Let us examen why self-reproach—when having gone through child abuse—keeps resurfacing.
You can be your own worst enemy!
Self-judgment is very often present when you suffer from the symptoms of child abuse for a long time.
Thoughts such as:
- Why am I not able to get over this?
- Why do I still get so worked up and angry?
- I feel so stupid for still having these reactions/thoughts/emotions!
- Why didn’t I fight or escape the abuse(r) at the time?
Feeling overwhelmed continuously, makes one develop a certain set of coping mechanisms. Guilt and self-reproach being one of them. They obscure from oneself from feeling the underlying core emotion fully, while simultaneously allowing them to persist. That’s the conundrum you may find yourself in. And, it makes it difficult to move away from these coping patterns of self-reproach and self-judgment.
Child Abuse and Honoring the Perspective of the Inner Child
In these situations, you need to practice holding a dual state of awareness.
Feeling overwhelmed continuously, makes one develop a certain set of coping mechanisms. They obscure from oneself from feeling the underlying core emotion fully, while simultaneously allowing them to persist.
When your child abuse symptoms of anxiety, anger or sadness get triggered, there are two perspectives present; your adult self, who feels that the emotional reactions you are having, are out of proportion to the situation you find yourself in, and the association taking place, through older hurts and emotional residue, is still desperately clinging to those parts of the past; your unresolved, vividly emotional childhood memory.
From the perspective of an adult, endowed with more rationality, it is easy to fall into any form of judgment. From a child's emotional perspective, that hurt that you're experiencing is viscerally real and the ‘out of proportion’ element is the unresolved emotion from the past, realistically impacting the present.
How to Use Dual Awareness in Bringing about Healing of Child Abuse
Can you hold and give value to both perspectives, the adult and child parts of yourself, equally?
When you hold both parts equally; without further reacting to your pain through self-reproach and judgment, nor getting over focused or sinking into the emotional pain; this is where you start to build up resilience by staying with 'what is'.
And healing from child abuse and complex trauma is a process. It is firstly, to see it from this healthy dual perspective of awareness, that cancels out further self-judgment and reproach. That in itself will make the underlying emotion more apparent and available, along with possibly, memories related to your personal experience.
Building up Resilience and Containment
What happened to you cannot be changed, but the emotional investment in the past can still be released or integrated.
Do you tend to go into guilt or self-reproach when your post-trauma symptoms flare up? Leave your comment below.