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Old 22-05-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
Life is a contradiction at times - as am I
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Triggering (Sexual Abuse) - Self blame instead of pain

Hello ma'dears.

So i'm doing alot of work in therapy on my SA past...and we have been talking about blaime, responsibility an the likes.

How i blaime myself largely for alot of things iv been through when in actualy fact i KNOW if it was anyone else i would NOWAY blaime them...

so i was just thinking about this an i came to the thought that maybe i'm blaiming myself because if i except it was out of my control, if i except i was a victim, if i except i wasnt to blaime. Then, then i'd feel all the pain and greif an vulnerability that i've never gone through...but which seems a normal responce to what i've gone through.

So self blaime as a way to aviod the pain of what really happened.
Does anyone else feel like tis?
have any suggestions on how to work through it?

“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.”

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Old 22-05-2008, 08:27 PM   #2
Ellie (:
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I can relate to what you're saying. I used to have a regular call with someone from childline, and they used to always ask me what I thought about things. One of them was what did I think/feel when they said I wasn't to blame. I didn't like it. It meant I was vunerable. I was hurt. I didn't have that safety wall around me.

But I think those feelings are still there. I think somewhere inside us, even if we don't embrace it, we are vunerable,so when you say how to work through it, say to yourself you weren't to blame, and allow yourself to feel. Note down, either through writing or talking to someone, how you feel. How does it make you feel knowing and saying to yourself you weren't to blame. Ask yourself why you feel that way. I always think questioning ourselves is a way of working through those difficult feelings.

I know none of that probably made any sense, but I can relate.
Here anytime you need an ear, take care x

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Old 22-05-2008, 08:45 PM   #3
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with me i take the blame beacause i dont want to believe that someone could be so horrible and thoughtless when i think about it, it makes me feel sick so i just find it easier to take the blame.

i dont really have any advise but im here if you need to talk.

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Old 22-05-2008, 08:48 PM   #4
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I do similar, as in, when I am in my Other mind state, I call myself all sorts of awful names, like *they* did. I really abuse myself.
I am starting to feel the pain of being unfairly hurt and traumatised. There's a well of sadness that I am connecting with gradually.

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Old 23-05-2008, 05:59 PM   #5
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I have never thought about it like this... but it does make a lot of sense... i guess if we think we are/were to blame than it means that we have/had some control and therefore weren't as vulnerable... I always assumed that self-blame was put into our heads by the abuser... I know mine did often tell me that it was my fault and stuff... but what you're saying does make a lot of sense... hmm...

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Old 23-05-2008, 09:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ~ * ashamed * ~
Personally, I can't forgive myself for some of the choices I made before what happened. I thought I had, I thought it through really logically and decided "no, it wasn't my fault". But then I started feeling really vulnerable and unsafe, and what I found was, if I believe it wasn't my fault, then I believe it really was his fault.

And if he intended to do that to me, and it wasn't my fault, then that means it was out of my control altogether. Which makes me a "victim" (I do hate that word). Which means I don't feel safe anymore. Because it could happen again. He could find me, even.

The way I see it is ... if I made a mistake by (for example) deciding to go off with him, then all I need to do is never make that mistake again by (for example) not going off alone with men, and (do you see the flawed logic yet?) "it will never happen to me again - guaranteed". Result - I feel safer.

Or, in other words, I can't forgive myself because otherwise I feel out of control and like it will happen again.

This pretty much covers how I feel about the whole self blame thing right now (can't find the original thread though, sorry).

For those doubts that swirl all around us
For those lives that tear at the seams
We know… we’re not what we’ve seen

For this dance we’ll move with each other
There ain’t no other step than one foot
Right in front of the other

~ We're marching on... ~

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Old 23-05-2008, 10:10 PM   #7
feeling like a failure...
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Originally Posted by -Kel- View Post
So self blaime as a way to aviod the pain of what really happened.
Does anyone else feel like tis?
ALL the time!!! I blame myself for what happened to me.
Sorry I don't have any advice on how to stop blaming yourself.
I know it's hard - as I am still struggling to overcome it to.
You are definitely not alone. (((hugs)))

We're all in the same game;
Just different levels.
Dealing with the same hell;
Just different demons.

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Old 23-05-2008, 10:46 PM   #8
Life is a contradiction at times - as am I
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It helps that it isnt just me.
I thought it was a weird conclsuion to come to - an it seems perhaps not.
il bring it up in therapy next week. thanks ya'll

“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.”

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Old 23-05-2008, 10:55 PM   #9
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I know exactly what you are going through.
I am going through the same exact thing except no one outside of this website know about my sexual abuse.
If you would like to share your story with me or want me to share mine(even though it isnt easy to talk about) I would be glad to talk and listen.
Feel free to PM me any time.

Stay strong....
<3 Ashley

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Old 27-05-2008, 08:47 PM   #10
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...jumping on the 'me too' bandwagon. It's pretty well known/established in trauma/abuse research that children will pretty much always blame themselves-- because they cannot come to the conclusion that the adults they need to protect them are bad or incompetent, or that the world is an unsafe place.

And then I think even as you get older, even if you can fend for yourself, blaming yourself is an attempt at taking control of the situation, and not feeling helpless. If something bad happens because you did something bad, you reason-- you can learn to be better so it won't happen again. (Or, you think you deserved it, and the world sucks but is fair). But if something bad happened for reasons having nothing to do with you, then there's chaos and it feels really out of your control.

So now to the 'what to do about this.' It may have helped you to blame yourself as a child, in some ways. But now it's probably not helpful and may hurt you. For me, it helped to 'reality check' and to think about how I view myself and my situation and how I know darn well I'd view anybody else (I would never blame them ever.)

So... you hopefully have some distance and support so that you can handle seeing the truth. It's really hard (I find) to think of yourself as helpless or a 'victim.' But you don't have to stay there, although you do have to visit (my shrink is always on me about developing empathy for the child I was). In the past-- ok, somebody hurt you, and you did whatever you could and needed to to survive. Don't blame yourself for that.

I was abused as a kid, a young adult, so you could say I was a victim. But now I'm not-- I'm out of that situation, and I'm a grown-up with good, safe supports, and I am learning how to establish good boundaries and keep myself safe.

I'm not now invulnerable, and something bad could happen to me (or to any good person). There is *some* scary chaos in the world. But I'm not currently a victim, and I don't walk around with a 'kick me' sign, and I have developed a lot of strengths and supports that would help me cope if something bad did happen again.

I feel stronger in being able to see the past more clearly, and feel like I have a good, true understanding of myself-- trying to treat myself with the same warmth and respect I'd give others-- and in learning how to protect myself now, but not working from a distorted view of reality.

Dunno if that made much sense. I guess I feel more strongly about this than I thought I did. Good luck talking about all this with your therapist.

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Old 28-05-2008, 08:09 AM   #11
Life is a contradiction at times - as am I
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Thank you for such a good reply popcorn (sorry i dont know your name)

I think alot of what you say is totaly spot on.

I do realise if this was anyone else i would never blaime them, which is what i was thinking about when i began to wnder if it was a way of me not feeling like the victim. I mean if i couldnt do anything to change it...well wheredoes that leave me sort of thing!

Its great that you have moved so far from where i feel i am with this...thats actually really reasuring.

thank you

“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.”

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Old 28-05-2008, 01:32 PM   #12
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I feel exactly the same, I'm still going through it now...

I wa sbrought up to blame myself for everything even if I wasn't the slightest bit involved... by my horrid adoptive family, so I feel bad for blaming others because I feel like everything's my fault now...

So yes, I blame myself a lot, to save myself the pain of losing control and safety and feeling vulnerable again...


Allie, I'll never forget you..
Love You Always.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do.

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