I often find myself in a place where I am trying to make sense why abuse has happened to me throughout my life.
It is common for abuse survivors to think about “the why.” I can get stuck in this place because I want to believe I had some control over what happened to me. In other words, if I can just figure out what I am doing to cause the abuse, I can change my behavior and it won’t happen anymore.
I struggle with the idea that there was nothing I could have done differently to stop the abuse from happening. Admitting that degree of powerlessness is extremely scary.
Instead, I struggle to accept there is no logical or spiritual reason these awful things have happened to me.
I have to accept as an adult the people who abused me were sick people, and it wasn’t my fault even as an adult. Power imbalances are still in a lot of places as an adult, and I certainly never learned as a child how to stop predators from hurting me.
You would think I would let myself off the hook for the severe abuse that happened to me as a child. Nope. I am always looking to make sense of it, wondering what I did to deserve such horrific things to happen to me.
It is especially hard to understand when I meet other adult woman around my age who haven’t suffered any abuse as a child or an adult. This knowledge does a number on my thinking, and my beliefs.
My “go to” belief about myself in trying to understand the abuse I have suffered is to believe there must have been something inherently bad about me when I was born.
My therapist often can help me pull out of that belief at least temporarily by asking me about my own children and whether they could have been born inherently bad. Knowing the innocence of a baby, I know it is not possible, except maybe in a Hollywood movie.
On a good day, I have to understand that I will probably never understand the cruelty and sickness of others, and this is probably a good thing.
Accepting that some people are just sick and twisted for their own reasons, and it isn’t going to be logical, is hard for me.
I know, on an especially good day, that both in adulthood and childhood, I did nothing to deserve the abuse from the many sick souls I encountered.
I know I am a good person. I am not perfect, but overall, I am a compassionate and loving person who carries around a lot of deep wounds underneath.
I have to stop trying to make sense of my life, and why so many people hurt me.
The logic will never explain the behavior of sadists, narcissists, and pedophiles.
I hope to one day be free of trying to take any ownership of “the why,” because no one deserves what happened to me.
No matter what.