For First Time Visitors

If you are a first time visitor to this blog, I invite you to start from the beginning, especially if you are unfamiliar with the potential emotional impact of long-term child abuse.

Trigger caution to unhealed survivors!

Understanding the Incomprehensible

Children of incest or long-term sexual abuse grow up to be wounded adults with complicated emotional issues. Unfortunately, some symptoms are misinterpreted or often dismissed as "crazy", only serving to maintain a tormented victim status. We, as a society, have the power to change this dynamic. Each of us can make a difference.

Oct 8, 2008

It's my fault

All survivors with memories of the grade school and younger abuse who have gotten to meanings and messages behind the yuck, will likely get to the message "It was my fault" many times. It doesn't matter what happened in the world, apparently it was our fault. I was told this feeling I was to blame regardless of ability to have been at fault was a narcissistic wound. I don't like the word narcissistic, but it is a kind of self focus to an extreme. It's certainly not about liking oneself or wanting to draw attention to oneself. As children and into adulthood, trauma survivors are generally caught up in self loathing on at least a few levels.

I don't know how this feeling of being responsible for doom was instilled, but on 9/11/2001, I was healing and earning my counseling degree full time from home, which meant I slept in each morning. My husband called to ask if I had turned on television. I hadn't but did. I don't think I moved much that day. I was riveted to the news, stunned, scared, and believing somehow I must have caused the catastrophe to happen. Earlier in my healing, I researched news I'd missed because I had dissociated most newsworthy events from my life. At one point, I became panicked that I had caused the space capsule explosion that killed Virgil Grissom in 1967. The only thing that calmed me down was realizing that in January 1967 I was living in Iran. The family did not move back to the U.S. until late summer that year.

By the time I graduated, I had worked hard to heal that narcissistic wound. In fact, I used that as a guide for trauma clients who were constantly apologetic. I'd explain the narcissistic wound and start out with, "for instance, on 9/11, did you feel that somehow it was your fault?" I was stunned at how many said yes. So, in my experience, trauma that is sufficient to create DID, creates this feeling in survivors of somehow being the reason for all that is wrong with life. It's not a good feeling. I have a mental image of a cartoon character with that ever present dark cloud over his head.

When I say that it the sophisticated abuser's objective to destroy a child's psyche, I mean that from every conceivable angle. All survivors repeat after me: "It was not my fault! It was never my fault."


Anonymous said...

I have these feelings.
Its odd, ill hear people arguing down the street and think its my fault. At that level it doesnt make me vunerable, its when people closer to me pick up on these feelings.
They can then use them to make me feel guilty for all there problems, so they can then offload onto me.
Ive described my life previous to my breakdown as a black cat following me around.
Your so right in what you say, its a total destruction of the mind. People in the main are oblivious to this.
They do this so we are handicapped to ever making a recovery, and being strong enough to fight back. Also so are memories lose credibility with so-called medical experts.
Its all very planned, and very sick.


Anonymous said...

wow....I always feel like everything is my fault...I ask my husband all the time is that my fault??

thanks so much for posting...your writing helps me everytime I read..


Anonymous said...

Unreal... not only are you writing about so much I've experienced, it looks like we may have both been in Iran for a short overlapping time. I was there from '67 - '72. I have the "it's my fault" thing a lot too. Ugh.