Childhood Coming to terms with choices that led to sexual abuse


First I have an extensive history of CSA. No one who lived with me so therefore no reason to say I depended on these people. One guy is much longer than the rest and involves…everything. Some family, most not living close.

My question is how do you come to terms with wanting the people in your life, while it was happening? How do you get past the roadblock?

Recently I’ve been working with a memory that is intense and after all the abuse she’s riding home with him thinking how mad she is and then being afraid he will leave. I’m so angry this second thought even comes into play and I know this hurdle is at the core of putting the past in the past and leaving it there but nothing anyone seems yo say changes the cold hard fact that she wanted him.

Hoping others have some perspective as I could surely use some.
then being afraid he will leave.
Social connection feels like something we think through and freely decide “this is something I want”.

Actually, the need for social connection is an animal instinct in social animals (like humans), wiring us for our best chances of survival. Humans that weren’t programmed with this instinct didn’t survive, so it’s been a heavily fortified program over the thousands of generations of human evolution.

It’s particularly strong in children, before the brain hits puberty and is able to conceptualise of other people as distinct and independent of ourselves (think of the experiments with baby chimps and fake mums - babies will seek out a soft, comforting mum in preference to one that it less comforting but able to provide milk, so arguably, the tendency to seek out connection could be even stronger in infants than the tendency to seek out food for survival).

No matter how much your brain tries to explain it, that need for connection that you experienced as a child was part of your animal programming. It wasn’t actually a choice that you made, but a primal survival instinct, along the lines of curling up in a ball when you’re feeling cold.

It’s okay to have compassion for a child who has sought out comfort and acceptance from an adult, even though that adult may have been abusing the child. The child didn’t have the knowledge, insight, or resources to behave in any other way.