I am responsible for my life, incontrovertible and undeniable. But once again, misleading. I am, as is everyone else, the product of the socialization I received when I was a child. Those early experiences and understandings have been modified and/or built on by later experiences.
I consider myself to have been very fortunate to have been in receipt of counselling for extended periods in my life. That process helped me to question some of the things I held to be true when I was younger, it helped me to evaluate my childhood coping strategies and decide whether they worked for me as an adult.
Counselling also gave me a much greater awareness of my responsibility for myself and my actions, as well as highlighting the things that are not my problems. I learned that I, and only I, am responsible for my actions. When I undertake and action I am not proud of, it is still my action, my responsibility, but if I work at understanding why I have done that thing I may firstly be able to forgive myself (to the same degree as I would forgive someone else), and secondly I might be able to work towards not repeating such an action.
As a young adult I frequently struggled with making my own decisions. I felt I should comply with parental pressure. I should do what my parents wanted, otherwise I was letting them down. It took me many years to realise that that isn’t the issue, the only person I should, at any time, worry about letting down is myself.
This does not mean other people are not important, of course they are, especially parents, but if we do not respect ourselves enough to take responsibility for our own choices and our own actions, if we do not respect ourselves enough to make our own choices and to act according to those choices, then our parents have not taught us the things they needed to.
They are not necessarily bad parents, they just didn’t teach us the level of self-respect or self-reliance we need (probably because of their own problems). The only person you can truly take care of is yourself, you can offer to look after other people, but they can reject that offer, it is their right. And if they do reject that offer it does not mean they are rejecting you. If they accept that offer, they will probably only accept it in part, and they will quite likely resent the fact that they have given you responsibility for something that is rightfully theirs.
Our culture has twisted so many things, it has told us that being responsible is boring. There is nothing boring about being responsible. Being responsible is part of being fully alive, it is part of engaging with life to the fullest possible extent. It is avoiding hiding behind other people, it is about learning how to be who you are, and liking it.