have always found my way back. That’s my fault, too. No one is helping me. I fall down on my own. I rise on my own.

I often wonder what would happen if I could just do what I’m told. You know - let it go, hide it, forget about it, never speak of it, let it all carry on down the line. Would I then be blameless?

Don’t worry - you can sleep well in the knowledge it’s all my fault. 

September 29, 2022 14:53

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Keila Aartila
12:19 Sep 30, 2022

I think this piece is probably very self-indulgent. What do you think? Too much?


Ross Dyter
07:58 Oct 20, 2022

I liked this, the description is just enough to be engaging, but not too much to be over written. As a piece of writing I enjoyed reading it.


Keila Aartila
20:25 Oct 20, 2022

Thank you so much!


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