Sharing – Queer survivors of sexual abuse are frequently blamed for their own victimization

Sharing – Queer survivors of sexual abuse are frequently blamed for their own victimization

I’ve talked about this before. As a male survivor, I have spent years on this site dealing with people that simply assumed I was gay, for no other reason than the fact that I was abused by a male perpetrator. I’ve known plenty of other men who’ve been shunned because of a similar assumption, or the much worse assumption that survivors, especially male survivors or gay men, are likely to turn around and also sexually abuse others.

None of this is accurate. Yes, the abuse can leave you feeling unsafe and uncomfortable in your own body and with your own sexuality. That is a side effect of being raped sometimes. That is not something anyone should be ashamed to talk about and no matter where they land on the spectrum of gender and sexual preference they deserve the respect and privacy to figure that out themselves. None of us asked your opinion, and none of us want to hear about your own illusions of how sexuality works after being sexually abused at a young age.

The more mature attitude is to recognize that healing from sexual abuse is a process that looks different for everyone, whether they are gay, straight, bisexual, non-binary and any other thing you want to consider. We all deserve a better response than to be accused of bringing it upon ourselves.

Sharing – Overcoming Depression Demands Flexible Thinking, Not Positive Thinking

Sharing – Overcoming Depression Demands Flexible Thinking, Not Positive Thinking

Most things in life are not that clear. They are ambiguous. I know that when I’m unable to think beyond simplistic right and wrong it is very likely part of my own struggle. I’m falling for the cognitive biases that try to convince me that all the negative things I’ve ever experienced are the truth, and all of the positive things have been a lie.

It’s these cognitive biases that prevent many people from healing. Simply put, you can’t heal when you are unable to believe healing is possible for you.

Sharing – The Lies We Tell Ourselves About Our Worth and How I’ve Let Them Go

Sharing – The Lies We Tell Ourselves About Our Worth and How I’ve Let Them Go

Orly’s first step to overcoming this was actually talking to someone about it. I cannot emphasize this enough. The shame we carry from childhood is all-consuming to us. It’s the secret we expend massive amounts of energy trying to hide and obsessing over. The things we feel shame about are the things that impact our day-to-day lives in adulthood.

And, for the most part, the shame we feel isn’t true. It’s not based in reality. Orly isn’t “not smart” any more than I am, and I do not deserve punishment any more than you. These are simply the stories we took away from our childhood.

This is also why that first reaction is so important. When we finally work up the courage to share our secrets, our shames, it’s painful to have them mocked or disbelieved.

Overcoming Childhood and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Overcoming Childhood and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

I caught an interesting, short podcast episode on this topic recently. The host, Dave Fraser is joined by Psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb to discuss the question of whether we can overcome our childhoods.

It’s an interesting episode, and I think many of you might learn a thing or two about how the stories we’ve been told about ourselves in childhood can be rewritten and how a good therapist might assist in that. You can get the links and notes from the show here: