Common Beliefs We Can Help You Work Through
If you are a survivor experiencing feelings of guilt or blaming yourself, know that you are not alone. These feelings are sadly more common than not and many survivors report experiencing the exact same types of thoughts and feelings. Here is a list of some of the most common beliefs reported by survivors in therapy with us:
Believing that what happened to you was foreseeable and preventable
Survivors often believe they knew what was going to happen and that they dismissed the “signs.” If this feels true for you, you may feel that you are to blame for the attack or abuse because you believe you saw it coming and did not prevent it from happening.
Believing that you are primarily responsible for what happened to you
Survivors often take on a large chunk of the responsibility for the abuse or for the outcome. At times, if you report the abuse, this belief can extend to you feeling responsible or guilty for “ruining” the lives of your family, your relationship with your partner, or your abuser’s life.
Blaming yourself for your reactions when the abuse or attack was occurring
Survivors often experience feelings of guilt related to specific reactions during the abuse such as staying as still and quiet as possible, not fighting back “enough,” not reporting it afterward, or bodily signs of arousal during the attack. It is more common than not to question your specific reactions during the attack and to blame yourself for not doing something differently to stop it.
Believing you have done something personally or morally wrong
Survivors often believe that because of what has happened, they have gone against their personal beliefs of who they are. As a result, you may begin to think of yourself as a bad person because of what’s happened to you.
Cognitive Processing Therapy can help free you from some of these thoughts that can keep you stuck reliving your worst moments. CPT is one of the highest recommended treatments available for PTSD and survivors of sexual abuse and trauma.
If you are in the Orlando area and would like to set up an appointment to begin Cognitive Processing Therapy, please contact us directly at (407) 603-6132.