Blame

Blame

It seems to be something I have battled with for a long time. Not just me, but others like me, I know it is common to feel the blame and to look at myself and say it was my fault. After all what else do you have when you are a child and don’t understand how people work. Someone’s hurting you; It has to be your fault right? 

I still can’t get passed this and I have tried. I was writing a couple of days ago and it wasn’t until going through it, that it really clicked in my mind that this particular incident was the moment blame took up residence in my mind on a permanent basis.

I was seven years old, it was the middle of the day, and it was daylight. So much different than normally, when it was night time and dark. I could close my eyes then. Pretend that I was asleep. I believed that if my father thought I was asleep then he didn’t know, I knew what was happening. Then he wouldn’t look at me in a way that showed my shame. If he thought I was asleep then neither of us knew what was happening. I believed that my father didn’t know what was going on between us and if he didn’t know, he wouldn’t look at me and hate me for it. If my eyes were shut and he thought I was sleeping, he was reading my brother and I a bedtime story, then neither of us was aware of what was happening.

However, the part I was going through happened in the day and I did something else at the same time, so it appeared I still didn’t know. My father wasn’t reading and I was awake. I didn’t leave the room. I didn’t say no to him. I didn’t stop him and I don’t know why. I could have done. I’m certain that had I got up off the bed and left the room he would have let me.

This is the moment when my shame became blame. When I started the truly hate that child. He didn’t stop his father.

 

***

I understand if people reply to this, they will say it wasn’t the child’s fault. It was the mans. He was the adult and the boy was a child. That’s because no one ever blames the child.

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35 thoughts on “Blame

      • I know you do; I think we all see ourselves as the ones to blame most of the time in our lives…maybe it’s human nature. For you to be able to see another child’s innocence; that is just one of the reasons that so many of us know you are a good , kind and extremely enlightened man.

  1. You are right, no one ever blames the child. If it was another’s child this kind of abuse you would not blame them. However, sometimes our minds are not rational. Sometimes our thoughts don’t work that way. We always blame ourselves. Its the easiest thing to do. I blame myself for all the bad things in my life (although they do not compare with what you had to endure). You will probably always see that the blame was with you as a child for not speaking up and no one will be able to change your mind or make you see the truth. In that case, then focus on forgiveness with the child. Either way I know many many people are proud of you for telling your story, sharing with us the nightmares you still have to survive and the memories that will always be present. No one can make you “see the light” but we can certainly offer support in the darkness.

      • I’d like you to imagine that your story belongs to another boy. And you read it. What would you tell the child that said he was to blame? What words would you give him to help him see the truth?

      • If I was reading that book, I’d wish it were possible to reach in and take him out of there. I’d wish I could make it better, and I’d show him it’s jot his fault because even if he did ask for it, his dads supposed to tell him why it’s wrong. I’d tell him that no matter what he had done, his mum and dad were wrong.

  2. The man should have knowen better,the child was a innocent who should have been protected,the child surely didn’t ask to be abused.so yes its the man who should have the shame and blame.please don’t make excuses for your father.we no whos the better person. ((((HUGS))))

  3. If a child does something which is sexual and innapropriate it is up to us as adults and parents to explain to the child that, that sort behaviour is wrong. Your father did the opposite and made you think that sexual behaviour between father and son was acceptable and a way of making him like you. Children don’t know any better. They rely on us for guidance. You were just trying to please him the way he taught you. You are completely blameless.

    • I’ve read about this. My therapist had even said, If I walked right up and asked, it should have been explained why it was wrong. But knowing and “knowing” this is the truth is hard.

  4. Hello JD,
    It has been awhile since I have replied to your posts.
    I think part of how the ‘blame’ came about is when you were old enough to want to take control of the situation by ‘getting up and leaving’ but I also think you knew what would happen if you tried to defy your father. You were still a baby. You were no match for a grown man.
    You wanted nothing more than to be loved.
    I hope that one day you will be able to know where that blame belongs. And it is certainly not on a 7 year old boy.
    I know we all try to help you with our analogies of the situation, we do it out of love and understanding. But none of us lived your life. We can only give advice from the lives we lived and the healing that we have done.
    I am sorry to say this…but your father belongs in jail for what he did to you. And the reason I was sorry was because I don’t mean to say anything about your father that you might find arrogant on my part.
    I speak for the little boy that I came to know in your books. I see where the blame should be and it’s not on you.
    ~HUGS JD to you and your family~

    • Thank you dekater, you dont need to apologise for your thoughts. When I put my books out, I always feel some guilt of how I know people will see him and I know thats my doing.

      But all the comments I get and the support, in some selfish way, I hope help me feel the truth I know is there.

      • IT IS THERE…….one day you will see it and then you will feel the relief of it. The weight of it will leave. It just takes time and patience.
        HUGS JD to you and your family

  5. The other thing is, blame isn’t formed in a day, in a particular one time instance. And neither are the decisions you make once that blame sets in. It’s good that you see where the shame became blame, so that you can logically conclude as an intelligent adult man, that shame and blame go hand and hand. You were blaming yourself long before that moment, I can highlight every place in your book where you concluded you were to blame. What is so important here, is to recognize that this was not, in fact, the point where you began to blame, but the point where you could not hide from it, disassociate from it, or deny it, or pretend it away. Because you managed to escape its “shame” does not mean the blame was not there, it was.

    So when you didn’t walk out that room, it wasn’t a mere, “hey, you know what, I could leave this room and he wouldn’t stop me,” at play in your mind. You had several years of conditional abuse and your mind was well aware of that sick balance your father had created, and your body was well aware of what he was capable of if you defied him. Your body didn’t forget even if you disassociated.

    I can’t find any place in your story where you were rewarded for being good, but instead, the best either of them gave was not beating the shit out of you or making you pay more severely. You were punished for being alive. Punished for being the human HE created. Punished for things you had no control over, like vomiting, and starving, and wetting yourself because you were too afraid to go to the bathroom and face the bad man who did horrific things to you. You were beat and punished in cruel ways for defending yourself at school, for speaking the truth. You were beat for being locked outside your house and having to seek shelter from the elements in a place you were told not to go, but there was no place else. You were beat for trying your best to always do what was right. You were only slightly rewarded when you LET him hurt you, but the reason you LET him James, is because it was the ONLY DAMN THING that gave you the tiniest bit of joy or feeling of being loved. And it was better than what the bad man did and it was better than what you knew your father would do if you crossed him, he’d proven it to you over and over again and your body DID NOT forget it, even if you disassociated from it.

    So, when you stood at the crossroad of “I can say no” and didn’t,” you HAVE to remember that you were not considering all that you knew and how you were not yet fully aware that you knew. Your disassociation prevented you from “seeing” what was there all along. That your parents were running this show from the day you were born, not you. You were merely trying to survive.

  6. this here “because it was the ONLY DAMN THING that gave you the tiniest bit of joy or feeling of being loved” I know this part. I have or had, books filled with why’s, Id write them later when I was mad or upset. It was what I cried into. They always started why can’t they love me.

    But is that a good enough reason to chose to go?

  7. That was good advice Tonya. Forgive the child if you cannot shift the blame where it belongs. But find a way to obtain the freedom you deserve.

  8. Love is an instinct that the body thrives to have, you cannot choose at that age to have it or not, it’s like air, your body needs it whether you understand why or not. Our bodies are designed for love, it’s an emotional and mental nourishment that is a very very IMPORTANT developmental criteria in children. You can hurt a kid much more by denying them love than you can by denying them FOOD. Just ask yourself. If you were offered food, and acceptance and love, by your father, which would you have taken? And if you thought there was ANYTHING you could do to gain that love and acceptance, what would you not do? You saw your father WANTED what he did, or else he wouldn’t have done it, and you, once again, tried to be a good son.

  9. Your father taught you that giving him his perversions was what defined being good. So, in essence, you denied your baser instincts that said it wasn’t good, and you gave him what he wanted. You SACRIFICED your sexuality to be a good son. Don’t make me cuss and say how very sad that is for a child to have to sacrifice such a thing for LOVE of all things.

  10. It’s difficult when you are indoctrinated to believe that the father is “good” by others who don’t know what he really is. These men have a way of making themselves look kind, good, noble, “great guys” in society. And the child is taught that he is that way by others as well as the abuser. It’s no wonder that you feel inside that somehow it was your fault. You were “taught” from a young age that this man was a “good man”; therefore, it MUST somehow be your fault. But that’s not the reality. That is just the illusion because you know inside that what he did was diabolical.

  11. I’d love to see his cover blown sky high. In a way that didn’t hurt the ones you love. Santa Clause isn’t the man you think he is. Perhaps his ship will sink under the weight of his own crimes.

  12. How do you forgive something so bad? Start with…he was only six, wasn’t taught any better, and was confused about right and wrong. And work your way from there.

  13. There’s nothing bad about a child trying to win its parent’s love…in whatever way that might be. As children, we do not know better. It’s our parents’ job to educate us. Unfortunately, there are too many who are bad teachers.

  14. I have had time to think about this after our conversation yesterday. I think in many ways as adults, we tend to over think the simplest of things.
    You or I would not think twice about protecting our children. You wouldn’t reason whether or not a gesture or behavior was appropriate. You would not hesitate to hug your son or daughter or your grandchild. When your children have tears you wipe them away. When they hurt themselves you care for them. When they want to talk, you listen.
    I could sit and throw stones; bricks even at the man who hurt you the most. Or your mother who went alongside of him with her own agenda. I could point at them and say these are bad people and I have done this many times.
    But it is for the simplest of actions they could not do.
    They could not hug you. They did not wrap their arms around you in love. They never wiped your tears. They did not hold your hand. They did not sit and listen to you when you had things to say. They never wanted to hear your stories. They could not compliment you on your achievements.
    No bed was yours, no blankets to cover you. No toys to play with or special treats for you. No one welcomed you home. You could not even use your front door. My list is endless because I remember every word you have ever said to me.
    Please tell me again how a parent who could not even show this child the simplest forms of love and caring was not responsible for the destruction of his heart; his childhood and the well being of his mind.
    You are not to blame. The shame belongs to your parents and everything they did or did not do.

  15. Forgiveness is a path that only you can walk. It is only for you, to
    Lift the burden that is weighing on you. It took years, but my husband finally forgave the man that murdered his brother . It is possible!

  16. I went thru this myself… More because I “liked” what he was doing to me… It felt good. I let him… I went to him when he asked me to… I almost wanted him to touch me sometimes… I didn’t understand that it was completely NORMAL for my body to enjoy the physical sensations… I thought that there must be something wrong with me that I would let him touch me like that… I understand NOW, after YEARS of counseling and journaling and learning, that it is OK that my body liked what was happening. That is the way my body was designed. It is NOT normal however, that the man who molested me was attracted to 5 year old little girls… I don’t remember who said it, but someone said that you have to forgive your younger self for not doing what your older self knows would have been the best thing… When people would tell me it wasn’t my fault, I knew that… I could say, “I know” to their faces, but inside, I would say, “but I liked it… I wanted him to… I let him, and I enjoyed it… I let him touch me… If I would have only told someone sooner…” But I was a child… I didn’t know better… (Yes I did… I knew I had to hide it from my ‘mom’.. I knew that he said if I told anyone about our secret, he would kill me- you don’t hide things that are not wrong)… I was a child- what he took from me was my power. He made me feel powerless in order to get what he wanted. I didn’t say something sooner, because I didn’t know who to tell or even what to tell them… And would they believe me, and what if they didn’t and I had to go back to him… What then?!

    It is all more complicated than our child-minds think it is… I used to wonder why I was letting him touch me again… I hated him… I hated him SO much… but I still let him…
    It was because I didn’t know what I know now… that there is freedom in telling our stories. It was NOT my fault. My body reacted the way it was supposed to, my mind however was conditioned by him to believe I was powerless and that no one would believe me if I did tell…

    I remember about 2 years ago, I was being um… intimate with my husband, who is an amazing man… But all of a sudden, (I think because I had just started counseling again, and so everything was fresh…) for the first time EVER, I had a flashback of James… I saw his face. clear as day, and it FREAKED me *(and my husband) out! I cried and cried… I hadn’t seen his face in that amount of detail since I was a child… So, what I did, was I grabbed a piece of paper, and I described every detail I could think of… I wanted to remember what he looked like… Everything from his greasy black hair to his beady black eyes, and pointed lips, dirty yellowed teeth, and yes, even THAT part of his anatomy… I made a conscious choice to focus all of my attention onto remembering his face so that if I ever saw it again, it wouldn’t startle me like it did that night… As I am typing this, I see his face in my head right now… and you know. I am not angry. I am not scared. I am not seeing him as I did when I was a little girl… I am seeing him as the adult I was two years ago… I gave myself control over that memory by CHOOSING to see it… His face no longer holds the same power it did 2 years ago… because I am not a child anymore. HE can’t hurt me anymore… It is not an easy thing to do, but it helped me more than you can imagine to have that little bit of power back… 🙂

    Kia

    • Kia, I completely see everything that you are saying. I also think its important for a person to be able to look back on the child and see the innocence that was stolen and how the effects create the events that follow. You know our bodies and minds are created to follow a specific path and when that path is altered, it creates confusion. When sexual situations are put upon us prematurely as children, there is no way of knowing what to do with them because our minds have not yet caught up.And because our bodies are designed to receive and act on pleasure, these acts become as natural to them as it would be to us as adults.
      What a milestone to have this discovery for yourself. To be able to admit and say yes, I enjoyed it but to also be able to forgive that child for the things she did not know or understand and to wrap your arms around her and say, it’s okay. She is safe in knowing that you forgive her. ~hugs for you~
      These are my wishes and prayers for JD. That acceptance will come and forgiveness will be given. His child deserves so much more from life than what he was given 🙂

  17. Pingback: Yes Man | JD Stockholm.

  18. My father made me choose between sexual abuse or physical abuse when I got into trouble. I would chose the easiest to escape from, sexual. I had so much guilt because later I realized I chose my escape. It took years for me to forgive myself, to know that I should never have been put in that position. I loved him. I was grateful when after oral sex with him he would hit the belt on the bed and tell me to cry so everyone thought that I had gotten a beating. I thought that was love. I thought nothing of the uncles that molested me, it was normal life for me. I didn’t know until I got to foster care that normal families didn’t do that behavior. I often wondered if I had a big V for Victim on my forehead as a child. Did those men molest other children or was it because I was already soiled and damaged that they were felt it was ok. I will never know. I only know my sweet children will never know what I knew at that age. They will keep their innocence as long as possible. It is never the child’s fault, they don’t know any better. But it takes a long time to learn this, to be able to forgive yourself and you can’t forgive them until you forgive yourself. That is just how it works. It takes a long time to not say I am sorry for every little thing. I say I am sorry sometimes when I think my husband is mad at me. He often asks me what I am sorry for. And I really don’t know why I am sorry, only that I upset him. It took me a long time to tell people No and not feel bad. It took me a long time to realize I don’t need acceptance from others, because I accept myself and that is all that matters. JD, stay strong and remember it wasn’t your fault. It was the man who you called father, but who wasn’t a father, not a real one. A real father loves his children, he hugs them and kissed their heads and doesn’t expect anything in return. He raised them in a caring environment and doesn’t expect sex for acceptance. He is a man like I am sure you are to your children. I pray you find acceptance and you find the love you desire. I pray you find self forgiveness, for only we can atone for our own supposed sins. Only you can forgive that little boy inside that tries to get out. My little five year old self doesn’t try to get out as much anymore. She has finally coped with her abuse and only tries to come out sometimes now. I have cried and morned for her and she has grown up some now.

    • Thank you for sharing your story with me too. I am sorry that your father wasn’t a father. You have given me an idea for a post, something you said clicked in my mind and made sense. Thank you for that too.

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