Stealing Guilt

It wasn’t my fault!
It wasn’t my fault!

One more time…

It wasn’t my fault!

Oh, my friends, it feels so good to be able to write that and believe it.  It has taken me almost a year.  Remember this poem?

Some Day

“Tell me again,”
I say and they do,
“It’s not your fault.”

I picture them in my mind,
my husband,
my Bishop,
my therapist,
my friends

I see the words on their lips,
I hear their words with my ears.
“It’s not your fault”

But my heart
. . .does not hear
The little child in me
. . .does not see. . .

Somewhere deep inside,
…I know
It was my fault,
and I need
to be Punished.

“Tell me again,” I say. And they do…
Some day I will believe them.
Some day,
. . .but not today.

Someday has finally arrived and I know, the little child in me knows, “it wasn’t my fault!”  What a weight lifted off of me!  What a release! 

So what happened?  Well, two nights ago, I had an appointment with one of my spiritual heroes.  It was something I had wanted to do for a long time, but I had put it off for a couple reasons (both were as untrue as the abuse being my fault…but I couldn’t see that at the time.)  Finally, during a particularly low point, I called him and made an appointment to see him.  Tuesday was the night.

We sat down together and he said, “Let’s start with a prayer.  Will you say it?”  I was very sorry to say, “No,” but the guilt I was carrying did not allow me to pray with other people.  I said my personal prayers, though not as frequently as before, but I could not pray with others.  He graciously offered to say the prayer.  After the prayer, I explained to him as briefly as possible what is going on with me and why I didn’t feel comfortable saying the prayer. 

Then he began to teach me.  We spoke for an hour, and I won’t share all of it here…it would be too long and some of it is too personal.  I want to share what he said that helped me release the guilt…at last.

He said, “Leslie, when you take something that does not belong to you it is thievery.  The guilt that you feel does not belong to you.  It belongs to the person who abused you.  Give it back and stop stealing.”

I almost laughed out loud…I thought that was such a funny and ridiculous way to say it.  Guilt is not something that can be “stolen”…it is not concrete, not 3D, and not even anything anyone really wants.  Then it hit me, it is also ridiculous for me to blame myself for the abuse that was clearly not my fault.  Ok, Abuser, you can have your guilt back.  I don’t want it any more. 

I don’t know if it was actually those words about “stealing guilt”, or because he is one of my spiritual heroes telling me that it was not my fault, or because I was ready…perhaps all of those things…but suddenly I was able to let it go.  The next day I was thinking about his words and I started to cry…wonderful cleansing tears! 

It wasn’t my fault! 
It wasn’t my fault!
It wasn’t my fault!

Each time I say it, I feel a little more healed.

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6 thoughts on “Stealing Guilt

  1. I am so thrilled that you have finally reached this point! It is truly a miracle and I pray that more will happen for you. I know they will because, if there were ever a more deserving person, I don't know who they are. Keep the momentum going. You're almost there!

  2. That's exactly right! You have been carrying around a load that isn't yours to carry.You were not to blame.Do pray with another from time to time, whether it's a close friend, your husband or a trusted confidant. Where two or more are gathered, so will God be. Right in the midst of you. And your powers of prayer will be united-a strong and formidable tool.

  3. Oh I am behind on reading your blog and so when I got to read this post today it made my day! I am so happy for you that you were able to break through a bit and I hope you are able to fully recover because you ar ean awesome person who deserves nothing but happiness! 🙂 As a matter of fact I teared up a little when I read that post. tears of happiness of course. I know it has been a tough journey for you, never fear…God is always near. :)xoxo

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