Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Battling the Guilt Monster (Part 1 of 8)

(This blog post comes from Gary Roe.)

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I find myself constantly battling with guilt. I know the abuse was not my fault. So why did I still feel guilty?

At the time, I was a young child. I couldn’t stop what was happening to me. I wasn’t mature enough to reason it out and make sense of it. Actually, it didn’t make sense. The only thing I knew to do was take responsibility. Surely, this must be my fault. I must have messed up and caused this. I could have stopped this, or prevented it if I had only. . ..

That's not true. I was powerless. Adults exercised their power and took advantage of me. I was a victim.

Part of the evil, insidious nature of abuse is that it conditioned me to take responsibility for the feelings and actions of others. I still find myself apologizing for things that weren't my fault. It’s hard for me to detach my emotions and say, "That’s his decision. That’s about him. It’s not about me."

Abuse was the decision of my perpetrators. 
It was not my choice.

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