It Wasn't Your Fault - An Exercise


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It was my fault because I was enamoured by his attention

It was my fault because I knew better

It was my fault because I entered a locked building

It was my fault because I smoked pot

It was my fault because I did not scream

It was my fault because I never told

It was not my fault because I was 14, a kid

It was not my fault because I did not lead him on

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This is for the second time, which I have a little more trouble not feeling guilty about than the first time.

It was my fault because I knew that he wanted to, he kept saying so.

It was my fault because he had done it before and I stayed with him anyway, thinking he wouldn't.

It was my fault because I unzipped my own pants.

It was my fault because I didn't tell him to stop when I saw that he was about to.

It was my fault because I didn't try to push him off of me.

It was my fault because I should've known one thing automatically leads to another.

It was my fault because I'm too uptight and it wasn't a big deal that we weren't officially dating while we did that, and I shouldn't be upset in the first place.

It was my fault because he told me that I hadn't done anything wrong, that I hadn't made a bad decision and this would only be a problem if I looked at it like it was a problem.

~~

It wasn't my fault because I'd said no every time he asked about it, for months.

It wasn't my fault because he had done it before without my consent, but I hadn't recognized it as assault, and pretended that it never happened because it "didn't count" if I hadn't agreed to it (but he thought it was okay) so I met him again.

It wasn't my fault because I was only agreeing to do something else we had done before consensually, which he had talked about as a separate thing, not like the events went together.

It wasn't my fault because in that split second the thought went through my head that "He's going to do it anyway." If I said no first (again), I wouldn't be able to deny to myself that I was getting assaulted, and I'd be able to protect my feelings.

It wasn't my fault because I was trying to make the best of the situation, thinking that if it's happening anyway, and I can't stop it, I might as well try to enjoy it, like I didn't get to last time he did it. As soon as it was over, I felt awful.

It wasn't my fault because I had said no to it, and only said yes to something else, and just because he had easy access from where he was didn't mean he was allowed to.

It wasn't my fault because I'm allowed to decide what I want to do or not, and he has no right to decide for me whether my reasons are good enough.

It wasn't my fault because he did something without my consent, and my manipulating my own perspective and going into denial won't change that.

~~

This is so embarrassing...

I'm afraid that someone's going to say that I acted like I was consenting to it and I just regretted it afterward, even though I never said or thought that I wanted him to.

Afterwards I spent a long time trying to believe that he does care about/wants to date me, as if that would somehow make what he's already done okay. I still kind of think that.

Edited by Lissa
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  • 2 months later...

1. It was really my fault because I never stopped him.

2. It was really my fault because I went back to him over and over again.

3. It was really my fault because I answered "yes" when he asked me if I liked it.

4. It was really my fault because I enjoyed parts of it.

5. It was really my fault because I never told anyone.

6. It was really my fault because I did whatever he asked me to do even though he never threatened or hurt me.

Is there really a point to this?

The fact that I could go on forever only makes me feel worse...

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It was really my fault because I went back to his house.

It was really my fault because I shouldn't have gone back with a stranger.

It was really my fault because I'd been drinking.

It was really my fault because I went to the party.

It was really my fault because it's happened before.

It was really my because I should have gone home when my friends did.

It wasn't my fault because I didn't ask to be hurt.

It wasn't my fault because I said no.

It wasn't my fault because I was upset.

It wasn't my fault because it was wrong.

It wasn't my fault because it happened without my consent.

It wasn't my fault because...

That took a lot of thinking. :mellow:

Edited by Cayce
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  • 1 year later...

1. It was my fault because I went into his room by myself

2. It was my fault because I kept going back into his room, even though I knew what would happen

3. It was my fault because I didn't clearly state that my boundaries were no sex if he didn't marry me, not in those words at least

4. It was my fault because I got back together with him after it happened

5. It was my fault because I was attracted to him

6. It was my fault because I don't remember clearly saying "no" the first time he went all the way

7. It was my fault because my body responded

8. It was my fault because I didn't call it SA at the time, although I knew something was wrong

9. It was my fault because he believed that I changed my mind and agreed with him, so I must have been unclear

10. It was my fault because I felt like it was my fault

11. It was my fault because I initiated it sometimes after that

12. It was my fault because I stayed with him for 2 years and kept going back

13. It was my fault because he wasn't violent and didn't hold me down physically or hit me or threaten my life

14. It was my fault because he told me I had sexual power over him and that we were both addicted to sex and just couldn't control ourselves

15. It was my fault because I needed his love and wasn't strong enough to stand on my own

16. It was my fault because of my sexual history and past addictions, I must not be a person of strong moral character

17. It was my fault because I'm not a child, I'm an adult, and I should know better

---

1. It wasn't my fault because he told me I could trust him and that he wouldn't push me for sex, and I believed his lies

2. It wasn't my fault because the first time he pushed me, I started crying and told him I couldn't do this and wasn't ready

3. It wasn't my fault because I was crying so many times when he was doing it, and he should have known better

4. It wasn't my fault because I told him I didn't want a sexual relationship, I wanted to wait, etc. and he kept pushing

5. It wasn't my fault because I told him very clearly that I wanted to back down our physical relationship, and he acted like I was hurting him

6. It wasn't my fault because he took control of my mind and body and will, telling me that he was healing me, that he needed this, and that it was ok for him to touch me

7. It wasn't my fault because he used mind games, manipulation, verbal abuse, and spiritual abuse to get me to give in to him and he knew that I was confused and struggling

8. It wasn't my fault because I trusted him, as a pastor-in-training

9. It wasn't my fault because I never wanted this to happen, and when I gave in, it was only because I felt I had no other choice and he would leave me

10. It wasn't my fault because I needed love and he said he loved me and would never hurt me

11. It wasn't my fault because I was incredibly vulnerable when he met me

12. It wasn't my fault because he never once asked me if it was ok with me

13. It wasn't my fault because he took every chance he could get, even if I had just told him no, he was opportunistic and would get me at a weak point

14. It wasn't my fault because I was afraid of him

15. It wasn't my fault because he used many of the same tactics as a child abuser would, and I am very damaged and immature in this area

16. It wasn't my fault because he had alot of self control and knew that this was wrong and had an agenda

17. It wasn't my fault because he had done this before and he lied to me about only sleeping with women he loved

18. It wasn't my fault because he was always in his own world when it happened and did everything for him, even pleasuring me was for him to feel good about himself, he told me he wanted to possess me and see my soul (twisted man!)

19. It wasn't my fault because he ran me down constantly and blew up randomly, would never let me bring up my concerns, and twisted everything so I believed it was my fault

20. It wasn't my fault because I did everything I could to love him and give him the benefit of the doubt, and that only made him abuse me more

---

Sorry so long....I had to keep going until I got more "it wasn't my fault" sentences and it took awhile. :)

This is a great exercise, thank you.

-callalily-

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lady_lioness

It was really my fault because I was never supposed to go to his house.

It was really my fault because I never told anyone.

It was really my fault because I did not obey my parents.

It was really my fault because I did everything that he asked me to do.

It was really my fault because I did not fight him.

It wasn't my fault because my grandmother was sick, and he had been my baby sitter before

It wasn’t my fault because I was afraid of being judged by others.

It wasn’t my fault, because I was thinking of my grandmother, giving her some time to heal.

It wasn’t my fault that my cousins taught me to do everything they told me in the past, making me someone who did what others wanted of me.

It wasn’t my fault because he was stronger than me, and did not listen to me when I said no.

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blondie2002

The M*l*s*a*i*n.

1)It was really my fault because I didn't listen to my instincts and try to get away.

2)It was my fault because I waited 9 yrs to tell anyone. :down:

It wasn't my fault because I didn't know what ** was doing was wrong. :bawling:

The attempted ****

1)It was my fault because I agreed to go into W's room alone with him. :tear:

2)It was my fault because I let him touch me. :cry:

1)It wasn't my fault because I "did" scream for R.

2)It wasn't my fault because I was only a pre-teen.

The ****

1)It was my fault because I didn't try harder to get my cousin and her friend to stay when she wanted to give B and I privacy to "get to know each-other". :tear:

2)It was my fault because I went to a bar with B after only just meeting him. :down:

3)It was my fault because I didn't call 911 right away.

1)It wasn't my fault because I "did" try to get him to leave.

2)It wasn't my fault because I "did" say no.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This was quite challenging, it was much harder to think of reasons why it was not my fault. Maybe it's too easy to blame myself.

It was really my fault because I did not listen to my instincts after my first meeting with him

It was really my fault because I didn't feel strong enough to tell him that I didn't want to see him anymore.

It was really my fault because I would just space out and let him have sex with me

It was really my fault because I didn't try hard enough to fight him off.

It was really my fault because I believed him when he said that if I had just done what he wanted he wouldn't have had to rape me.

It wasn't my fault because it doesn't matter if the sex was initially consensual, that didn't give him the right to rape me.

It wasn’t my fault that he psychologically and sexually abused me, he groomed me to be the way he wanted me to be.

It wasn’t my fault, because I did try to fight him off.

It wasn’t my fault because I told him I didn't want him to see me anymore

It wasn’t my fault because I was vunerable and he prayed on me.

Edited by kurayami
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  • 2 months later...

It was my fault because...I should have told someone

It was my fault because...I could have stopped him from hurting my little brother too.

It was my fault because...I didn't tell him no

It was my fault because...I let the abuse carry on for years

It was my fault because...If I had stopped him somehow, things would be different.

It wasn't my fault because...I was only 10

It wasn't my fault because...He threatened to kill me if I told anyone

It wasn't my fault becase...I trusted him

it wasn't my fault because...There were two of them.

It wasn't my fault because...I was terrified of them both.

Thanks for this.

Danny.

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1. It was really my fault because I went out of bounds during recess

2. It was really my fault because I didn't run for help when he was hurting her

3. It was really my fault because when he would touch my cheek before that day, I liked the attention

4. It was really my fault because I didn't try to run

5. It was really my fault because I cried when he told me not to

6. It was really my fault because he was just a kid too

1. It wasn't my fault because I looked up to him, and he said it would be ok if we just played tag

2. It wasn't my fault because I didn't really know what was going on

3. It wasn't my fault because I was only nine and I didn't know he would hurt me

4. It wasn't my fault because I couldn't have fought him off if I had tried

5. It wasn't my fault because he would've hurt me had I cried or not

6. It wasn't my fault because he knew he was doing something wrong

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  • 1 month later...
picturesofsuccess

1. It was really my fault because I am his girlfriend.

2. It was really my fault because I pretended it felt good.

3. It was really my fault because he deserved it for taking care of me.

4. It was really my fault because I tricked him into doing it.

5. It was really my fault because I said it was okay if I didn't come, I just liked feeling close to him.

6. It was really my fault because I like to hang out in my underwear.

7. It was really my fault because sometimes I promised.

8. It was really my fault because I just wasn't trying hard enough to get into it.

9. It was really my fault because he didn't mean to.

10. It was really my fault because I didn't explain to him what consent is.

11. It was really my fault because I turned him on.

12. It was really my fault because I didn't explain that I didn't want to do those things.

13. It was really my fault because I didn't say "no" very often or very loud.

14. It was really my fault because at the beginning, he sometimes badgered me into sex and it was good then.

15. It was really my fault because once he told me he felt bad for nagging me after I said no, and I reassured him that it was okay and I didn't always know when I was turned on.

16. It was really my fault because if it isn't my fault, then the person I love and trust and live with is a rapist.

17. It was really my fault because he loves me.

1. It wasn't my fault because dating someone doesn't mean you owe them sex.

2. It wasn't my fault because I didn't pretend very well and if he cared to notice, he would have.

3. It wasn't my fault because sex in relationships shouldn't be out of gratitude, it should be out of mutual desire.

4. It wasn't my fault because ?

5. It wasn't my fault because he never told me it was okay not to have sex.

6. It wasn't my fault because that doesn't entitle him to my body.

7. It wasn't my fault because a promise isn't consent.

8. It wasn't my fault because I was clinically depressed and I tried every time.

9. It wasn't my fault because he was the active party.

10. It wasn't my fault because he should have educated himself before having sex.

11. It wasn't my fault because he could stop at any time.

12. It wasn't my fault because I did, but he didn't think "I don't want to" was a valid reason by itself.

13. It wasn't my fault because consent is not the absence of no.

14. It wasn't my fault because we were lucky those times, and he was still wrong.

15. It wasn't my fault because ?

16. It wasn't my fault because we both know that he is.

17. It wasn't my fault because he hurt me anyway.

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1. It was my fault because I really can't totally remember.

2. It was my fault because my mother hates me.

3. It was my fault because my whole family is paying the price for my trauma.

4. It was my fault because I just wanted to be a good girl.

5. It was my fault because my mom has always been so very sick.

6. It is my fault because I cannot internalize this.

It was not my fault..

5. It was not my fault because I was so little.

6. It was not my fault because I love him so much.

7. It was not my fault because I know that is not my fault intellectually.

I am having trouble with this. I need to come back and do this again. I will work on this again.

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S

It was my fault because i undressed myself

It was my fault becase i didnt say no

It wasnt my fault because i was too young to understand

It wasnt my fault because he shamed me into silence

C

It was my fault because i encouraged it

It was my fault because only said no once

It was my fault because i could have stopped it sooo many times and didnt.

It was my fault because i went to him.

It was my fault because i never told

It wasnt my fault because one no is enough.

It wasnt my fault because i was conditioned to like it.

It wasnt my fault because i didnt know how to stop it.

It wasnt my fault because i didnt see it as abuse.

Z

It was my fault because i was drunk

It was my fault because i was wearing revealing clothes

It was my fault because i walked home with a stranger

It was my fault because i walked down a closed path

It was my fault because i didnt scream

It wasnt my fault because i didnt know he was someone else - i thought he was someone i could trust.

It wasnt my fault because i said stop...i dont need to scream to make a point

It wasnt my fault because i was wearing a fancy dress costume...and revealing clothes dont provoke an attack.

Thanks for this thread. These were but a few, but it felt good to pick out the reasons it wasnt my fault and i can apply the logic to all of them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

These are a little mixed up because they cover three times in my life when this happened.

Identifying Hidden Shame

It was really my fault because I didn’t walk away.

It was really my fault because he was the same age as me.

It was really my fault because I wanted to keep playing with them.

It was really my fault because I gave into his pleading.

It was really my fault because I wasn't physically threatened.

It was really my fault because I wanted him to like me.

It was really my fault because I didn’t stand up for myself.

It was really my fault because I didn't fight like I should have.

It was really my fault because if I had made it clear that I didn't want to they wouldn't have.

It was really my fault because I kept dating him after.

It was really my fault because I never told anyone.

It was really my fault because I kept being friends with him.

Replacing Shame with Reality

It wasn’t my fault because I didn’t know I could.

It wasn't my fault because I looked up to them and thought they loved me.

It wasn’t my fault because little kids want to play and be loved.

It wasn’t my fault because I didn’t know what it was going to do to me to give in.

It wasn’t my fault because of course I wanted him to like me.

It wasn’t my fault because I was a child and didn’t know how to stand up for myself.

It wasn't my fault because I was afraid if I fought it would only make things worse.

It wasn't my fault because what happened when I was little trained me to respond by shutting down.

I wonder if I'll ever believe it wasn't my fault.

Edited by AllAlone
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  • 2 months later...
*WishUponAStar*

It was my fault because I ran away

It was my fault because I got into his car

It was my fault because I agreed to let him sell me

It was my fault because I didn't try to stop him until he had started

It was my fault because I refused the rape kit

It wasn't my fault because I was too young to know better

It wasn't my fault because he was too big to fight off

It wasn't my fault because when I started crying he just carried on

It wasn't my fault because I was in a desperate situation, and he took advantage

I still think it was my fault though :tear:

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  • 2 months later...

1. It really was my fault because I shouldn't have gotten drunk.

2. It really was my fault because my friends told me from the beginning that he was a creeper and that i should stay away from him, but I thought he was interesting and quirky and I wanted to get to know him better.

3. It really was my fault because I had given him head one time before.

4. It really was my fault because I had a crush on him and gave him my phone number and told him where i lived.

5. It really was my fault because if I hadn't been drunk, my friend wouldn't have needed to leave the door unlocked for me.

6. It really was my fault because the girl next door heard noises and came over to see if I was okay but I didn't let her in.

7. It really was my fault because I chose to have sex with him the next morning.

8. It really was my fault because I had seen him acting in a play where he was a policeman and when he arrested someone and dragged them offstage it turned me on.

9. It really was my fault because sometimes I liked to be roughed around a little.

10. It really was my fault because he had given away signs of forcefulness early on: holding my hand and not letting go when I wanted to leave, being coercive to try to get me in bed with him.

11. It really was my fault because I flirted with him at the party.

12. It really was my fault because I had chosen to live alone that semester.

13. It really was my fault because I decided to start taking pulls of tequila

14. It really was my fault because that night I wore the pants that made my butt look good.

15. It really was my fault because I like the man to be the sexual initiator.

16. It really was my fault because even though I hadn't had intercourse before, I didn't act like a virgin.

17. It really was my fault because I would make sexual jokes with him.

18. It really was my fault because when he sat next to me in choir we would flirt.

19. It really was my fault because everyone knew I liked him.

20. It really was my fault because when he would follow me places, I kind of liked it and one time I smiled at him when we both recognized that he had followed me.

1. It wasn't my fault at all because being drunk isn't an invitation for sex.

2. It wasn't my fault at all because no one could have known that he would rape me.

3. It wasn't my fault at all because consenting to oral sex doesn't mean consenting to anal and vaginal.

4. It wasn't my fault at all because trusting someone enough to talk to them and give them a phone number is very different from trusting someone by consenting to sex.

5. It wasn't my fault at all because he shouldn't have come into the room at all whether the door was unlocked at all. He had no reason to follow me home from the party and had no business coming into my room to "check on me."

6. It wasn't my fault at all because I was the RA on the floor and I didn't want any of the girls to be scared. My not letting her in was my way of protecting her in my drunken, clouded mind.

7. It wasn't my fault at all because when I woke up that next morning I was still drunk, confused and didn't know till later what had happened. I was also in a place where I sort of knew that I had been raped but I didn't want to believe it. I wanted to do anything I could to fix the situation. If I decided to have sex with him then maybe I could make it so the night before hadn't been rape. This was my mind trying to protect itself. He took advantage of me and my state of mind.

8. It wasn't my fault at all because there is nothing wrong with being excited about a man who is strong. That desire should never have been used against me and perverted in my heart.

9. It wasn't my fault at all because playful roughing around and sexual pursuit when it is invited and requested is far different from sexual pursuit which is forced.

10. IT wasn't my fault at all because I couldn't have known that he was going to rape me. Nothing that happened before could have indicated to me that he would rape me and nothing I did gave him any excuse to rape me.

11. It wasn't my fault at all because flirting is not an invitation for sex.

12. IT wasn't my fault at all because living alone doesn't give him any excuse to take advantage of that.

13. IT wasn't my fault at all because no matter how much I drank, no one has the right to take advantage of that.

14. It wasn't my fault at all because wanting to look good isn't an invitation for sex.

15. It wasn't my fault because wanting to be pursued is a good thing! Not being taken advantage of is an assumption that it was correct for me to make. No one EVER has the right to take advantage of me.

16. It wasn't my fault at all because nothing I could say or do made it okay for him to rape me.

17. It wasn't my fault at all because NOTHING I DID or SAID made it okay for him to rape me!

18. It wasn't my fault AT ALL because NOTHING I could have said or done would have made it okay for him to rape me.

19. It wasn't my fault at all because liking someone and inviting sex are not synonymous.

20. It wasn't my fault at all because God made me to be a trusting person who wants to believe the best about people and wouldn't imagine that rape was in his head. This is a good thing and a good way to be. He never had the right to take that innocence from me.

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1. It was really my fault because I never told until I was 16 years old

2. It was really my fault because I kept our little secret

3. It was really my fault because I wanted him to love me

4. It was really my fault because I was scared

5. It was really my fault because I never ran away

6. It was really my fault because I trusted him

1. It wasn't my fault because he was my father and was supposed to protect me from harm

2. It wasn't my fault because everyone turned a blind eye towards me

3. It wasn't my fault because the church and religion supported him, while harming me

4. It wasn't my fault because I was a child and did not have the perspective of an adult

5. It wasn't my fault because I was never asked why I was so shy and angry

6. It wasn't my fault because I was isolated from my peers by being home schooled up until I was 13

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It was really my fault because I didn't say no, I didn't fight.

It was really my fault because I wanted human contact and took whatever I could get.

It was really my fault because I didn't tell when it first started.

It was really my fault because I drank too much.

It was really my fault because I gave in after it started.

It wasn't my fault because I was a child.

It wasn't my fault because he was the one with the power, he was the adult.

It wasn't my fault because I was vulnerable.

It wasn't my fault because I was drunk.

It wasn't my fault because he knew my past, and he knew I wasn't consenting at first.

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Collie_of_Crete

1. It was really my fault because I never said no.

2. It was really my fault because I liked the attention.

3. It was really my fault because I let him do it for so many years.

4. It was really my fault because I never fought him.

5. It was really my fault because I wasn't wearing underwear.

6. It was really my fault because I was supposed to be a good girl and do what he said.

1. It wasn't my fault because I had to say yes.

2. It wasn't my fault because I was too young to understand what it really was.

3. It wasn't my fault because he threatened me when I told him I didn't want him to.

4. It wasn't my fault because even if I'd tried to fight him, he was too strong for me to fight.

5. It wasn't my fault because 3-year olds aren't supposed to have sex.

6. It wasn't my fault because my parents were supposed to protect me, not leave me with him.

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  • 2 months later...

It was really my fault because I kept the truth from him for so long

It was really my fault because I brought up the topic

It was really my fault because I cheated

It was really my fault because I thought I didn't have anything to fear if I told him everything

It was really my fault because I had many chances to tell him but I didn't

It was really my fault because I was afraid previously that if I told him, he would get violent

It was really my fault because I was always afraid of saying no to him

It was really my fault because I always gave in to him

It was really my fault because I lied to him repeatedly out of fear

It wasn't my fault because I only cheated after he acted inappropriately time and time again

It wasn't my fault because I didn't choose his actions

It wasn't my fault because I did fight back, it just wasn't enough

It wasn't my fault because I yelled and fought to get him off me

It wasn't my fault because I was in shock and groggy

It wasn't my fault because I had wanted was to be treated special like he said I was, that's all

It wasn't my fault because I get afraid when he gets angry with me

It wasn't my fault because I'm not as strong or heavy as he is

It wasn't my fault because I told the truth like he asked for

It wasn't my fault because I didn't know what he would do

It wasn't my fault because I loved him, and still do.

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  • 3 weeks later...

1. It was really my fault because ____I should have stopped it

2. It was really my fault because ____I was complicit at first

3. It was really my fault because ___I didn't tell

4. It was really my fault because __He was only two years older

5. It was really my fault because __He probably thought I liked it and I never corrected him

6. It was really my fault because ____he just couldn't have abused me

1. It wasn't my fault because _I was 8

2. It wasn't my fault because I couldn't have known

3. It wasn't my fault because he was stronger, older, and he knew what he was doing was wrong

4. It wasn't my fault because I didn't know anything about sex

5. It wasn't my fault because _he made me

6. It wasn't my fault because _he told me not to tell

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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!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060964375/o/qid=989471318/sr=8-1/ref=aps_sr_b_1_1/107-2309128-2844533">"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.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060964375/o/qid=989471318/sr=8-1/ref=aps_sr_b_1_1/107-2309128-2844533">The Courage to Heal Workbook</a>. Laura Davis. pp 257-260)

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dearprudence

*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.

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