The article isn’t necessarily about abuse survivors, or trauma survivors, but I think the skills are important, and we should pay special attention to this paragraph:
“It feels good to think that everything that’s good that happens in your life happens to you because you’re this good, amazing person. But the price you pay for making those good experiences about you is that you must also make the bad experiences about you — you must interpret all of the bad things in your life to be about you as well.”
There is a bias that exists in all of us. We expect the world to be fair, we expect it to treat us fairly. We expect that if we work hard, we’ll get rewarded. If we act with kindness, the world will treat us kindly, and that if we are successful, it’s because of our efforts.
But, the world truly doesn’t work that way. You can be as generous and kind as anyone, and other people will still cut you off in traffic or treat you rudely. You can work as hard as possible, and the company you do all that hard work for can still go under, leaving you unemployed. It happens, and it had nothing to do with you.
Likewise, when people want to find reasons why you suffered trauma, including yourself, we tend to think we must have done something to cause it. When in fact, it had nothing to do with you. Someone was going to get hurt, and suffer trauma, because that person made the decision to hurt someone. It happened to you because you happened to be there.
The bias is hard to fight, because it does feel good when something good happens, to think we deserved that. But we have to be aware of how that thinking inflicts unnecessary guilt, shame, and blame too. It’s not worth that.