What about doubt?
Doubt comes to us all from time to time. But as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse doubt can seem ever-present. Growing up with this abuse was living in constant doubt about the act of the abuse, doubt about trusting others, doubting myself, doubting decisions that I made. I still deal with that doubt today to some degree. And why wouldn’t I?
I was always being told by my abuser that he loved me and I believed him. But at the same time I felt there was something wrong with that relationship. It didn’t seem natural and as a child I didn’t know why. But he was the adult and kept telling me that what was going on was natural and beautiful.
At the same time I was being told by another adult in my life that I was good for nothing. Nothing I did was ever good enough for him. I was stupid in his eyes and would never amount to anything. Imagine the confusion I was living with. Was I worthless or loved? I finally came to the conclusion that I was worthless. As evidence, when the sexual abuse finally ended when I was 18 my abuser no longer wanted anything to do with me. I was hurt and confused and at the same time relieved that the abuse was over! I once tried to tell someone about the abuse and was met with impatience so I was never able to tell her. The other adult continued berating me and putting me down. Talk about doubt in myself!
Doubt, Doubt, Doubt! Did I want to even have a relationship with my abuser anymore? Did I want to continue to take the constant put downs. I doubted everything! I lived with self-doubt for most of my adult life never knowing if I was making the right decisions. Doubting what kind of husband and father I should be. What kind of employee I should be. What kind of friend I should be. Wondering if people would like me if they knew about the sexual abuse. It mostly paralyzed me.
As you can see doubt is a close relative to shame and guilt. Shame that I was a participant, unwilling or not in the sexual abuse. Guilt because of the abuse as well as the notion that I could never do anything right and was never good enough to amount to anything.
Well there is hope! Over time I have begun to see my self-worth. I can see that I can make good decisions when I need to. I have begun to love myself for who I am. Sure doubt comes into my being but it no longer runs my life. It wasn’t until I started to believe that I was worthy, smart, lovable even loved by myself, that doubt became less and less powerful for me. I see now that the sexual abuse had nothing to do with me but said volumes about the abuser. I see now that the put downs I kept receiving came from his own insecurities and has nothing to do with my own worth. The doubts are slowly having less and less power over me.
There is a light at the end of the path whichever path I have taken. At least now I’ve taken a path and not stood paralyzed wondering which way I should go.
“Your Faith, your Love, your Beauty, your Truth is a hundred times more powerful than doubt. Faith is like the Sun, doubt is like a cloud. Yes, there are some cloudy days and let them be there. The Sun will eventually SHINE! http://www.lifelongquotesandsayings.com