I work with teens and today I was working with one of them and she was covering up with arms clasped over her torso. I did nothing wrong and feel guilt when i see this and fear in their eyes. I think it has to do with their experiences with men. i feel guilt even though I did nothing wrong. i always think it's about me (this and other things too). i have a history of abuse in my famil 9phisical and emotinal). i am seeing a therpist.

Why all the guilt?
Wreckage - I think it is because, as survivors, we have had experiences which we knew were wrong. In many cases, the perps try to project their guilt upon us to make us believe it was our fault. Even if they don't, we tend to take that guilt anyway because we were participants, even if unwilling. If we had a physical reaction, it makes it even more guilt-producing. Any time something reminds us of the circumstances of our abuse, it triggers that guilt response - often followed quickly by shame. that's my take on it.
Lee says it well... abuse sets us up to feel both guilt and shame... believing somehow the bad things that happened were our fault and that we are bad because it happened. Unpacking the guilt and shame is at the heart of our healing journey. That you recognized the feeling, named it and shared it with all of us is a very positive step W. This is how healing happens. We first must tell the truth about what we are feeling. For years I couldn't do that. I was overwhelmed by feelings I couldn't handle and so acted out in one way or another. Just the simple act of registering for this site is a huge positive since you know, we all know we're carrying pain we are ready to put down.

Deep respect for the work you're doing W. This girl likely is carrying trauma as well... doubtless most of the teens who end up in some form of counseling are. It pains me to recall the times I was in therapy and completely unable to tell the truth about my behavior, all of which was a re-enactment of trauma. Your healing work will not only be a great gift to you but also to all the teens who cross your path. As we find compassion for ourselves compassion for others in pain becomes simple. Blessings to you and all the teens with whom you work.

Tom E.

I feel guilt a lot too. Did some part of me like the abuse? It my demeanor make me a magnet for it? I couldn't say no or fight back. Why did I allow it to go on multiple times? I really did a number on myself. I felt like a loser & a weakling, for years & years. Too bad we do this crap to ourselves.
Years ago I attended an Incest Survivors meeting (12 step) and I was the only male in the room. I felt like a perp because all these women had been abused by men. I ended up feeling guilty, when there was nothing to feel guilty about. Needless to say, I didn't stay in that group long.


Traveler said it very well. We're in a situation that at some point we know is wrong. Yet we go back (pleasure) or our bodies respond. Thus starts the life long struggle of accepting others guilt.