Updated: Jun 6, 2022
"Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging" Brene Brown
Many of my clients that have suffered sexual abuse also seem to be carrying a heavy burden of shame. Along with shame, guilt comes hand in hand. They feel as if they somehow were responsible for the assault.
"I must have done something to encourage it"
"I should have spoken out"
"I should have fought"
"But my body responded to it"
What they were actually doing was trying their best to survive and get through a traumatic time.
They may have been manipulated and brainwashed and silenced by fear for themselves or silenced to protect someone else. Silenced by shame and guilt that should belong to their abuser and not the survivor.
They did not deserve or encourage this violation.
There was nothing that they did or didn't do. Nothing that they said, nothing that they wore or anything about their behaviour made this their fault.
Over time their pain can turn in on themselves and it eats away at their self worth.
They tell me that they feel worthless, they feel ugly, they feel as if something is broken, they feel ashamed and unable to trust.
As well as dealing with the emotional effects of the trauma the person is more than likely living with some other common and understandable effects of Trauma such as:
Part of my role as a counsellor is to explore their feelings around their trauma and how they feel the trauma has effected their lives. Within this we often work through their feelings of shame and look at ways of coping with any lingering after effects of trauma.
Through therapy their trauma can be processed and they can begin to heal.
They can start to see....
They were not in any way to blame so lets stop the victim blaming.
They do not need to carry this heavy burden of guilt. They can hold their heads up high.
They are strong amazing people that lived through a very difficult experience.
If you would like some help to work through a past trauma fill out my contact form or email me on email@example.com