About nine months ago I posted a video about learning four words that helped me greatly in my recovery. Those words were much needed and some of the hardest to take in. “It’s not your fault.” (You can find the post and video by clicking on the previous link.)
Realizing what happened to me wasn’t my fault was a light bulb, but momentary. So it didn’t take long for me to blame myself again.
We have all said to ourselves at one time or another, “It’s my fault”. If I had only done this, or hadn’t done that. If I tried to get away. If I had told someone. If I had screamed. If I had said no. If I had done something. We all think nobody else has these thoughts but I’m letting you know I do. Others do.
Even when we get enough courage to share our stories with others the reaction is usually “I’m sorry.” Or silence. Never is it, “It wasn’t your fault.” We are just not told those needed words.
My therapist told me that all trauma survivors struggle with it being their fault.
So we are not alone in this struggle. He gave me the example – since I used to be a teacher – Did I hold my students accountable for the choices the adults made? No I didn’t. We don’t hold children accountable for the choices adults make because the adults made those choices. Just like our abusers and those who raped us made the choice to do so. It was not our fault.
In this day and age society likes to blame the victim. It must’ve been what we were wearing, what we said, or how we acted. But that’s not true. It makes absolutely no difference what we were wearing, what we said, how we were acting, or what age we were, our abusers made the choice. They are to blame.
It is not your fault.
I’m saying that for you as well as for me. God does not want us to feel the guilt and shame of someone else’s sin. But that is what we are allowing when we tell ourselves it’s our fault.
I understand it is very hard to just stop blaming ourselves. I’ve been in recovery for over 10 years now and today in therapy, through my tears, I told my therapist it was my fault. All of it.
But it’s not. Yet I have to learn this on my own. As do you. Through our work in therapy. It is actually not something anyone else can convince us. As my therapist pointed out if he continued to tell me it’s not my fault he would not be allowing me to discover on my own what I so desperately need to know. Throughout the process of working through our trauma it will come.
I know we want it to be right now, today. We are tired of feeling the blame and guilt. The shame. I hate it as much as you do. But each day is a step toward recovery and a new day for God to continue to reveal to us the truth. That is wasn’t our fault.
One day we will understand this to be true.
Until then we can pray for God to hold us tight.
It is so difficult always feeling this guilt and shame. Please help me as I process through my trauma to come to the knowledge it was not my fault. I need You to help me not blame myself for everything that happened. Help me to stop saying “it’s my fault”. Replace these words with your truth and unconditional love.
© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.