“It’s my fault. It’s always my fault” – Self-blame

Do you feel at fault all the time? Do you feel like everything bad that happens is somehow your fault? If you were abused, do you blame yourself for the abuse?

A difficult childhood or childhood abuse commonly cause a person to believe everything is their fault. This core belief, or pattern of thinking, affects ordinary, everyday life, often causing shame, excessive or inappropriate guilt, low self esteem and of course depression.

Have you ever thought about where this of belief might come from?

Read an example here about Darlene’s adventures in the snow, and finally coming to realize that maybe not everything is her fault.

Recognizing the Origin of Self Blame – Adventures in the snow (emergingfrombroken.com)

What is Omnipotence?

Does everything feel like it's Your Fault? "there was a time when a family friend had a premature baby and another friend was sick with Leukemia... My wish was that they would both get better, they both died... I felt guilty and responsible. I thought they had died because I had been greedy asking for two wishes to come true,I genuinely believed it was my fault. " " A therapist in hospital said I believe I have 'an omnipotent power', the ability to control everything, fix everything, make everything better and she was absolutely correct. Everything is somehow my fault, my responsibility. " Katharine Wealthall, Little Steps.

Does everything feel like it’s Your Fault?
“there was a time when a family friend had a premature baby and another friend was sick with Leukemia… My wish was that they would both get better, they both died… I felt guilty and responsible. I thought they had died because I had been greedy asking for two wishes to come true,I genuinely believed it was my fault. “
” A therapist in hospital said I believe I have ‘an omnipotent power’, the ability to control everything, fix everything, make everything better and she was absolutely correct. Everything is somehow my fault, my responsibility. ” Katharine Wealthall, Little Steps

If you are still struggling, consider this: if everything really is your fault, then you must have the power to cause every bad (or good) thing that happens. Do you really believe you have the power to control the whole world, for instance to force nature to create particular weather, or to force otherwise people to commit crimes that they do not choose to commit?

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9 thoughts on ““It’s my fault. It’s always my fault” – Self-blame

  1. Pingback: The Cupcake incident – a personal story of Shame and Guilt | Trauma and Dissociation

  2. Though this seems to be a rather aggressive way to get (do I mean force?) l someone to say it’s not their fault… I think for some people, if you were at fault, them you had some control, some power, some worth. If a person is choosing between fault and powerlessness, it is cruel to go too quickly into it’s not your fault. Then all that they may be left with is unresolvable terror. Who could survive that?

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    • As you’ve said, self-blame can be a way to psychologically adapt and avoid the terror of the trauma. It’s more bearable at the time of the trauma, but over time becomes something that interferes with life. I’ve heard it said that powerlessness is the essence of trauma – people who feel or are unable to stop abuse or control a trauma tend to be those who end up with PTSD. As you said, taking the blame for some or all of it implies you aren’t powerless, and powerlessness is terrifying. I don’t think the shift in thinking, and accepting you were powerless during the trauma, is something that can be done quickly. It takes time, and acceptance comes bit by bit.
      I think re-visiting the trauma carefully and thinking it over is helpful (as long as it feels safe enough to do this). Understanding and actually feeling that the terror is in the past is key, and makes it less overwhelming.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think it shows that you can hear and understand logically that abuse isn’t your fault, and you might hear it over and over again… but accepting it emotionally doesn’t happen right away (or as fast as in this clip, of course)… and it comes with a huge wave of emotions. (No counselor should attempt to break down emotional barriers in such a way as in the clip.)

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  3. Pingback: Life After Abuse: What No-one Tells You | Trauma and Dissociation

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