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How I Forgave Myself
A Continuation of Sraosa's Story

I'd always had trouble not feeling responsible for being abused. I was always responsible for everything in my family, the anger, the abuse, seemingly everything, and that was hard to shake as I got older, and "be responsible for your actions" was reiterrated again and again.

After two years of therapy, I still blamed myself for being abused. "I should have stopped it, I should have prevented, he's not taking responsibility for it, so I should..." And on and on and on.

But on June 2, I moved in with my aunt, uncle, and 2 young cousins for the summer. My cousins are both female, 10, and 12. The ages I was when I was abused. As I spent more and more time with them, one question kept popping into my head: If they'd been abused, would I blame them? And of course, I could only answer no.

At first, my initial knee-jerk reaction was, well, but I was different. But I slowly began to realize, no, I wasn't, and I'm not. By Thursday, June 11, when I came back home for therapy yesterday, I found that I no longer had that reaction, that I had in fact, forgiven myself!!

It seems awfully easy in retrospect, but the internal struggle that went on was far from easy. I'd spend an hour just staring at my cousins, lost in thought, until one of them looked at me strangely and asked if I was alright. :) And now, if they ask again, I can honestly say, yes!


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