This is an honest reflection in response to an ongoing thread from last week. A reader I have immense respect for asked a question about what “we” may be putting out there unknowingly that causes re victimization. First and most importantly, any person sexually assaulted is not putting anything out there to cause that. Especially children. They are an innocent target. Abuse is about control. No vibes, no fault, no blame and no shame.
I don’t think that is what she meant though. So here is my answer on why I think I continued to be a victim unknowingly beyond sexual abuse. Until I started talking about this openly in a different way. I’m learning as I go. We all are.
I am a total enabler. I don’t mean to be, but I want to help those I can. Especially those I love. It has taken 35 years to figure out that trying to make others happy at my own expense is not healthy and doesn’t give them the tools they need to succeed without relying on me. Manipulators sense that need to help. And exploit it.
I am too trusting and believe even after all I have seen that hurt people need understanding and attention. This sometimes attracts people who knowingly take advantage of my at times naive but overall optimistic nature.
I never learned what healthy relationships were. To me, dysfunction was normal. If somebody was somehow treating me right, it didn’t feel right. I was taught at a young age I was here to satisfy others and my feelings or needs didn’t matter. I internalized that and have the self-confidence of fried dog crap. Again, people looking to control or manipulate sense that from 825 miles away.
I operate 90% of the time from a place of guilt. Again, purposely instilled in me as a child. I feel guilty constantly. Guilty about what I didn’t do or did do or want to do or think about doing. I feel guilty about judgment or shame or the way people see me or don’t. I feel guilty that I exist. Guilty that I’m expressing these thoughts. Guilty that I’m not good enough or said the wrong thing or did not drop everything important for me (especially my need to re charge) in an effort to help someone else that may be guilting me into satisfying their needs.
I am terrified of letting anyone get to know me that might hurt me or even just like me too much in a good way and then possibly get too close because then they might, gosh forbid, see and know all that I listed above. That could mean they might take advantage of me. Or try too.
I’m incredibly defensive. Even if you’re coming from a good place, I’m going to doubt your motives initially. This creates chaos and confusion and puts out some seriously messed up vibes on my end I unintentionally send out.
This is what I have learned I’m putting out there as an adult that holds me back. This is what I’m working on changing. It’s not easy. But I’m trying.