Posted by: Judy | October 18, 2018

Both Sides

There are bees in my head, thoughts I want to share but not sure how to do so and still maintain my goal of sharing light and helping others over their stumbling blocks.

In one of my groups, the question was asked: Do you blame your PTSD/CPTSD on your abusers?

It’s a valid question and timely, for a number of reasons. Person after person posted “Yes!”

It gave me the opportunity to examine my own thoughts.

I’m an abuse survivor, physical, mental, sexual, neglect. My counselor had me read “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, to help me understand how severe it was. My counselor compared me to a concentration camp prisoner having to “bargain” with the guards.

I’ve also been accused of doing things I didn’t do and punished for doing them. Some things never happened. Other things my abusers did and blamed me.

I’ve made mistakes I wish I could erase.

My abusers ranged from teenage boys to adult women.

Lying about anything is not unique to men or women.

Anger is not unique to men or women.

Abuse is not unique to men or women.

Abusing is not unique to men or women.

I know what it’s like to live guilty regardless of the truth. I lived it, most of my life. No, I wasn’t sent to jail. Instead, every little thing was held over my head for decades. I was belittled and degraded in front of family and strangers, in fact, to anyone who would listen. I was criticized by total strangers and family friends. No one asked me if any of it was true, ever. My accuser was more credible. For the record, my primary accuser was my mother. The one person in the world who was supposed to love me more than any other.

If I’ve learned anything from my experience, I don’t believe in punishment by proxy. Finger pointing is a useless practice. “They have it so much better!” Actually, no one has it better than anyone else. We all have problems. Some handle it better. Some hide it better. No one escapes this world unscathed. Comparing journeys only robs the person comparing of the ability to find personal peace.

The world changed when I stopped pointing that finger and looked inside at what I could change in myself. The one thing over which I actually have control: Me.

How did I survive my own world of insanity? I endeavored to find the silver linings. I reminded myself I wasn’t a sex slave. I wasn’t addicted to drugs or alcohol. I wasn’t living on the streets. Nothing in this world is permanent. One of the few guarantees in life is that it will change, maybe for the worse but maybe for the better. Giving up cheated me of any possibility of the latter. I’ve worked hard to cultivate hope, even when I was hopeless.

Assigning blame correctly was necessary to help me understand it wasn’t mine. However, clinging to blame didn’t fix what happened and kept me chained to my abusers. I’ve given them to God; they’re His responsibility now.

Everyone has problems. These are mine. Fixing them is what helps me grow, as I learn to use the tools I have and learn new tools. Instead of beating myself up or harping on the injustice of it all, my energy is better spent on letting go of junk I don’t need and making room for more light and joy.


Responses

  1. Applauding you for the courage to face these challenges and overcome them.

    • Thanks. 🙂

  2. You are right, it takes a lot of strength and courage to move on from past hurts! You are indeed strong, because every day you continue to find peace and happiness in life. I see you lightened your palm tree photo — I LIKE IT! Clear skies ahead!

    • Thank you.

      The picture, intestinally enough, is actually sunset looking east, the sun shining on the eastern sky as it sets. We do have gorgeous sunsets. 🙂

  3. Bless you! Praise God for your victory as life is not easy. BUT GOD! I applaud you for your strength and courage to continue on… 🙂

    • But God! Amen to that. Thank you kindly. 🙂


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