I am fascinated that the Garden of Eden, the very first story of origin, holds all the elements of a basic trauma experience that we are just now beginning to understand.
In the Garden of Eden, after breaking the one rule God had set down, Adam and Eve defend their actions. Adam blames Eve and God in one breath, Eve blames the serpent.
Both do not want to lose their relationship with the Creator.
It was all there right in the beginning - the blame game.
Later in their pursuit of healing this primary relationship with God, the first family set up an altar and sacrificed animals. Later as a way of dealing with this knee jerk need to blame - the people designed a scapegoat and added it to their rituals.
Apparently, a scapegoat is one of a pair of kid goats that is released into the wilderness, taking with it all sins and impurities, while the other is sacrificed. To this day we still scapegoat - "one that bears the blame for others."
My mother was well versed in the art of scapegoating.
I remember one day, I was doing my homework on the dining room table when I heard a crash in the kitchen. Immediately after, I heard my mother shout out my name. "Wilma!" I jumped up and ran into the kitchen wondering what I had done, had I left a dish too close to the edge of the counter? I was starting to apologize - "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to," I defended myself automatically.
"Oh I know that," she answered laughing. "You didn't do anything, I just needed to blame someone," she said chuckling as she picked up the broken bowl she had just dropped.
It was her coping method. When she made a mistake, she would actually scapegoat anyone near by -- vent her frustration and then laugh. It was her way of breaking a tense moment.
Through her - we learn that we can play with the need to blame - even redirect it into a positive. We would always end up laughing with her.
But first of all, we need to be aware of the deadly impact of irresponsible blame.
My classmates could see I was not similar. So they made me their scapegoat. They hit me or locked me in the toilets. During the break, I would take refuge in the chapel, or I would arrange to stay alone in the classroom. - Yves Saint Laurent