Childhood My adult self (61) understands it was not my fault, yet every bone in my body tells me it was and I believe it to the core

David1959

Confident
The only thing I can say I have learned for sure is that being abused as a child leaves a mark and messes with your life. I was 10 when abused by a family friend for 2 years and never said anything. That original sin I will never recover from because no matter what any one tells me, it was my fault and I have destroyed my life in penance and there is nothing I can do to punish myself that helps.

The saddest part is that I know I had it in me to lead a spectacular life and the ability to rise to the top of any profession, I am very bright but my abuse and failure to protect myself has stopped me form achieving what was possible, with only myself to blame.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Are you sure that's not a cognitive distortion? You were 10 years old and a child. You weren't in control of the situation and didn't know what to do. Sometimes adults are the (subjects)/victims of abuse and they don't even know what to do. What do you mean that "there is nothing you can do to punish yourself that helps"? Why do you need punishing?

Stop blaming yourself.....
 

David1959

Confident
Are you sure that's not a cognitive distortion? You were 10 years old and a child. You weren't in control of the situation and didn't know what to do. Sometimes adults are the (subjects)/victims of abuse and they don't even know what to do. What do you mean that "there is nothing you can do to punish yourself that helps"? Why do you need punishing?

Stop blaming yourself.....
Thank you survivor3, the adult me understands this but this is buried deep in my soul and the reality is I went willingly to my abuser, what type of weak unforgivable act is that!
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you survivor3, the adult me understands this but this is buried deep in my soul and the reality is I went willingly to my abuser, what type of weak unforgivable act is that!
It's not weak at all. This is further self blame.
It was survival.
Working through this and reframing it in your mind is possible. Not easy. But possible.
Learning to have compassion for yourself is hard. But possible.

The way I'm learning it is challenging myself. I imagine what happened to me happening to another child. I can feel compassion for that 'other child' and then I question why I can't afford myself that same compassion.
I also work through, with my therapist, all the implicit and explicit messages I was given as a child. Those messages made me behave in certain ways. And it's helping me build that compassion, that forgiveness, that letting go of that core belief "I'm bad".

There is relief in this process.
 

flowerapple

Confident
I don't have any suggestions to help you, but I just wanted to say that I completely understand what you mean. I also feel the same way.

Although my adult self (22) knows that I was in no way responsible or at fault for any of what happened to me, I just still cannot believe it to be true. Logically, I know that there is no way I can even be slightly responsible for what happened because I was a child. But, emotionally, I am just unable to believe and admit it to be true.

Yet, I can hear about the same thing happening to someone else, whether it be a child or an adult, and immediately recognize and understand that they did not cause what happened to them. I can recognize that they were innocent in the whole situation, and that despite what they may have done to lead people to say that "they brought it on themselves", that they in fact did not do anything wrong, and the only person at fault was the abuser.

But, I cannot understand that to be the same with me. Even though I am nearly finished my psych degree and have learned so much about why persons who experienced trauma often take responsibility for what happened even when they aren't at fault, I still, for some reason, refuse to believe that I was innocent.

I'm sorry I don't have anything helpful to add, but I hope this can at least make you know that you're not alone in feeling the way you feel.
 

Considering

New Here
Thank you survivor3, the adult me understands this but this is buried deep in my soul and the reality is I went willingly to my abuser, what type of weak unforgivable act is that!
Ten year olds generally don't have the faculties developed to make the decisions they would have preferred to have made. If only you could see how forgivable it looks to others.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
no matter what any one tells me, it was my fault and I have destroyed my life in penance and there is nothing I can do to punish myself that helps.

I feel this hard! Don't really have anything to help but I grew up in a cult from 6 ish/7 until 19, was forced to kill animals, was trafficked and many other things, molested a 10 month old baby boy at 14, and I have been punishing myself for it ever since. I told no one until I entered therapy (forced due to blind rage outbursts) at 28 and even then it took me 2 yrs to tell. Now, 10.5 yrs of therapy and I still blame myself. I mean, blame was shifted in a way but I don't believe my therapist when he tells me that it wasn't my fault, calls it "horrible" or "terrible" (though I really relate to the word torture to describe it for some reason), or when he tells me that I'm not some psychopath because I tried to save a kitten from the bunch being killed off. I still feel like that monster that should be under the jail. The horrible person that no one could ever love. The person that should be punished to death. And I cut, got high, let men have as much sex with me as they wanted and asked for pain during it, for so many of those years.

Sorry, didn't mean to go off on a long post about me. Just wanted to say I totally, 100%, get that!
 
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