Friday, September 28, 2012

It's not your fault

I email and talk with a lot of people who, like me, are survivors of various forms of abuse and assault. Some, like me, survived childhood beatings, usually lots of them, by adults charged with their care.  Others survived rape, often in childhood by their fathers.

All of them--all of us--grapple with a world that doesn't want to hear their stories, because as long as we don't talk, others can pretend there is no problem.  All of us grapple with variations on guilt:  Why me?  What did I do to deserve this?

I have no answers for most of the complex issues we all face, but I can answer these issues of guilt.  The answer is simple:  It's not your fault.

It's not your fault.

Resolutions are almost never as simple as what movies show, but this scene is still a powerful reminder to me of this lesson that we all need to learn.

To all of those trying to sleep tonight, fighting their demons, fighting their memories, hiding the guilt that is not theirs, dealing with the pain that they never deserved, I say again,

It's not your fault.


John Lambshead said...

Dear Mark
The British culture is very much to supress bad experiences. At one level, that has some merit. Why dwell on the past and make it the most important thing in your life? On the other hand, bad experiences do tend to burst out when you are under pressure. I still get flashbacks.
Solution? Damned if I know. What I do know is that this is far more common than has been previously thought.

Mark said...

I'll end up writing more on this in future posts, but I firmly believe that until we create a culture of openness about such things, those who commit these crimes will still find comfort and safety in the dark.


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