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It Wasn't Your Fault - An Exercise


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#151 brokenjo

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:52 PM

wow, this is powerful stuff...

it was really my fault because i liked the attention my father was giving to me.
it was really my fault because i didnt speak up sooner.
it was really my fault because i trusted my parents.
it was really my fault because i didnt scream for help.
it was really my fault because i should have known right from wrong.
it was really my fault because i didnt do enough to stop him.
it was really my fault because i let it continue for years.
it was really my fault because part of me didnt want the attention to stop.
it was really my fault because maybe there is something wrong with me, too?


it wasnt really my fault because i was only a child.
it wasnt really my fault because i was supposed to have a mother that would take care of me.
it wasnt really my fault because my father is a sick man that needs to be put away.
it wasnt really my fault because the adults are the ones who should know better, not a little girl.
it wasnt really my fault because i am not the pervert!

#152 tornangel

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 12:51 AM

Hi everyone,<p>It seems like a lot of people on this board right now are having problems with shame and feeling like it was their fault. I thought I would share this exercise from <a href="http://www.amazon.co...8-2844533">"The Courage to Heal Workbook"</a> by Laura Davis, that helped me deal with my feelings that my rape was my fault. If you don't want to do the exercise, of course you don't have to, but I thought it might help us identify sources of shame and talk about it. Please be safe when doing exercises like these, because they can be triggering.<p>Lis<p>--------------
LETTING GO OF SHAME<p>Before you can let go of shame, you have to recognize it, name it, and hold it out in the light of day. When you keep shame a secret, it gains power over you. Yet you may feel too ashamed to tell anyone why you think the abuse was your fault. Or maybe you've never taken the time to actually look at the reasons. But admitting shame is the first step to deflating its power.<p>The following exercise is in two parts. The first asks you to identify the reasons you blame yourself for the abuse; the second asks you to gather information to negate those reasons. Filling out the answers in the first section can bring up intense feelings of shame and self-hate. It's important that you counter those feelings by filling out the more positive affirmations in the second section. Try to complete both parts at once. <p>IDENTIFYING HIDDEN SHAME<p>Fill in the following sentences. Don't hesitate or censor your answers. Write down the first thing that comes into your mind. (Feel free to use any of the examples that pertain to you). <p>Examples: <p>A. It was really my fault because - I kept going back for more. I was the one who asked for a backrub.
B. It was really my fault because - I had an orgasm. I must have wanted it.
C. It was really my fault because - I never said no.
D. It was really my fault because - it was only my brother. And he was a year older than me.
E.  It was really my fault because - my father said I was a slut. He told me I wanted it.
F. (for men) It was really my fault because - I had an erection. It must have felt good to me.<p>1. It was really my fault because ____________________________________
2. It was really my fault because ____________________________________
3. It was really my fault because ____________________________________
4. It was really my fault because ____________________________________
5. It was really my fault because ____________________________________
6. It was really my fault because ____________________________________<p>REPLACING SHAME WITH REALITY<p>A good support person will readily tell you that abuse wasn't your fault. A great support person will tell you why it wasn't your fault. If you start with an intellectual understanding of why you weren't to blame, that understanding often begins to infiltrate and replace the false beliefs you carry. Your sense of shame is gradually alleviated and you begin to realize, in your deepest self, that you really weren't to blame. <p>Go back through "the reasons it was my fault" you just came up with. For each reason, write down a corresponding rebuttal (see other examples below). If you can't think of anything to write, talk to other survivors. Read The Courage to Heal. Read other books about healing from abuse. Ask your therapist to explain it to you. If you don't have a therapist, what do you think a good counselor would tell you? This is a research project. It is your job to come up with facts and information that contradict your reasons for blaming yourself. <p>When you've done your research, write the reasons down. Even if you don't believe them at first, write them down anyway. Putting the truth down on paper is the first step in replacing a false belief with a true one. <p>Examples:<p>A. It wasn't my fault because - children need attention and affection to survive. Sex with my grandfather was the only touching that was available to me. That's why I went back for more.
B. It wasn't my fault because - my body responded. My body did what it was supposed to do. It wasn't my fault.
C. It wasn't my fault because - I was never taught to say no. No one in my family ever taught me that it was okay to set boundaries or say no.
D. It wasn't my fault because - my brother was older and stronger than me. He had a lot more power in the family. I looked up to him and wanted to do anything to please him. When you're a young twelve and your brother is thirteen, one year is a big difference.
E. It wasn't my fault because - My dad was wrong. I was an innocent child. He called me a slut to justify his own sick behavior.
F. (for men) Penises are supposed to respond to touch. I had an erection because my abuser stimulated me sexually, not because I wanted to be abused.<p>1. It wasn't my fault because  ____________________________________
2. It wasn't my fault because  ____________________________________
3. It wasn't my fault because  ____________________________________
4. It wasn't my fault because  ____________________________________
5. It wasn't my fault because  ____________________________________
6. It wasn't my fault because  ____________________________________<p>(<a href="http://www.amazon.co...28-2844533">The Courage to Heal Workbook</a>. Laura Davis. pp 257-260)



#153 dearprudence

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 05:23 PM

*It really was my fault because I should have known better.
*It really was my fault because I shouldn't have gotten drunk.
*It really was my fault because I layed down in his bed while his friends were there.
*It really was my fault because I knew what he was like.
*It really was my fault because I never said the word no.

*It really wasn't my fault because no matter how drunk I was, he had no right to do that to me.
*It really wasn't my fault because I was in no shape to even know what was going on.
*It really wasn't my fault because I didn't ask him to do it.
*It really wasn't my fault because he deliberately gave me drinks to lower my guard.
*It really wasn't my fault because I trusted him and he was the one to betray that trust.

#154 theycallmekitty

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 12:38 AM

It was really my fault because...
1) I told him he could.
2) I went with him voluntarily.
3) I led him on.
4) I let him start.
5) It had already started when I changed my mind.
6) There's a possibility he didn't hear me.

It wasn't my fault because...
1) I said "Don't hurt me."
2) I said "Don't."
3) I just laid there, he had to know.
4) I had the right to change my mind.
5) I was 16, he was 20.
6) It's my body, not his.

#155 KellyMia

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 09:00 AM

1. It was my fault because I gave in over and over, whatever he wanted,if he bothered me enough he got because I wasn't strong enough to keep my answer "No".
2. It was my fault because I wanted to believe him every time he said he loved me, even though I knew it was only his way of getting what he wanted. I let him use "I love you" as a bully tactic.
3. It was my fault because all the times I told him to leave, I always allowed him to stay. And I would apologize for the hurt I caused him.
4. It was my fault because I didn't scream.
5. It was my fault because I gave him so much power, and believed that I needed him, and couldn't be without him. I wasn't worth having better. I wasn't strong enough to be alone.I stayed in the relationship, so I must have wanted him to treat me that way.
6. It was my fault because I would always apologize to him for hurting him when I said "no" or wanted him to leave.
1. It wasn't my fault because I wanted to believe that him wanting sex so badly was an indication of his affection and desire for me, and I wanted to believe that he truly wanted me, not just power and sex.
2. It wasn't my fault because all I ever wanted was to be loved, and he knew I was starved for someone's love, so he used it. That's how bullies work, they find someone's week spot and use it for their advantage.
3. It wasn't my fault because at that time I wanted to believed things would be better each time he came back. And because of my own lack of self-worth, I didn't know that my life would be better without him.
4. It wasn't my fault because the one time I did scream, and I knew people could hear me, they never helped me. They ignored it, because they believed if I was in his dorm room with him that meant I wanted to be with him. So why would I scream, knowing that all it would do was cause more embarrassment for myself?
5. It wasn't my fault because I had been raised to have no self-worth, and I didn't know that I could have strength and courage, or that I was allowed to be a worthy person and didn't deserve what he did to me.
6. It wasn't my fault because he was a bully. And my belief that changing myself or apologizing to try and make things better, were never going to change his being a bully.

#156 kayteexd

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 08:44 PM

It was really my fault because i was stupid enough to trust him
It was really my fault because i was stupid enough to let him in my house
It was really my fault because i didn't say no or try to resist him
It was really my fault because he might not have known that i didn't want it and it's my fault for not fighting him or not trying to stop it
It was really my fault because i still haven't told anybody except pandys....

It wasn't my fault because i was crying so he must have known i didn't want it
It wasn't my fault because i was too afraid to do anything
It wasn't my fault because he's older
It wasn't my fault because he was being aggressive
It wasn't my fault because why would anybody do that anyways?

#157 waterfountain

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 05:10 PM

1. It wasn't really my fault because ___I was five_______________________________
2. It wasn't really my fault because _He manipulated me___________________________________
3. It was really my fault because ___________He was an adult_________________________
4. It was really my fault because _____________I thought I would get in trouble_______________________
5. It was really my fault because ______I thought no one would believe me______________________________
6. It was really my fault because ___I didn't know anything bad would come out of it.________________________________

#158 Beloved10

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 06:06 PM

It was really my fault because he was younger than me
It was really my fault because I didn't say no loud enough
It was really my fault because I was dumb enough to go into his house alone
It was really my fault because he aroused me
It was really my fault because I let him pull down my pants

It wasn't my fault because He was stronger than me
It wasn't my fault because It doesn't matter how loud I said it, he knew I didn't want to have sex with him
It wasn't my fault because I went into his house but i did NOT accept his offer, so he tried to force me
It wasn't my fault because my body did what it was built to do, it doesn't know the difference between a lover and a r*pist.
It wasn't my fault because my mind went blank and I couldn't stop him.

#159 Sableine_x3

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 11:55 AM

1. It was really my fault because ____he's my uncle.
2. It was really my fault because ____I never told
3. It was really my fault because ___I didn't try hard enough
4. It was really my fault because __I didn't scream
5. It was really my fault because __I must've provoked it
6. It was really my fault because ____I'm stupid.


1. It wasn't my fault because ______ He's my uncle. Why shouldn't have I trusted him?
2. It wasn't my fault because ______ I tried to tell him to stop , but he didn't listen.
3. It wasn't my fault because ______ I tried to push him away , but he was too strong.
4. It wasn't my fault because ______ He was older than me , I looked up to him. He shouldn't want to do that w| a young girl.
5. It wasn't my fault because ______ The 2nd time , even though he was alrdy doing it , I managed to get him off.
6. It wasn't my fault because ______ He treated me well before , I loved him & thought he loved me. & Never thought he'd do that. Ever.

#160 dixiediamond

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 04:34 PM

It was really my fault because I didn't say no enough
It was really my fault because I was intoxicated
It was really my fault because I was skinny dipping
It was really my fault because I kissed him back once
It was really my fault because I knew what kind of person he was
It was really my fault because I couldn't push him away


I can only do half of it...I can't honestly say it wasn't my fault because I still feel like it was.

#161 jsbpdx

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 11:17 AM

1. It was really my fault because I chose to trust an addict
2. It was really my fault because I didn't listen to my gut
3. It was really my fault because I gave him a ride home
4. It was really my fault because when I got to the house I knew something was wrong
5. It was really my fault because I went into the back garage with a room full of men high on drugs
6. It was really my fault because I took a drink from them so I could take the edge off that not right feeling
1. It wasn't my fault because I screamed no
2. It wasn't my fault because  I tried to get away
3. It wasn't my fault because  I begged my friend to make them all stop
4. It wasn't my fault because he admitted it was rape when he left
5. It wasn't my fault because  I tried to help a friend
6. It wasn't my fault because  I wasn't able to get away from five men

#162 soulspoon

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 12:06 PM

It really was my fault because I didn't trust my intuition.
It really was my fault because I didn't say no, I thought it, really loud.
It really was my fault because my body reacted.
It really was my fault because I froze.
It really was my fault because I thought if I closed my eyes it wouldn't be real.
It really was my fault because I didn't fight him off.
It wasn't my fault because he got me too drunk to do anything.
It wasn't my fault because he knew what he was doing.
It wasn't my fault because he lied about having other people over just to get me there alone.
It wasn't my fault because I tried to stop him and he said we were, "just enjoying each other's company."
It wasn't my fault because he wanted me to keep it a secret.


I'm thinking about not going back to my small arts college just because I can't stomach the idea of seeing him everyday.

Edited by soulspoon, 12 August 2010 - 12:24 PM.


#163 Bre_Nicole

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:57 AM

I apologize for how long this reply is. I started this exercise and words just kept spilling out. I feel like I do need to share.

It was my fault because I chose to drink and smoke pot at a party.
It was my fault because I let his room mate kiss me.
It was my fault because I liked being told I was pretty by someone who wasn't my boyfriend.
It was my fault because I shouldn't have walked his room mate home to make sure he was safe.
It was my fault because I shouldn't have been alone with boys I had just met.
It was my fault because I agreed to sit alone on the back porch to “sober up” instead of leaving when he got through the door.
It was my fault because I had my eyes closed, I wasn't alert.
It was my fault because when he pulled my pants down, I didn't say a word, I just laid there immobilized.
It was my fault because he did stop, after I told him loudly. What if he didn't hear me the other times I protested? What if he didn't feel me try to push him off? What if my mind was so altered that it only felt like I was pushing at him?
It was my fault because afterward I silently got in his car and accepted the ride back to my apartment, didn't that prove that I was stupid? I didn't even know his name and he had just hurt me.
It was my fault because I had the best boyfriend in the world, and he doesn't blame me, but I still do. He married me and I still cannot feel that I am worthy of his love

It wasn't my fault because I was taken advantage of.
It wasn't my fault because I did not say that I wanted it.
It wasn't my fault because I said no.
It wasn't my fault because I was in an altered state of mind.
It wasn't my fault because flirting does not mean that you want to have sex.
It wasn't my fault because I had never even spoken to the man who hurt me.
It wasn't my fault because I did not think a guy who would help his intoxicated room mate to his bed, would come downstairs to hurt me.
It wasn't my fault because he gripped
at my hand, and damaged my thumb, he reacted to my pushing.
It wasn't my fault because the only reason he stopped was so he didn't get caught by people walking by when I finally yelled. I am slowly starting to put those pieces together.

This happened to me a little over one year ago. I am married now to the most wonderful man in the world, and he still loves me, and does not blame me. He has never once blamed me, and he has tried to work with me to overcome the shame, guilt, and pain that I have felt because of this. I cannot use the term “rape” when discussing my situation. I can't help but to feel that it was not rape, it was not excessively violent. I let a boy at a party kiss me, multiple times. He was as intoxicated and smoked as much as I had. When I finally sobered up I was consumed by guilt for having kissed this boy when I was committed to my boyfriend for four years. I had only kissed one other boy in my life other than my boyfriend and I was almost twenty years old. I still do not understand why I acted that way, and I feel that the decision to kiss him lead to this event, no matter how irrational it seems. I saw what bad of shape this boy was in, I didn't even know his name. He asked me if I would help him home along with one of his friends because he couldn't walk on his own without some help. I agreed I wanted him to make it home safe. At one point he stopped in the middle of the road and laid down. I told him to get up and he told me he would only get up if I would have sex with him, I told him I would even though I knew I wouldn't. I thought he was too drunk to even stand on his own let alone try to force himself on me, and I was right after all it was not him to did this to me. It is the main reason over all that I feel guilty, I feel that because I told him I would have sex with him I deserved what happened to me. Even though it was his room mate or friend who forced himself on me I still made a promiscuous comment to someone else when I knew it was wrong.
When we got to his home the man who forced himself on me answered the door, and helped the boy to his bed. He told me to go sit on the porch and sober up in the fresh air and that he would give me a ride home. I believed he was trustworthy, after all he took such good care of his room mate. I had my eyes closed as I leaned my head on the banister. I didn't even hear him coming outside, I think I may have drifted to sleep for a moment. All of the sudden I felt my jeans being ripped down and he entered me forcefully. I was shocked, we were outside right next to the street. I felt pain and hear people walking by. I said no and started to push at him, and then he grabbed my hand. I said stop at least two or three more times and finally a screamed for him to stop. Then he jumped up and threw my pants at me. I put them on and sat on the step, shocked. Really the only word I can use is stunned. He then told me to get in the car and he would take me home. I felt myself move to the open car door, and I got in and told him the street where I was staying. He could have raped me again, he could have beaten me, he could have killed me if he wanted to. I got in his car. I GOT IN HIS CAR? I cannot nor will I ever be able to rationalize that I got into his car. We sat silently, I barely remember his face. What I do remember of his physical appearance I might have dreamed up. All I do know is that he was very tall and drove a tan car. We rode in silence the entire way and he never so much as touched me. He didn't so much as say bye when I got out of the car. It was cold and silent and chilling.
I walked up the stairs to my friends home and immediate crumbled and began to hysterically cry. No one knew what was wrong but I kept yelling “he hurt me” over and over again. It was certainly a fast way to break up a party. I was alone with my best friend, and she basically blamed me. She saw me kiss the boy that I did not know and assumed it was him who I had had sex with and just regretted it. That I was too drunk to realize that I was to blame. Even when I told her it was a different guy she still insisted that I wanted attention, but that she was sorry I was so upset. I believed her to be exactly right, that I had enjoyed the attention from the boy that I kissed and that I had caused it to happen. I told my now husband everything from start to finish. He cried, became physically ill, I just felt my world crashing. I knew that I hurt him so very deeply but he said that he didn't blame me and that we would work through this together. The pain has eased so much but the guilt and shame remain. I have never told any member of my family about this, and only three of my friends know. Only one knows the the actual details. I am finally ready to heal. I feel a huge weight being lifted just by sharing this with others who have experienced the hurt, the guilt, and the shame. I am so sorry that all of you have either experienced this pain, worse pain, and have lived through hellish situations. But I am so very thankful that like me you all live on. I hope that someone can read my story and feel a little better about theirs. I also hope that everyone will be able to heal and keep the capacity to love and to care.

#164 mrw13

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 03:42 PM

This is my first post and I'm a little nervous. But here goes. This is about two separate incidents. I'll allow them to bleed together.
It was really my fault because I was drinking.
It was really my fault because I could have left so many times.
It was really my fault because somehow I must have made them think I wanted it.
It was really my fault because I should have yelled.
It was really my fault because I should have fought harder.
It was really my fault because I was surrounded by people, I should have spoken up.
It was really my fault because I must have deserved it.
It was really my fault because I must have wanted it. Everyone says I was asking for it.
It was just my fault.
But when I allow logic to break through.
It wasn't my fault because every 17 year old drinks. I have the right to have fun.
It wasn't my fault because I trusted the people I was around. I'd known them since I was a kid.
It wasn't my fault because everyone knows I'm gay and knows I wouldn't want that.
It wasn't my fault because I was 13 and scared.
This is hard.

#165 guest567

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 05:40 PM

Thanks for posting i totally get that i was 17,
and also surrounded by people i knew and blamed.
I like this task because it is easy for me to read other posts
and see it was never their fault.
so here goes...

It was really my fault because i went over there
It was really my fault because i never said no, screamed or fought him
It was really my fault because i kissed him when he asked
It was really my fault because i could have left
It was really my fault because i said yes
It was really my fault because i put it in and did what i was told
It was really my fault because i didn't ask my youth group leader to get him off me when he was watching.
It was really my fault because everyone else there knew i was choosing to sin
It wasn't my fault because he acknowledged i never wanted it by calling me frigid, he heard me and continued
It wasn't my fault because he chose to set me up and feed me alcohol,
It wasn't my fault because he heard my friend when she said she didn't want any alcohol so he would have heard me too.
It wasn't my fault because he wouldn't stop until i complied
It wasn't my fault because i was raised to obey without question
It wasn't my fault because he was a bit older, and a lot stronger and bigger than me
It wasn't my fault because i learned quickly with him that no matter where i went he would find me and stay with me
It wasn't my fault because everyone heard me yelling at him repeatedly to leave me alone but chose not to hear it.

Edited by guest567, 20 August 2010 - 05:51 PM.



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