Misperception: What does the abuse or neglect say about me?
Anyone exposed to abuse or neglect is left trying to make sense of why it happened to them and what the abuse or neglect says about them. Understandably, anyone who experienced abuse or neglect may not possess the ability to fully and accurately understand why the abuse is happening. In fact we tend to believe that bad things happen to us because we are bad.
As a result, we develop inaccurate negative beliefs about ourselves such as; “I get hit because I’m bad and deserve it,” or “there is something wrong with me.” The lingering emotional pain comes from the misperceptions. A child that is sexually abused may feel dirty and responsible the rest of her life, because the perpetrator told her that what she did was bad and if she told anyone they would think she was bad for doing it. A small child lacks the ability to understand this manipulation by the adult and that he/she said this to simply keep her quiet. It doesn’t matter that she was five and couldn'’t/didn'’t understand what was happening; she will believe it until the Spirit of Truth sets her free. The younger the children are when they experience abuse/neglect the more likely they are to misperceive why the abuse/neglect happened to them and what it says about them.