Casting blame and guilt on myself for my past abuse

Childhood Sexual Abuse

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If you see a therapist, counselor, or life coach, you know that sometimes in a session you have those “breakthrough” moments. Those talks where you learned something about yourself that you never knew before, or at least never realized it to the extent that you do now.

I had just such an experience in a session on Tuesday.  It was one of those times where the session had to be changed from the normal Wednesday time frame, so I was definitely a bit out of sorts walking in because I’m so used to my routine of Wednesday and Friday evenings. I should have taken that as a sign of things to come.

Before I get to the guilt part of this post, let me lead into it first with a bit of background on another emotion I have problems with, which then leads into the guilt.

We continued our work on the exercises in The Courage to Heal, and the topic currently is about how we express Anger, both in general and in relation to my past abuse. Trying to understand Anger is so difficult for me. If you follow this blog or my Twitter account, you probably heard me mention about how I have a tough time expressing Anger. We talked about this in the session, about how I just want to be able to express it and feel that emotion to try and help myself.

I’ve never been an angry person, I don’t have inner rage, or a violent streak. My parents rarely expressed anger when I was growing up. They just hardly ever fought with each other or with me, except when I was being a stubborn teen ager. So I didn’t grow up in a house hold that expressed that particular emotion very much, so therefore I just wasn’t around it in general.  Even throughout elementary and middle school when I was often bullied, I rarely got mad about it, I was just hurt, sad, and beaten down emotionally to the point where I didn’t want to leave the house or confront the bullies. Depression was a big thing for me then too but I just didn’t realize that’s what it was.

So one of my major hang-ups in this healing journey is questioning why I can’t use anger as a healing tool and direct that in a healthy way on the guy who took my innocence from me. Every self-help book that I’ve read so far recognizes that anger is a healthy emotion and you need to utilize it, to some degree, to move forward.

Since I can’t use anger, at least not yet, I resort to a guilt trip and put that squarely on my shoulders. Or should I say,abuse-is-never-your-fault-300x200 Casting blame and guilt on myself for my past abuse squarely on the shoulders of that 10-12 yr. old kid inside me that was sexually abused. In my mind, all I see is a kid who kept going back to his abuser for more and more. A kid who was so taken in by the cool kid down the street who had the mini bike that I wanted to ride. A kid who wanted to fit in, was tired of being bullied, and needed an older teenager who was cool to validate me as being cool too. Then I could tell the kids at school who picked on me, that I had a friend at another school who was older and he lets me ride his mini bike. That would show them who was cool! Or so I thought.

Obviously that didn’t work. The kids still picked on me, and I as far as my abuser was concerned, I continued going back time after time, when I knew darn well what was coming afterwards. If I wanted to ride that bike and hang with the cool kid, I had to do what he said and deal with the actions afterwards. Why did I keep going back, why was riding that bike so important? It did nothing for me but give me temporary happiness only to be followed by pain, shame, and misery as payment for the bargain I made with him and myself.

You can tell me, “you were just a kid, you didn’t know any better”, “kids are easily influenced”, “he groomed you and used your self-esteem issues against you”. Those are things my therapist says too, and that’s what Rational and Wise mind should tell me.  If I could have just never gone back after that first time, or told someone what happened, maybe I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I was too ashamed to tell anyone, and he told me that it was our secret, that cool kids did this and that I was special.  In my desire to fit in and be accepted I was willing to do whatever it took. So I bought into his scheme hook, line, and sinker.

That’s how I see myself right now, at this point in my healing journey, with a total guilt trip.  We are going to continue to work on this in sessions because it’s important for me to try and get it through my thick head that I need to forgive, love, and help my inner child heal instead of casting blame on him.  If I don’t, I’ll never heal.

For what it’s worth I can see progress being made, but I have accept that progress and not minimize it.

This was a big step telling more of how the abuse actually happened. I feel kind of numb right now, and quite anxious but I’m going to leave this story as is and not go back and change it.

-Lyric

 

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Blogger-Podcaster-Advocate for Mental Health.

Matt is survivor of childhood sexual abuse & narcissistic abuse, living with Dissociation, Anxiety, & PTSD.

This blog exists to inspire all who have survived the trauma of abuse. All posts, podcasts, and videos are my life as a survivor shared openly and honestly to help inspire as many as possible to speak up, speak out, and not be ashamed.

7 Responses to " Casting blame and guilt on myself for my past abuse "

  1. Don says:

    I think that guilt that you have is the anger trying to figure out how to express itself. Just my thoughts from my own experiences. All too often books and other people make anger out to be a 1-2-3 step process and it is not. It is an emotion that comes and goes just like sadness, tears, joy, hunger, thirst… etc. That’s my view.

    The other thing is when anger is ready to come out, I have a feeling it will but in my mind, until it does come out – it is making sure the ground work is laid so we can handle it. I remember getting angry, but having no memory. I remember having the memories, but no anger. Now it seems like the anger just wants to come out no matter what and that’s not easy to deal with for me.

    Keep exploring, but remember too that healing is not a linear progression from point A to point B. Often it goes point A to Z to C to M….

    I love what you write because what you are sharing is so relevant and open and it is what we go through.

    • Lyric says:

      Thank you Don, and you are so right. This isn’t something to where I get to a certain point in a predetermined timeline and then be like “ok I’m ready to be angry now or I’m ready to understand something now”. It’s just my impatience in trying to educate myself and understand with my analytical brain. Another detriment to being an over thinker.

      I don’t really “want” to be angry, I’m not an angry person. Rather I think getting angry to some degree will help in healing. So much to learn I still have *in my best yoda voice”.

  2. […] and that made me feel comfortable that she understands. Between those feelings of shame and blaming myself for my abuse, it’s no wonder I feel so screwed […]

  3. […] I would absolutely never, ever, blame a survivor for the abuse that happened to them. It wasn’t their fault, at all, period. However trying to get myself to believe that in my own case, is still a struggle. […]

  4. […] and that made me feel comfortable that she understands. Between those feelings of shame and blaming myself for my abuse, it’s no wonder I feel so screwed […]

  5. […] written before about casting blame on my inner child, punishing him for all of the abuse I endured between 5-10 years old. I even […]

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