Misplaced Guilt

Why is it that we blame ourselves for actions others have taken? Especially when the truly ‘guilty’ party assumes none of the guilt. I’ve found that so many abused children turned adult have taken on the guilt that does not belong to them. And closer to home, I’ve done the same. It’s a constant battle. I. did. not. do. anything. Why are those five little words so very difficult to embrace? It was not my fault. The fact that I didn’t tell and there may have been others violated STILL does not make it my fault.

I listened to some of the MSU and USA Gymnasts tell their tales of the sports doctor who had been abusing HUNDREDS of young girls. One young lady in particular resonated with my sentiments. She said that if she had told more forcefully or continued to tell or say something at all, that perhaps she could’ve prevented other girls from being abused.  The reality is that yes, perhaps if he was brought up on charges and removed from the care of little girls that the abuse may have stopped.  Maybe. Similarly, there are those who have told on this man and nothing was done to stop him.

The truth is that the sole ‘fault’ of child molestation belongs uniquely to the person who has imposed his or herself upon a child. Period.  There are no others at fault.  The abuser and the abuser alone has the complete authority to put an end to abuse. Until we start holding abusers accountable for their actions and removing THEM from the presence of children abuse will continue to occur.

I might argue that those who were told and knew about this ‘doctor’s’ abusive ways and did nothing, have some culpability.  And they do.  They were ADULTS who were supposed to care for these children who had been entrusted to them. They can share some of the guilt.  The children are NEVER at fault.  NEVER.  Doesn’t matter what she might parade around the house in or what she says or even what she does– children are NEVER to blame for being abused.  That was so very easy to type – the trick is getting myself to embrace and believe it.  It’s a work in progress.  I will accept it–eventually.  I hope that all others learn to do the same.

2 thoughts on “Misplaced Guilt

  1. I hate that survivors of abuse will take on that guilt. It breaks me heart that when someone wrongs a person, even after it stops, that person still deals with the hurt because they feel partly to blame 😔 I pray everyone can shake that feeling of guilt. It wasn’t your fault.


  2. My prayer is every child , and very adult child will learn this at some point in their journey. Becuase theg uilt they carry as survivors sure can be life latering and overwhelmingly oppressive. Bless you my dear, and thanks for writing about this. SO, SO needed.
    On another note, yes the Nassar abuse has just literally made me angry. The culpability – amazing…. how no one wants to take responsiblity, but they will be addressed. I believe these women will make sure of it. Something powerful happens when women stand together.


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