The Legacy Of Child Abuse – BLAME & GUILT

We’ve talk about all the people I’m angry at, now comes the blame and the guilt. I read somewhere once that guilt is just anger turn inwards towards yourself. I’ve put blame and guilt together because they walk hand in hand. Yesterday I wrote about how angry I was at myself for allowing the abuse to happen over and over again and not putting a stop to it. But this also makes me feel to blame and very, very guilty.

To start just what are blame and guilt?

I Blame MyselfBLAME is the act by which we censure, hold responsible or find fault with someone or ourselves. Survivors of abuse usually experience self blame as:

             • Behavioral self-blame – the kind of blame where you feel YOU should have done something differently, and because you didn’t; it is all your fault.

             • Character self-blame – the kind of blame where there is something inherently wrong with YOU, something you were born with that just automatically makes you at fault.

guiltGUILT is the emotion people feel when they realize or believe something is their fault, whether it really is their responsibility or not.

I feel like I am to blame for my abuse because I never told anyone. I am to blame because I never screamed or made any other noises to get people’s attention. I feel that God blames me and thus I blame myself because I grow up in a house where I was taught what was happening to me was WRONG, yet I never stopped him. I feel like I am to blame because when I was 10 or 11, I begged my mother to let me have a two piece swimsuit like all the other girls. I had not body yet, but for just once I wanted to be like all the other girls – in my black and yellow two- piece. The suit was my favorite thing and I couldn’t wait to show it off, like little girls do. I can still hear him singing “It was an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini, that she wore for the first time today” as he molested me. I feel that I was to blame because I wore that suit near him. Needless to say I never wore that thing again. I blame myself for being so irresistible to him, that he just couldn’t leave me alone.

I feel guilty because I wanted to be like other girls my age and in the process I tempted him. I feel guilty because I should have known better; it was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. I feel guilty that I allowed his self-importance to come before my well-being. I feel guilty that by not pressing charges I may have allowed him to do to others what he did to me. I feel guilty that as much as I feel I should forgive him, I just can’t. I feel guilty that for years I dream of him dying horrible deaths include some which I did to him. I am not a vindictive person, so I feel guilty that he has made me feel this way. I feel guilty that because my speaking up about my abuse has forever changed the way my father looks at me. I use to be the apple of his eye now he can barely look me in the eye. I feel guilty that I make my mother question what/where she was when I was being abuse, and that she in turn feels guilty. I feel guilty for hating my sister’s joy. I also feel guilty because I sometimes wish some of what happened to me on her so I wouldn’t feel so alone. 


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