Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Protecting The Abuser

Topic: Can you forgive yourself?

So many of us in recovery can accept God's forgiveness. We can forgive those who have hurt us. But why is it that victims of child abuse, sexual, physical, mental, emotional, incestuous abuse, have a hard time forgiving themselves.

It is a way that we further abuse ourselves. We are locked in guilt and shame.
It's also a way of protecting the abuser.

Sharing my story with another woman recently caused me to go back to that time in my recovery when I had to face my inner abused child. She was 4 years old. For years and years I believed somewhere in my heart that I was to blame. I caused it. There was something about me that asked for my incest to happen. I was too cute. I was too lovable. I was too trusting. I was somehow to blame for the abuse. I caused it.
In blaming my 'little girl' for somehow causing the incest to happen. I was protecting my abuser and deflecting any responsibility that they had for the abuse. It also kept me trapped in a cycle of being a victim.

The cornerstone of my healing from that abuse came when I was able to "rescue" my little girl from the hands of my abuser. I did this by first coming to the realization that a 4 year old little girl IS lovable. IS trusting. IS cute. IS innocent. She wants the touch of a daddy. A parent. She craves love...we were created this way. And when I started to notice other 4 year olds around me and how so very small and trusting they were. I started to see reality in a different way. I was able to embrace the wounded little girl still trapped in the cycle of abuse instead of blame her. I was able to set her free so healing, true, deep, wounded soul healing could begin.

Some of the things that I did to help me heal that broken wounded little girl inside was to write her letters. I wrote her poems. I got a picture of me when I was 4 yrs old and I framed it and I would talk to it. I would tell her over and over that it wasn't her fault. I started to somehow undo the damage to my heart and soul through words. It has taken step after step after step forward to get to the place where that little girl is no longer in pain. She is healed and free.

Deep emotional healing is possible. It hurts. But not as much as staying locked in a victim role.

My sponsee shared with me recently that she confronted her abusers. Her parents. No sexual abuse. Emotional. Verbal. She reacted and reacted and regressed every time her parents would visit. She would relapse. Become a victim. She was protecting her abusers by not making them accountable. When she confronted her abusers she just said this: I'm not afraid of you anymore. How powerful that fear is. And she was able to see the abuse as what it was. ABUSE. She didn't cause it. Didn't deserve it. And now she can go forward.

It's not always possible to confront our abusers. But I believe the greatest way that we protect them is with silence. We don't talk about it. We don't tell. We internalize somewhere inside us that we deserve it. Caused it. Made it happen. It is our fault.
I'm so proud of my sponsee for rocking that boat of family secrets. Now restoration can begin.

No comments: