Guilt Throwers and Guilt Catchers
"The Lord shall judge the peoples."1
When we stop codependent caretaking, we can expect to get lots of flack, especially if we've been doing this for someone for a long time. They, too, are not likely to give up their overdependence without a struggle. Some will pout, some may "scream and holler" and some may get downright nasty. They are very adept at playing the "blame-game" and will do all in their power to make us feel guilty and/or ashamed.
Getting blame/shame/guilt thrown at us is bound to happen. But if we catch (accept) it, that's our problem and we'll need to work on that.
To stop catching these "fiery darts" we need, first of all, to see them for what they are and say kindly but firmly to the thrower, "You're not trying to make me feel guilty are you?" or "You're not trying to make me feel bad are you?"
They will deny it of course, but if we stop catching what they're throwing, eventually they will at least stop throwing it to us.
However, if we are blame/shame/guilt throwers ourselves, we need to admit what we are doing (as it is a way of "dumping our stuff" onto others) and take full responsibility for resolving "our stuff" (our own unresolved problems/issues). And, if we are blame/shame/guilt catchers, we need to see this for what it is and stop allowing others to "dump their stuff" on us.
At times we may need to confront irresponsible people with the truth of their actions, but it isn't our responsibility to make them feel guilty. Guilt is best left to the Holy Spirit.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me neither to be a blame/shame/guilt thrower or catcher, but to own and take responsibility for my 'stuff' (unresolved issues/problems) and become the whole and mature person you have envisioned for me to be. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Psalm 7:8 (NKJV).