1. To accuse of fault;
2. To find fault with; reproach;
3. To hold responsible for something undesirable.
Blame can keep you stuck in the abuse in two ways.
When I was a child and a young adult, I didn't tell anyone about the incest because I thought they would blame me and say the abuse was my fault. I was so afraid of being judged as bad that I kept the secret inside of me for many years after the abuse stopped.
In many ways, I was told that women were sex objects that drew the abuse to them. I didn't know any different. I grew up believing the there was something really, really wrong with me or men wouldn't treat me that way. I never thought I was pretty so that couldn't be what drew the abuse to me. I thought that there was something about me that was just inherently bad. I didn't know that I didn't deserve to be treated that way.
Today, I know better. Today, I have healthy boundaries. Today, I know that incest and child abuse in any form are never the fault of the child. Today, I know that the shame lies with the abuser, not the abused. Today, I have self-love and self-respect so that is how others treat me.
Another way to let blame keep you stuck in the abuse is when you make blaming your life story. You can get so caught up in what happened to you that you live in the past or you recreate it in your present by the choices that you make. If you are actively playing the victim role, you invite people into your life who will abuse you. What you expect from life, Life gives you. People will treat you the exact way that you expect them to.
Yes, I was sexually abused as a child. Yes, my abuser was at fault. Yes, I can make better choices in my life today. Yes, I can choose to walk away from people who want to abuse me today. Yes, I can build a better life for myself than I had as a child. Yes, I can allow hope, love and joy into my life. Yes, I can refuse to be a victim any longer. Yes, I can forgive myself and, if I choose, I can also forgive my abusers.
Are any of these stories who I am today? No, I am not my story. I can use my story to help others if I choose to. I am. We all are so much more than our stories can ever tell. Don't let blaming keep you stuck in the abuse any longer.
I have been reading and commenting at some great blogs this week. I am going to share those with you today. I hope that you check them out and meet the wonderful people behind these blogs:
Andrea Hess writes an article called "What's Your Story" found at http://www.empoweredsoul.com/blog/?p=171
Slade Roberson wrote an article called "The Stories That No Longer Serve You" found at http://sladeroberson.com/language/the-stories-that-no-longer-serve-you.html
Matthew Spears at Loving Awareness wrote an article called "The Essence of Compassion Part 2" found at http://www.lovingawareness.org/2008/01/02/the-essence-of-compassion-part-2/
SANCTUARY FOR THE ABUSED has an article called "Blame: One Painful Way of Defeating Yourself" found at http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com/2006/05/blame-one-painful-way-of-defeating.html . This is the January 2008 edition.
There are two Blog Carnivals that I also want to share with you:
Carnival Against Child Abuse---You will find the current carnival at http://aswaterspassingby.org/blessedfearscapes/?p=64 . This is the January 2008 edition.
Carnival Against Sexual Violence 39---You will find the January 15, 2008 edition of this carnival at http://abyss2hope.blogspot.com/2008/01/carvival-against-sexual-violence-39.html