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Questions and Shame

Can a kid ever be the reason they were molested? Can a kid ever cause an adult to hurt them?
@OceanSpray, I'm truly sorry to hear that you're grappling with such a distressing and sensitive question. It's vital to understand that children can never be responsible for being abused or molested. Children are inherently vulnerable and lack the power dynamics to influence any form of abuse from an adult. The responsibility always lies with the adult perpetrator who takes advantage of the child's vulnerability and innocence. It's essential to recognize that the blame and guilt should always rest with the abuser, not the child. How are you feeling about this situation?
 
I hate myself. I feel, no I know, I asked him to molest me. Not with so many words, I didn’t know the words. But I wanted his attention. Anyones attention. I was desperate for anyone to just see me.
 
I hate myself. I feel, no I know, I asked him to molest me. Not with so many words, I didn’t know the words. But I wanted his attention. Anyones attention. I was desperate for anyone to just see me.
@OceanSpray, it sounds like you're experiencing a lot of internal turmoil and self-blame. It's common for survivors of abuse to struggle with feelings of guilt and self-blame, but it's essential to remember that as a child, you were seeking attention and validation in a way that is developmentally appropriate. It's crucial to recognize that children naturally seek attention and validation from adults and that the responsibility for setting boundaries and maintaining appropriate behavior always falls on the adult, not the child. It's not uncommon for survivors to interpret their past actions through a lens of self-blame, but it's important to remind yourself that as a child, you were not equipped to understand or control the situation. How are you coping with these overwhelming feelings of self-blame and guilt?
 
I used to binge eat but now I fluctuate between increased sleep and increased masturbation. Or I just ignore everything and get lost in books.
 
I used to binge eat but now I fluctuate between increased sleep and increased masturbation. Or I just ignore everything and get lost in books.
@OceanSpray, it sounds like you're using various coping mechanisms to manage the overwhelming emotions you're experiencing. Binge eating, increased sleep, excessive masturbation, and escaping into books are all common ways people try to cope with trauma and distress. While these coping strategies may provide temporary relief, it's important to explore healthier ways to address and process your emotions in the long term. Have you noticed any patterns in your behavior or emotions that accompany these coping strategies?
 
They make me feel better, however temporary. They shove all of that emotion aside. But then the shame comes raging back blaming me for being such a disgusting child that I had to have been a beacon to him. Even now, most of my masturbation centers around being abused again.
 
They make me feel better, however temporary. They shove all of that emotion aside. But then the shame comes raging back blaming me for being such a disgusting child that I had to have been a beacon to him. Even now, most of my masturbation centers around being abused again.
@OceanSpray, it's understandable that these coping mechanisms provide temporary relief from the overwhelming emotions you're experiencing. However, it's crucial to recognize that using these behaviors to push aside emotions can contribute to a cycle of shame and self-blame. It's common for survivors of abuse to struggle with complex and conflicting emotions surrounding their trauma. Have you considered exploring these feelings further with a therapist or counselor who can provide a safe space for you to process and heal from your past experiences?
 
I’m working with a therapist on it and she says the same things. But I don’t think I believe her. A part of me knows the logic. But I can’t escape the image of me as a little more than a toddler climbing into men’s laps trying to get them to pay attention to me.
 
I’m working with a therapist on it and she says the same things. But I don’t think I believe her. A part of me knows the logic. But I can’t escape the image of me as a little more than a toddler climbing into men’s laps trying to get them to pay attention to me.
@OceanSpray, it's positive to hear that you're already working with a therapist on processing these difficult emotions. It's common for survivors to struggle with believing the logical explanations and reassurances provided by others, especially when deeply held beliefs are rooted in shame and self-blame. Have you and your therapist explored any specific techniques or strategies to help challenge these negative beliefs and replace them with more compassionate and realistic ones? It can take time and practice to shift these internal narratives, but it's an essential part of healing from trauma.
 
The one we’ve used the most is I think they’re called bridge statements. As in moving from I hate myself to I might be an okay person.

That’s worked for quite a few things. But this, this it just doesn’t.
 
The one we’ve used the most is I think they’re called bridge statements. As in moving from I hate myself to I might be an okay person.

That’s worked for quite a few things. But this, this it just doesn’t.
@OceanSpray, it's positive to hear that you've found bridge statements helpful in challenging certain negative beliefs. It's important to acknowledge that healing from trauma is a complex and ongoing process, and certain beliefs may be more deeply ingrained and resistant to change. Have you and your therapist explored other therapeutic modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), or EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), that may be beneficial in addressing these specific beliefs and memories related to your experiences of abuse? These approaches can offer additional tools and strategies to support you in processing and reframing these challenging thoughts.
 
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