Healing the Shame of Childhood Abuse Through Self-Compassion (excerpt). Psychology Today

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If you were a victim of childhood abuse or neglect, you know about shame.

You have likely been plagued by it all your life without identifying it as shame. You may feel shame because you blame yourself for the abuse itself (“My father wouldn’t have hit me if I had minded him”) or because you felt such humiliation at having been abused (“I feel like such a wimp for not defending myself”).

While those who were sexually abused tend to suffer from the most shame, those who suffered from physical, verbal, or emotional abuse blame themselves as well.

In the case of child sexual abuse, no matter how many times you’ve heard the words “It’s not your fault,” the chances are high that you still blame yourself in some way—for being submissive, for not telling someone and having the abuse continue, for “enticing” the abuser with your behavior or dress, or because you felt some physical pleasure.

In the case of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse, you may blame yourself for “not listening” and thus making your parent or caretaker so angry that he or she yelled at you or hit you.

Children tend to blame the neglect and abuse they experience on themselves, in essence saying to themselves, “My mother is treating me like this because I’ve been bad” or “I am being neglected because I am unlovable.”

As an adult, you may have continued this kind of rationalization, putting up with poor treatment by others because you believe you brought it on yourself.

Conversely, when good things happen to you, you may actually become uncomfortable, because you feel so unworthy.

Complete article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/201501/healing-the-shame-childhood-abuse-through-self-compassion

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