Regarding communication: Personal filters

All of us have things that are emotional triggers, or sensitive spots.  They’re things that when someone says one thing…can be easily picked up on and questioned or misinterpreted in our minds to be an attack on some sensitive area in our lives.  I have them…I think we all do.  And that’s one of the reasons that usually when I am saying something, I will try to make it clear if I think there could be anything I’m saying that could be misunderstood, to clarify it in the beginning.

I did not do that with my post on Personal Responsibility.  I did not make the initial disclaimer, pointing out what my meaning was on certain potentially sensitive areas, even though I had already stated the exclusions in there.  I didn’t do them in a completely, unequivocally clear so that there could be no misunderstanding due to those kind of personal filters.

That’s why I wrote that disclaimer here: I have hurt a friend and must clarify something  Actually, even before Sara posted that blog of hers: Universal Truths, having taken offense to my post, I was thinking about my need to do a post pointing it out…just to be absolutely clear that wasn’t what I was saying…not because I had said anything I didn’t intend to say and wanted to retract.  One of my own sensitivities is when someone picks up on something I say…one point in something that I say, and sort of takes it out of context or twists it and then runs with it, saying that I was saying something that I was not.  I assure you…that has been done to me by some in the past, even when I did made a clear disclaimer statement about it in my initial statement.  So that is one of MY sensitive spots.

I confess, I’m a little irritated about the extent of the misunderstanding, because I know what I was saying.

Here’s Sara’s last paragraph in her post:

“But make no mistake. When it comes to blame, I place it fully on my abusers’ shoulders. They should carry it. Not me. As well as the responsibility for what happened. I also blame my abusers for being stuck in my emotional quagmire. I blame them for the shame I’m carrying. I blame them for basically feeling shitty. However – I will take responsibility for my own change. And I will take responsibility for my future – if I can only figure out how. To me, there’s no contradiction in this. In the end what it comes down to is the ability to recognize who owns what; or, as a friend of mine likes to say when assessing his degree of responsibility within the context of a conflict or emotionally charged situation, “It ain’t my dog, so I’m not gonna walk it.””

I agree fully with this, and it IS the same thing I was saying in my post…children are not to blame for the abuse at the hands of the adults in their life…and my own mother was not to blame, even though  she was an adult, for the abuse she endured at my father’s hands either.  And I wasn’t to blame for how all that affected me even into adulthood…even though I misinterpreted some things.  I was a child.  BUT, I was, and am saying that we all must take responsibility at some point for moving on and changing things.  According to Sara’s words above, she’s saying the same thing.

Then Bird, in a response under Sara’s post, said this:

“That being said, while I agree to a point that we all eventually have to stop playing the blame game in our lives, it would be over-simplifying things to say we should just take part of the blame and move on. I would imagine that each person would struggle with different things in their lives, and it would be just too easy to instruct people to just get over anything. People perceive their lives from their own vantage point, and I find that the people who serial blame other people are usually struggling with a deep-set fear of being wrong. That fear has to be addressed at its root, which I would imagine is 9 times out of 10, a childhood problem.”

Accepting ‘blame’ for abuse you endure, and accepting ‘responsibility’ for getting past the trauma of said abuse and moving forward are NOT the same thing.  I was not saying to take part of the blame.  I was saying the ‘responsibility’.  Here is what I said:

“But even with children, when they grow up there comes a time to quit staying back in the past and blaming those adults who mistreated us for bad behaviors and characteristics, when we’re all grown up and it’s time to take responsibility for being the change.”

…”take responsibility for being the change.”  That is not the same thing as saying take responsibility for what someone else did to you that you had no control over or no way to stop.  And certainly, children do NOT have a way of stopping abuse that happens to them.

This is the last that I’m going to address this, because I, myself am very frustrated over this misunderstanding.  Both Bird and Sara are good friends of mine on here…we’ve read a lot of each others’ posts, and I would think they know where my heart is.  But evenso…I understand that even when that’s the case, misunderstandings happen.  But I have clarified, and I have in the past gone way overboard trying to clarify things that someone else wrongly picked up on and then ran with. I’m actually doing the same here…just because I care and want no misunderstanding between us about this. So I sincerely hope that it’s clear and understood what I was saying, which is not anything different than either of them have said.  If it doesn’t, I have done my best.

I stand by my initial post and what I said in it.  There was nothing in that post that was not what I meant to say…only that point that I admitted needed to be reiterated as to what my meaning was, and was not.  But while it was not reiterated, it was stated as I meant it and still believe.

Love and blessings,



About Anne Sikes

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:7) Sharing the journey through daily thoughts and struggles, examination of Scripture, poetry, music and art.
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11 Responses to Regarding communication: Personal filters

  1. I must empathize Anne…I have been in such a situation with my own family at one point where the more I tried to clarify something the more complex it got..and I felt worse than when I started to try and explain…You have done your best…do not fret anymore…not that you were going to…but it was just a misunderstanding…that’s all!….take care…Diane

    • Anne Sikes says:

      Thank you Diane. You’re right, and as I said, this was my last post on the matter. I wrote a comment on Sara’s thread in response to Bird before I posted this one, but last I look it still was awaiting moderation. I’ve been as clear as I can now about this, and everything I have said is what I believe to be true, so that’s about all I can do to clarify. 🙂 Have a great weekend! –Anne

  2. Grandby says:

    Have a great weekend Anne! I hear you,
    your words ring true to me.

  3. Pingback: Making Up Is Hard To Do – When Realities Collide « kyllingsara

  4. howanxious says:

    Responsibility- well why do we have to take the responsibility always, I don’t understand that. We can be weak, why not? Being strong is the quality of comrades but I ain’t no comrade and so many people out there aren’t comrades.
    Well, clarifications are one thing I try to avoid because what I say for once, I don’t care for it any longer. A thought when traced by my mind becomes my word. Now, that is not wise, I know.
    Well, by this post of yours, I have learnt that it can be good to clarify things so as to avoid misconceptions and misunderstandings.

  5. Pink Ninjabi says:

    Awesome post. LOVE it. Really fantastic in defining the terms, and “it’s not my dog, I’m not gonna walk it”. Love it. 😀


    • Anne Sikes says:

      I’m a bit confused. I’m not sure you’re replying in regard to my post or Sara’s, Pink. “It’s not my dog, I’m not gonna walk it” was a quote she had referenced, and I had just put a quote of hers with that in it, in this post. It is a great quote though, eh? And she’s a great person. We’re all through this upset we had over the weekend, thankfully, and I think we seem to be on the same page with things! Blessings! –Anne

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