How to Start Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse & Why It was Never Your Fault

Gina Rolkowski discusses why many healing from childhood sexual abuse question if it was their fault and how to transform that shame and blame. Image on page is a close-up of wildflower bouquet held by someone standing outdoors in a white t-shirt.

Survivors Healing From Childhood Sexual Abuse Often Question Themselves:

  • How did I ever let that happen?  
  •  Why didn’t I just say “No?”
  •  Could I have done something to stop it?
  •  I can’t believe I ever did that!

 Any of these sentences sound familiar to you?  They sure did for me and they ring true for most sexual abuse survivors.  The horror of being sexually abused impacts a victim’s very soul and sense of self -(perceptions, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, etc.)  However, that untrue and hurtful impact on your whole self can absolutely be transformed!

Transformation & Healing From Childhood Sexual Abuse Can Take Place Without Revisiting the Trauma!

So how does this freeing change take place?  Here’s how.  First, learning the real reason behind sexual abuse will help you better understand what it actually is. Secondly, viewing the trauma from a different perspective will also greatly aid in freeing you from what I call the “fault factor.” 

So, What Is Abuse Really About?  

 Simply put-power. Sexual abuse is about power over another person.  According to    Psychology Today, “Despite its name, sexual abuse is more about power than it is about sex. Although the touch may be sexual, the words seductive or intimidating, and the violation physical, when someone rapes, assaults, or harasses, the motivation stems from the perpetrator’s need for dominance and control.” 

Statement From NAPAC Regarding Fault And Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse

Additionally, when it comes to child abuse, the National Association of People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) states that, “Child abuse is never, under any set of circumstances, the fault of the child.  Abusers know that if they can make a child feel responsible for the abuse then they are less likely to tell anyone – and the abuser is less likely to get caught.” 

Think about it logically, because the perpetrator was the adult, he or she controlled the power. Children do not have the capacity to make decisions about abuse, only abusers can do that. They have the control.  In fact, they are in so much control that they can very effectively pass the responsibility for their abuse onto their victims.

 Power and Control Roles in Abuse Fault

Therefore, you can clearly see how easy it becomes to believe abuse is your fault-your abuser made you believe it because they had the control.  Think about it like this, whoever has the remote-control commands what is shown on the TV.  Right?  They don’t have to think about it, reason over it, control just happens by pushing a button.

The same dynamic happens in sexual abuse.  You do not have the control, the perpetrator does.  They push the proverbial “fault” button, and then you play that on your TV so to speak.  Think of your brain and body as your “TV.”  Make sense?

 A More Powerful Word Related to Healing From Childhood Sexual Abuse

Ok, so let’s get to some good news!  While you had no control then, you do have it now so you can change the channel!  To discover how to do that let’s look at a more healing and helpful P word…. perspective.

Let me ask you a question as we begin to delve into perspective.  If you were stranded on a desert island and had no food and were starving hungry, weak and deathly afraid, what would you do? Would you consider eating bugs or drinking the sea water?  I know I sure would.  Why is that?

Abnormal circumstances cannot be viewed, approached, and dealt with the same way normal non-life-threatening circumstances can.  (Pause and breathe that in for a few seconds…)

 Abuse is Not Normal Life Experiences-It’s Life Threatening

Being abused puts you in a life threatening situation.  It’s not like saying “No” to chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla.  We are talking about do it or die.  We are talking about basic human needs.  When we view abuse from this perspective it creates a breakthrough in and of itself that shifts shame and helps us understand we are not at fault. 

 Basic Human Needs and Healing From Childhood Sexual Abuse

We did what we had to do to survive which clearly demonstrates Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  We must feel safe to do anything else in life.  Even if safe means eating bugs on a desert island or keeping the secret of abuse.  That does not mean we are at fault.  It means we are resilient strong survivors.    

 Would You Shame And Blame A Child Who Was Being Abused?

Another perspective that helps free us from the fault factor focuses on looking at what we would tell a child today who was being abused.  Think about it, would you yell at him or her? Or ask them the same questions mentioned at the beginning of this blog?  Would you tell them it’s all their fault? Would you think they are unlovable?

Or would you take them in your arms and hold them tightly with compassion and help them feel loved and safe?

 You Are The Abused Child…

Now put yourself in that child’s place. I mean it.  If it is not triggering take a moment and pause and notice how you feel towards this hurting helpless child.  What do you feel for them?  What do you think about them?  How does that show up in your body?

Still think it’s your fault!?

I sure hope not! 

 The Power And Control Are Back In Your Hands As An Abuse Thriver

Perspective holds a great deal of transformational breakthrough power-good power that is.  As an adult, you have the power back. You have the control.  You can look at the horror of the abuse with compassion rather than shame which shifts shame and fault to self-compassion and freedom.

 Further Along In Your Healing And Breakthrough Journey

Next blog I am going to share just how and why you are more “healed” that you realize.  But for now I encourage you to keep in mind being abused hurts and yes, it negatively impacted your life however, that does not mean it was your fault.  Being abused is in no way shape or form your fault!

Remember The Child

Next time you start feeling shame and fault, remember the child we talked about above and pay attention to your thoughts and your body.  This will help continue to remove the shame and provide the relief you deserve and desire.

 You have what it takes, and you do not have to keep secrets or hide away anymore.  You are not alone. 

Are you ready to let go of fault and discover the relief you long for? Then click below for your free discovery call! 

I’m ready, Gina!

From my heart to yours!



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