Are you a Survivor on Trial?

Hello friends

This post is inspired by “Al,” a 40-year-old Survivor in the United Kingdom, who is posting about the experience of going to Court. When I read his post, I realised that  I have put myself on trial for over 50 years. At times I’ve built a water-tight case for the Prosecution—and now it’s time that I strengthened the Case for the Defence!

If you have experienced Guilt about your abuse, if you have experienced Victim blaming, then do listen. You’re not alone!

The Case for the Prosecution
  1. Why did you involve the Police
  2. Why did you let it go on for so long
  3. Stop making a song and dance about your abuse
  4. Why talk about it now
  5. Shhhhh: don’t tell others
  6. What about the reputation of the family
The Case for the Defence

In spite of all of this, I am coming to believe that I have achieved remarkable things in my life. And that there is a core of me that is beyond the Abuse. This is the core that is enabling me to be creative, show empathy and warmth; to create relationships, build a home, a marriage and a successful business.

Do you still put yourself on trial?
What Case have you made for your Defence?
What successes have you achieved?



9 Comments Add yours

  1. There are many different types of therapy. Therapists don”t always achieve the best approach. I am sure you are aware of these facts. It may well be the case that, those you have considered or been exposed to have not allowed you to see your difficult experience in a way that sufficiently minimises it’s effects.

    I wonder whether you would be open to considering that in order to feel, what specifically do you need to think? How is perception formed and if it were possible to think different things about different situations, would experience of past, present, future, real or imagined events, be negotiated more successfully, whatever they may be.

    Are there characteristics of difficult experience or maintained negative experience, that can be identified in such a way as to limit those “perceived effects”?

    There is in the views that I have seen expressed in the blogs an emphasis on the link between the incident/situation and the feeling. Most people think in that way. That however does not mean it is the only way to think. The term survivor, supports this established type of thinking. It is in no ones interests to belittle individual experiences, however there are other approaches that may well be much more beneficial to you. The human mind is an unknown entity. It’s potential is untapped. We focus on what we know, about it, and not on what we don’t know. There are ways in which we can learn to better harness its capacity and through that knowledge and with the development of new skills,work to overcome one of its greatest limitations, suffering.


    1. Thanks Ian. The link between a thought and a feeling is okay. However don’t forget that I spent my first 30 years not knowing what a feeling was. Had no words. No clue.
      So the journey to recognise feelings, to name them is in itself traumatic and you must tread carefully. This is because childhood abuse usually takes place before the child has a vocabulary.
      Thinking differently then becomes quite maladaptive as it’s possible to think yourself out if your psychological pain. Only to have the whole thing crash and not know why.
      Also need to remember that childhood trauma changes brain development and much of the pain is accepting that impact.
      The term Survivor is interesting. What do you call yourself Ian in this context? Survivor? Abusee? Victim? Thriver?
      So to summarise not sure what you’re saying, other than we can re-frame a picture and it might look different? But we’re not talking about a single incident here are we? We’re talking of abandonment, surviving care, years of systematic sexual abuse followed by further rejection and hurt by caregivers. Thinking about all of that differently takes years of work…after all it took 30 years to do the damage in the first place.
      How did you re-frame your abuse?


  2. I always find comfort hearing your voice and more so what you say which is so relevant to me.I so admire your bravery in speaking up to the authorizes despite family pressure not to. That takes courage of the greatest magnitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. La Quemada says:

    The case for the Defense:
    Victims don’t deserve to be abused.
    Abusers don’t have the right to hurt others, even if they can get away with it.
    Being traumatized undermines a person’s sense of power and self-efficacy.
    That means being traumatized makes it easier for a person to be abused again.
    There are many cultural messages that tell us the abuser “didn’t mean it that way.”
    It’s not a person’s fault if she isn’t able to escape from or leave an abuser.
    A traumatized person may use many methods to cope with her trauma, and these methods never mean she is a “bad” person.
    Contrary to widely held cultural beliefs, the shame belongs to the abuser, not to the person abused nor to her family.

    I know, it’s one thing to accept these statements intellectually and something else to really accept them in your heart. I’m working on it though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh yes I put myself on trial all the time, and always convict myself. I definitely need to learn how to be kind to myself.


    1. Hi there. I love that you call yourself BrokenYetCherished. Such hope. Yes self compassion is so important. I try to remind myself to be my own best friend: if a friend talked to me the way I talk to myself, they wouldn’t be a friend for long!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Alexis Rose says:

    Interesting way to look at this. Im sure I’ve built a strong case for the prosecution, until I went through therapy. Then the case was thrown out of court. Although the perpetrators will never be brought to justice, I received no reparations and no apology from the court. But, I have my truth and that is Freedom. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alexis I like your response a lot. Especially that our own truth is our freedom. I’ll try to hold onto that. And thanks for engaging with my post. Take care, Serena

      Liked by 3 people

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