I understand that I have to forgive myself, but how can I for a decision that ruined my life?


I think my early attachment patterns (not my fault, they develop when you are very young) left me with needs that weren't met and abusers prey on that so that even if a tiny part of thatneed (for warmth, closeness, recognition etc etc) is met in an even slight way you might go back. It doesn't mean you want the other stuff. I wonder whether that is the case for you.
I am guessing you are on to something. At the time this happened there was a lot going on in my family including my mother trying to commit suicide and then my parents not happy with each other that led to a divorce a couple of years later. So yes lots of things a young boy might want to escape. I need to find a way to forgive that little boy

s it possible for you, one day, to forgive yourself for being normal in the way you coped?
This is actually a big problem in my life because just as I can't forgive myself I also have a very hard time forgiving anyone for things that they did wrong whether it be in daily life, business associates, coworkers etc.

I'd think they had bad-ass courage to make it out alive.
As I think back and a few more memories come to the surface this may be more true than I have given credit for. If I think back to those days (I was 10-12) and while I do not remember threats maybe they were way more subliminal, had to make sense of the memories without a basis at the time to analyze. I do remember one day when we were together he took me to his Karate class (he was a black belt) which to me was exciting to see but as I look back was this a way to also intimidate me?


When dealing with the thought processes we were using at an early time in our lives, people will tell us to try to imagine seeing the same events happening to an imaginary eleven-year-old through our adult eyes and thinking about how we would react. Of course it is easy to say we would do something, hell, I am sworn to report.

The problem is that we are living inside a brain that has a stream of consciousness narrative and no matter when we drop into that stream it is us thinking, it is our stream.
If the thoughts exist, we thought them, we own them, If something happened to us, it was allowed by us. The memories too, just another segment from our stream.

I try to look at this using a metaphor that seems to help other people understand our problem, helps me deal with mine a little.

If you think of a memory as a file on your PC, it looks like this when you start to open it: it has a title, a total memory space used, and a last saved date. If that date says it was last saved by an eleven-year-old 27 years ago, we open it knowing that the information inside was created by a source that is at least not as educated as ourselves, the source may be in the top 2 percentiles of intelligence exhibited by eleven-year-olds but they are still inexperienced in all of the things we have experienced since being eleven ourselves, they don't have our vocabulary, their frontal lobes aren't fully developed. We open the file with this knowledge going in, and our inner cynic is put to use as we look at the contents.

But, if we see that the file was last saved by us, on a recent date, we give it full faith that it is at least accurate and true. We can open it and the inner cynic is left to wait for another time when their services are needed. We look, gather info, and save again, bumping the date up.

What we need is a "read me" file in a folder with the memory file. It should state "this file was originally saved by an eleven-year-old and as such should be regarded as reference only. It serves the purpose of informing the reader as to what not to do as an eleven-year-old and as such has value but only when used to help understand the thoughts and actions of other eleven-year-olds."

You getting this David? Hope so. It is a rough metaphor and it doesn't work for everyone. To say it will is a gross generalization and we all know that ALL gross generalizations are always wrong. Right?

It helps me, but I wasn't sexually abused. That's a frame of reference I can't get. Still, I do know what it is like to be that old and have the world kind of invert on you day after day so often it keeps you from getting your balance back or thinking many thoughts other than "is it going to happen again soon?"Like living in an earthquake or in a pitch-black lightning storm. Lots of fear and memories dripping with adrenaline.

Best thoughts your way as you deal with it, be glad you are courageous and strong enough to do this, it is hard, I do get that.


I understand this but I have felt throughout my life that it was up to me and me alone to protect myself
That might actually be true. I felt (and usually feel) the same way. And the reason I feel that way, I think, is because no one was paying enough attention to come to the rescue if I DID count on them to do it. I don't think I was wrong about that. It really doesn't matter whose JOB something is, if they either can't, or won't, do it. In the case of your parents, it sounds like they had too many issues of their own to be able to do a very good job of looking out for you. I don't see where it matters whose FAULT that was, it was a fact, regardless. What seems pretty unfair, though, if to expect a kid to have the skill set to handle any situation that came up perfectly. Did you even have the knowledge to know what a pedophile was, or how they operate? I think probably not. At the time, you most likely just knew that someone finally noticed you were around. What's a kid SUPPOSED to do with that?