I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Battling the Guilt Monster (Part 7 of 8)

(This blog post comes from Gary Roe.)

Guilt is like an octopus, thrusting forth its tentacles to snatch and destroy. In my life, one of the most powerful tentacles has been shame.

Shame. The abuse planted that emotion deep inside my heart. People and events weren't at fault. I was wrong; the problem was me. That's what I learned from shame.

Like a microchip implanted inside my brain, shame fired up at the slightest stimulus. Something went wrong and the abuse happened again, or I made a mistake and was punished. I was the problem.

I fled inside myself. When I couldn’t hide, I tried to justify my existence with achievements. All the time, shame was there, whispering its lies into my ears. Shame also isolated me from healthy relationships.

I’m done with shame. It didn't originate with me. It’s not mine. Shame belongs to my perpetrators.

I return shame to where it belongs. I no longer allow it roam my mind and heart unchallenged. I call it out. "Shame, that’s your voice speaking, not mine. No thanks."

As I challenge shame’s power over me, 
 I can experience freedom and connect with others. 

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