One of the stages of healing from childhood sexual abuse, rape, or any abuse for that matter is to understanding that it was not your fault. Someone chose to abuse you. That is on them. There is no shame in love and trust. They are both beautiful things to have in this life. Love and trust did not hurt you. The PERPETRATOR chose to abuse you.
It is normal to blame yourself. It can be easier to believe that we are somehow flawed instead of thinking that someone that cares about us or even a stranger would hurt us in this way. So we blame ourselves. Society tells us that is it our fault. The abuser can tell us so. Those we ask for help can also state this too us and cruelly retraumatize us. The world is geared to blame you for getting hurt. It is no wonder we also blame ourselves and some of use, myself included, blame ourselves for decades. I do not blame myself now. I did not choose to be raped or abused as a child and young adult. The people who hurt me made that decision.
Abusive people are pervasive in getting their message out that they are justified in their abusive actions. It is about power for them and they get the flying monkeys to help them out. By flying monkeys I mean their supporters and sycophants. Those who fawn over the abusive people like they are kings when they are actually trash human beings. Abusers are really weak on the inside and fear being exposed for the horrible people that they are. So what do they do to combat being found out for the cowards that they are? They blame the victims and can many times display a life that no one even wants to question them. People love their denial. They write books, make movies, and cultivate relationships to shield them and spread their message. These disgusting lies are threaded into cultures all over the planet and they serve to protect the rapists and abusers while punishing the victims for coming forward.
As a survivor of CSA I carried around a lot of guilt. This compounded upon itself after I was repeatedly raped in my 1st marriage. I thought I deserved it somehow and that I wasn’t a good person. My abusers and the world would be happy with me still believing these lies. I overcame this by developing some self compassion for myself and who I was when I was abused. Can I really look at a 2-3 year old girl and blame her if someone hurts her? NO. I don’t get to blame myself either then. Can I blame a young women in college who thinks she met the love of her life when that man rapes her? NO. I don’t get to blame myself for that either. I can do this for many times I was abused in my life.
None of that is my fault. I won’t let anyone else blame me for the actions of others. I did not cause anyone to rape and abuse me. When I feel a tendency to backtrack and the dark thoughts of blaming myself come back I look at pictures of myself during the time of the abuse. I look at other people and think about my reaction to them telling me they were hurt. Do I blame them? No, I don’t.
It does not matter the circumstances, what they were wearing, if they were drinking, I don’t care. Abuse and rape is never the victim’s fault. No one causes rape but the rapists. No one causes abuse but the abusers. The blame has been on the victims for centuries but that cycle of abuse, guilt, and blame stops here with me. I am stopping it. I will shout it from the roof tops and comfort anyone that needs to hear it. Abuse if not your fault. Rape is not your fault.
I was raped and it is not my fault. I was raped and abused as a child and a young adult. It does not make me a weak person. It did give me complex PTSD from the repeated traumas. I am strong today because of me. I made myself stronger. I decided to live and not kill myself. Abuse tears things down, I build myself back up. People like to credit the abuse for how strong I am not it wasn’t the abuse. Abuse doesn’t make me strong, it gets in the way of my life and the life I was supposed to have. The abusers tried to kill me but I lived. I will continue to live, be strong, and tell my story.