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Understanding Guilt Can Help You Eliminate it

From the Blog of Tamara: 2btru2you

2btru2you

 

Understanding Guilt Can Help You Eliminate it

Posted on May 2, 2016 by Tamara Bess LMFT

Guilt is a fairly common experience for victims and survivors of domestic violence and persists through all stages of healing. Before you are able to escape from your abusive relationship, your abuser uses your anxiety as you try to improve the situation against you by telling you that his out of control behaviors are your fault. You try, but you can’t seem to do the relationship right based on how he continues to treat you. He keeps you there by blaming you for his behavior and finding something wrong with everything you do. When you believe him, you feel guilt. Guilt will keep you in this dangerous situation because if you believe the relationship problems are your fault, you are more likely to remain invested in trying to fix “your problems” by staying.

Within the context of the abusive relationship, guilt is only one of the powerful feelings that a victim experiences. Among them are: fear, terror, anxiety, excitement, sexual passion, intense connection, confusion, hope and doubt. There are probably more feelings, based on individual situations, but my point here is this: with all of the emotions at play within the context of the abusive relationship, guilt often waits in the shadows. Guilt is a secret weapon reinforced in your thoughts by your abuser. Even things you feel bad about that happened before this relationship get tangled up in the current situation as your abuser points his finger toward everything that has hurt you in the past and everything that happens now and says that everything unfortunate you experience today is because of YOU.

Guilt is bedfellows with fear of rejection, anxiety about being “good enough,” the desire to be loved and the belief that the you are responsible for ensuring the well-being of everyone around you. Even if that means you suffer.

For victim and survivor, guilt is often pervasive. Unless focus is directed toward understanding it and uprooting it’s source, it will make itself a lifelong companion whether or not abuse remains an active part of the survivor’s life.

During the phase of healing that takes place just after escaping the abusive relationship, guilt raises it’s head as the raging monster that it is. The problem is, that guilt doesn’t raise it’s head as a known foe. It hides behind messages of blame and misplaced responsibility so that you don’t recognize it. If it were to step out of the shadows, you could see guilt as it is and how to disarm it. Instead, the shadows cause you to continue to look for your own flaws and feel stuck in an unending cycle of trying to correct wrongs that aren’t yours to fix.

Guilt Monster

At his phase, your abuser uses the guilt monster, his established ally, to try to make you feel bad enough about your choice of escape to return. He and the monster have cooperated ahead of time to plant ideas in your head meant to undermine your successful escape. If you return, danger becomes part of you daily existence because you believe lies instead of recognizing the truth of your situation and beginning the process of rooting out the sources of guilt from your heart and mind.

The last phase of healing from abuse occurs after you have successfully extracted yourself from

Guilt-colored glasses

abuse. At this time, guilt has often become a lens that filters your perceptions of any  relationship interaction that makes you feel uncomfortable. Specifically, saying “no” or allowing someone to go through something that you perceive as uncomfortable is likely to launch you into co-dependent action to try to alleviate your own discomfort about their discomfort. This action comes from fears for your own safety that continue to linger and . . . . you guessed it . . . . guilt.

It’s time to recognize the guilt monster for what it is and take off those guilt-colored glasses.

To hear Tamara discuss 3 strategies the guilt monster uses to get the best of you, click play.

© Tamara Bess, LMFT 2015 All Rights Reserved. Any use of this article without Tamara’s express written permission is prohibited.

 

Original post from blog :

Understanding Guilt Can Help You Eliminate it

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How…..How Am I Supposed To Recover?

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I just..I am at a loss. Every day…every single day of the week I research about ways to cope with and recover from being raped. I am seeking counseling, I am fighting, I am shimages (2)aring my story, I am doing everything possible! Nothing, and I mean nothing is helping! I keep searching, reading, looking for something that will help me get back to myself. Looking for some magical piece of advice that will work, to stop it all! Stop the fear, the anxiety, the restless nights, the loss of appetite, the flashbacks, the worry, the jumpiness, the everything that has been making me not myself since he raped me. But there is noting out there. I feel like I am never going to be able to get past this. I am in terror – fear and shame every day! I am at my wits end! I don’t understand how people move on from this and lead normal lives? What is their secret? I just want my life back. I was so happy, my life was not perfect, but I worked so hard to be happy, and I was in such a good place, happy and satisfied with myself as an download (2)individual.

He took that away! He didn’t just rape my physical body…he raped my soul as well. My entire being is just, devastated, angry, a mess, and depressed. I have been through some pretty heavy stuff in my life, including being molested by a relative when I was in 8th grade, but this…being raped; this is by far the worst thing that I have ever..ever been through in my life! EVER! I wish I did something more. I wish that I could have foreseen it! I wish that I could have stopped him!  I wish I wasn’t scared to go to the ER after it happened! I wish that I could get hi m put away for this before he does it to anyone else! I wish I could just forget! I wish that it never ever happened! I feel like my whole life, my whole being is ruined and I can’t do anything about it.

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Hoping This Leads To Something

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So…I have a friend who is very, very politically connected. Up until this point, I have not discussed my rape with this friend. I guess I didn’t even think about it. I mean, I can’t even tell what day it is most day’s.

It was only a matter of time that this friend would discover my recent traumatic event on their own; with all the posts on FB about trying to raise money for “The Walk for a Change” and the fact that I sometimes share posts from this blog on my FB. I also have a link to my blog on my FB.

The other day my friend sent me a message saying that they were sorry and that they had no idea. We discussed. It felt good to talk with this friend, a very dear friend of my whom I love so much.

Today, I received a  message from this person, saying that they wanted to reach out to someone that they know (political connection) but they wanted to know what city I am currently living in, as this person will want to speak with my Senator. Of course I obliged.

Maybe this is finally something that will take me one step closer towards the direction of justice! Either way, after reading that message I felt so happy. Happy that my friend cares about me (I know that I have seen countless others that do, but just to add), and happy that they are in a position to actually help, and are using that!! I am just so grateful! I feelings I felt were relief, even though nothing has even happen, the fact that something could just gives me great hope, and the determination to keep fighting with my head held high! And at a time like this, hope is really hard to come by.

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Today Was The Walk For A Change With BARCC

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This morning was the walk for a change,  the 10th annual walk that Boston Area Rape Crisis Center did to raise awareness about sexual assault, and fundraise so they can continue to offer many free services to sexual assault victims.

My sponsor’s and I raised  $500.00!!! This was my first year participating,  and although I didn’t reach my personal goal,  I am beyond thrilled that we raised $ 500.00!

The morning was full of mixed emotions.  I was happy and empowered to be doing something to raise awareness,  help, and try and make a difference; but the sad fact of why I was personally there would not escape my mind.

There was an area that had survivors who made t-shirts depicting their stories on display.  I lost it. It was so sad, but it also made me feel that I am not alone.

I’m happy that I did this,  and I definitely plan to participate in future events!

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Tiny Tanner was not thrilled about the post event photo shoot that I did, but I got a few good pictures. …lol

I Want To Take A Moment To Thank. …

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Anyone and EVERYONE who follows my blog,  comments and or likes my posts!

I don’t even think you fathom how mudownloadch that it means to me, and how much I appreciate you.Even if my blog is something that you have not been through,  I am trying to not only raise awareness,  but heal. So many of you have amazing comments,  insight,  and blogs!  I LOVE IT!

 

All of you maimageske me so happy.And I don’t think that each and EVERY one of you realize how much you have truly helped me,  and continue to help me.I  only hope that I am doing the same for others out there ♡♡♡

 

 

So THANK YOU.  Thank you so very much!  💖😊

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Trying To Find The Will To Stay Strong

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I have had a very hard week. My grandpa died, the funeral was Monday  (actually,  what we had, you can’t call a funeral,  but that is not relevant to this blog ), the family is in crisis because of awful things going on,  and I still can’t cope with my rape.  I am a mess right now,  just a mess. I still can’t find a roommate,  and I am concerned about work because I have missed so much of it. I am a wreck.  The past few days,  I just want to give up completely!

Sitting on my bed a few minutes ago,  I was thinking about all the people who care about me. Who really care about me and that felt good for two seconds  (I will take it!). I have always been the person who can put myself together and focus on the positive no matter what,  but this has not been and continues to not be the case since February and I find it extremely frustrating.

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Then I looked at my two dog’s.  They were both staring up at me with their big almond shaped eyes. They know that I have not been well,  as I can tell by the beyond extra love they have been giving me.  I  love dog’s ( especially mine) because they are so intuitive.  And all they want is love,  and to make you happy.  They have been a big help for me.

My oldest,  has previously been banned from sleeping in the bed for almost a year because he kept peeing in it (he is old ) and he was given chances,  but I couldn’t take it anymore.  A few days ago I was so sad, I decided to let him sleep in the bed. (He loves to put his forehead on my forehead,  especially when I am feeling down ). So far,  no accidentes thankfully.  In fact,  I woke up the other night.  I  sleep in a queen bed.  My old boy is 10lbs,  the baby is 6lbs.  I woke up,  the older one was pushed up as close as possible on my back,  the baby, nestled on my back side in my neck…and I  was on the edge of the bed…..lol…literally.

If I can’t be strong for myself,  I have to be strong for these two. Their undying love and loyalty,  and literally always here for me the way that isn’t possible for any human to be. I’m not saying that to take away from everyone who loves, supports,  and is there for me, it’s just dog’s do this on a completely different level that humans can, and vice versa. I am glad that I have bothgoing for me.

 

Making Me Laugh During Hard Times :)

 

So I just finished having a serious conversation with my AMAZING friend about my struggles in dealing with my rape.  She use to be my roommate,  and truth be told,  she was the best roommate that I ever had! She is a remarkable human being.

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So, even though our conversation was very serious in nature,  this is how it ended.  But first the back story. …

We both think that Lil Jon is just halarious! We have many running jokes.  Additionally,  we love Dave Chapelle because he is also so funny.  Especially when he impersonates Lil Jon. If you have ever seen the Chapelle show,  sometimes Lil Jon is on it with Dave impersonating him.

So she sent me this link;

 

Seriously,  I couldn’t stop laughing.  It is exactly what I needed right now.  She is such a great friend!

 

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Who Am I

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Who am I?  For this I don’t know anymore.

But I am a woman who refuses to remain silent,  that’s for sure.

I was never one to back down in defeate

But the extent of your all encompassing deceit….

I am powerless to educe justice for the crime that occurred.

And how could I,  when it is word against word.

You had me in your sights all night from the start.

You groomed me all evening,  being sneaky and impart.

What kind of justice system do we have

What type of world do we live in

Where the guilty are immediately viewed uncensurable

And the victim’s indictable

I loose countless hours every day and night over these notions

This is not me, how I am, or how my brain typically functions.

Who am I

Who am I  becoming

Right now I am dark, decaying , drained and drowning

I hope I will evolve to someone more triumphing

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First Paint Night

I have been trying to force myself to do things, even though I would just rather stay at home in bed all the time when I am not working.

One thing that I had been waiting to do since December is a paint night.  So I looked up the schedule for Boston,  found a painting that I liked and decided to go.  I asked one of my brothers fiancés if she wanted to go with me, because she has done them before.  They had to meet a photographer for the wedding that day and couldn’t change the time.  So I decided to go anyway,  and the two of us will do another one together.

So I get there today,  and walk in. A group of girls in front of me ask where the paint night ( it was afternoon,  but it’s still called paint night ) is, and are told down stairs.  So they go, I  go, and a woman by herself goes behind me.  Since I was always a happy and social person  (before the incident ) I decided to make an effort.  I  turned around and asked the woman if she was here with friends.  She said she was with her boyfriend and asked what about me. I told her that I was alone and why. She said that I  should sit with them. I asked her if she was sure, and she said absolutely!

I had so much fun. She was so nice, so was her boyfriend.  We talked,  laughed,  shared stories.  It was a blast!

When I initially signed up I was super excited. But when it came time to go today,  I didn’t want to.  But I paid for it, so I went.  I am so glad that I did. That was the most fun that I have had in over a month!

And for a few short hours,  I was actually happy! No flashbacks,  no worries,  no anxiety, no thoughts of that morning.

This afternoon was a good afternoon!

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Dealing With Rape

I just read a great write-up about dealing with rape  (link below ). It’s a great reminder to read over and over,  especially on the really tough day’s  (which for me right now is every day ).

Last night I had my youngest brother and his fiancé over for dinner.  Although he had previously put two and two together,  I hadnot yet told him what happened.  My family and I are close,  but telling everyone immediately was just way too much for me to handle.

So I told him all about it.  His fiancé had fallen asleep  (because dinner was taking forever! !!! Lol…and it was late). When I realized later that she didn’t hear any of the conversation,  I decided to tell her too.

She gave me amazing feedback,  but what she made me realize  (and this relates to the link below ) is that I clearly keep blaming myself.  I was telling her things my roommate had said to me in the past,  that now looking back I could have taken as a warning.  She said that if she had a male roommate and he said those things,  she would never think that he was a rapist.  I went on explaining what happened that night.  Then I started to go back over it in detail.  She politely inturuped me and said that it sounds like I was able to go into detail about all the things that I could have done different (which I was ). Then she said,  if that is where you are going with this,  I don’t want to even hear it because no matter what,  this is not your fault,  period. It’s his, he raped you.  You are not at fault. That part of our conversation has really stuck with me.  I have been thinking about it all day and I am so happy that I told my brother  (he was extremely supportive as well) and his fiancé.  She really made me think.  And every day I go over in my head  how I could have prevented this.  But even one night I was on the rape crisis hotline having a breakdown,  and the woman told me that it wasn’t my fault,  and that if I wanted to,  I could walk down the street naked and it doesn’t give anyone the right to rape me. Fo the record,  I was never naked with him on my own will. But when I woke up to him raping me, he had removed my underwear.

The article below has a bunch of other great things to remember and to keep in mind.  But I am really really thankful for last night 💖💕

 

http://www.dealingwithrape.com

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