Home » My Journey » Victim and embarrassment

Victim and embarrassment

 

Last week in therapy part of our discussion was on identity and my journey in letting go of the things that were either never true or are no longer true. One thing I have consistently struggled with is embarrassment. This goes deeper than I first realised. While in some areas that embarrassment has eased (particularly with my T) I continue to struggle with it even after 20 (ish) months of therapy.

I guess the embarrassment and shame are combined, I can’t always differentiate between the two. I hope when it comes time to face that shame again, I can let go of the embarrassment too.

 

When I look at people who know of my past, I wonder what do they think of me? Do they see me as a victim? More specifically, do they see me as the rape victim? Those thoughts often cross my mind as I struggle to make eye contact- the embarrassment and shame makes it so hard.

In some ways, the more I separate from my teenage self, the more embarrassed I feel. I struggle to understand how I was taken in, I struggle to relate to the feelings I had back then, because it isn’t something that I would accept now. And while I know that’s why he picked a teen (a grown woman would not have been taken in so easily) my feelings are not so rational.

 

Lately, I feel more like me than I’ve ever felt before, yet I don’t quite know how to be me around others. What was done to me is part of me. Sure, I’m letting go of the victim identity, but what he did won’t ever just go (which is a whole other blog post) and sometimes I wonder how to be me, without denying my past.

How can I be me, the mother, the wife, the employee, the daughter, the sister etc while also a survivor of sexual abuse? How do I make all that fit together, so I can be free to be me all the time? Perhaps it will be easier once I am over the embarrassment and once I’ve let go of the shame?

Am I alone with these feelings? Is it normal? Part of the process? For now, even though I know all the reasons it shouldn’t, the embarrassment still remains.

 

I am embarrassed and ashamed that I was groomed. I am embarrassed and ashamed that I was a victim for such a long time and I am embarrassed and ashamed that I was raped.

 

I look forward to the step forward that leaves the embarrassment and shame behind.

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Victim and embarrassment

  1. I can relate to your story in so many ways…I too feel embarrassment and shame and wonder if the person looking at me or talking to me knows my past, my story..and for those who do I always feel judged and looked down on, even if it’s only by myself-I feel like they should and do…..I don’t have the answers but I will pray for you as you embark this journey.

  2. I was looking for the right words to comment on this and found these which I hope will be helpful. Far easier than me trying to put into words what I want to say !………….. xxxx

    “Once you can accept that it was in no way your fault, you can start to unravel the shame as being undeserved and unjustified. You can start to think more rationally and stop carrying the blame and shame. This sounds very simple, and actually it is. But it can be a slow process to accept this truth and to truly believe it. You may find that you need to be told it is not your fault over and over again, and the small doubt will still niggle at the back of your mind. However once you start looking at the possibility that it was not your fault then you can finally start examining the truth.

    Next you need to do things to redress the balance. The opposite of shame is pride. So you want to be proud of yourself. This can be through very small achievements. Simple things such as going out for a walk, or doing the washing up. Something that maybe you have been putting off. It can be quite challenging, but you have to accept that you need to make changes in order to change the way you feel.

    Do whatever ‘it‘ is, and give yourself a pat on the back. Better still share the experience with another and allow them to praise you too. Lap it up. Hold your head high. Look people in the eye. Stand tall. Walk tall.

    When you are free from the feeling of shame it is much easier to see how the faulty thinking was holding it close to you. This means when it returns, which it often does, it will be easier to recognise and challenge.”

  3. I know what you mean; I struggle to answer the same questions, albeit for different reasons. It great that you share your story, though. In doing that, you have the opportunity not only to help someone else in a similar struggle who is, perhaps, not yet able to articulate it, but you’re also putting yourself in a position to be braced by others. Community is a huge part of healing. If you haven’t already, look up Brené Brown, PhD. She’s a researcher in Texas who has written a number of very readable books on shame, vulnerability, connection and belonging. She’s also got some presence on YouTube, etc., which is where I found her work a few years ago. One of the things she says is that there’s nothing more powerful than being seen in a moment were far from proud of by someone who says, “me too,” without judging us. And I think you’re incredibly brave for putting your story out here, because you’re giving yourself the chance to hear an infinite number of others respon and say, “me too.”

    • Hi and thank you for reading. I will look up Brené Brown, thank you. You are right, hearing “me too” is so very helpful. Sometimes it’s easy to feel as if you are alone in what you think and feel, to have someone truly understand is a huge relief.
      I hope sharing my story and my journey with others will be helpful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s