Take Responsibility: It Will Change Your Life.

 

Do you feel like your life is out of your control? Do the same bad things seem to be happening to you over and over again? Do you feel powerless to what happens to you in relationships, with jobs, and with friends?  If so, then I am sorry to hear it, and I think that there may be a solution for you.  

 

The world can be a difficult and unpredictable place.  Bad things happen to people all the time. Unfortunately,  when someone has experienced a traumatic event that is out of their control, one might feel powerless and like other people are responsible for how they feel. And to some extent,  they aren’t wrong. Other people make choices that impact us. There is no doubt about that. Someone may choose a fate for you, one that you would have never chosen for yourself.  And this is where things get tricky, because if you are a victim of a crime or an assault, alcoholic or narcissistic parents, or relationships with controlling people, you may have forgotten that you too, have agency, and you too, can continue to make decisions that can affect the outcomes of not the past, but of the present and forward.

 

Let me tell you about taking personally responsibility and how it will change you life. Lets first talk about what it means to take responsibility.  Taking responsibility is owning that you may be acting in a way that is propagating your current situation. For example, if you are in a bad relationship with someone who is selfish. Maybe you made a mistake and didn’t know what the warning signs were. That’s ok. There is no need to blame or shame yourself. But you also don’t need to continue to suffer.  A way to take responsibility is to own that, although maybe you made a mistake, you are choosing now to stay in this relationship, and it is therefor your responsibility to choose to stay or to decide to leave.  

 

Please do not mistake someone telling you to take responsibility for victim blaming.  If something terrible has happened to you, such as a sexual assault, a car accident, or an attack, that’s not your fault. You cannot take responsibility for the actions of another who has harmed you.  You cannot change the past, and you cannot stop bad things from happening. You can, however,  take responsibility for yourself as much as possible. Going to therapy to explore your beliefs in the world, your tendencies in relationships, and what responsibility you are taking to heal, be accountable to others, and choose to surround yourself with supportive people can be helpful.  

 

And this is how it will change your life:  once you take responsibility for yourself and for your actions, you might find that you feel empowered, because when you believe that you have agency and you can change your situation,  you may realize that you are making choices for yourself, as opposed to the world around you making choices for you.

Bianca Aarons LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist in San Francisco . Bianca’s specialties include attachment, trauma, sexual abuse, post traumatic stress, relationship issues, depression issues, couples work and work with teenagers. Learn more about Bianca at www.biancaaarons.com, email her at BiancaAaronsMFT@gmail.com, or call her at (415) 553-5346 to ask any questions or to set up a consultation session. 

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What It Has Been Like To Be a Sexual Abuse Survivor During The 2016 Presidential Elections

It’s November 9th. The polls are in. Many are shocked and amazed that their worst fears have been realized: Donald Trump is the president of the united stated of America. And many of us wonder, how did it come to be, and what does it mean.

   As a psychotherapist who specializes in Sexual Abuse Trauma,  I would like to look back on this election through the lens of what it has been like for sexual abuse survivors to watch this election and vote in this election.  I would like to bring a voice to sexual violence, for it is traditionally and societally silenced. Why is it silenced, and why is it important that trump won the election despite clearly having views on consent and sexuality that represent Sexual Abuse? I would like to tell you in a clear and consolidated way why it’s such a big deal.

            Many people I know who are survivors of sexual abuse trauma have reported terrible dreams during this election, specifically after the second debate. The dreams include flashbacks of their sexual abuse and their perpetrators. It has become my life work to grapple with this type of trauma, and it has become my professional work to be a therapist for sexual abuse trauma, to run groups for survivors in need, and to be the voice that is repressed and silenced.

Since before the election even started, I have been worried.  One in Three women are sexually assaulted in this country. Surprised? It’s surprising, especially considering that most cases are not pursued legally or even talked about at all.  Hillary Clinton, from the beginning, has represented something to not only women, but to the LBGTQ population, to less privileged populations. She is a woman standing up against patriarchy to become a president.  This gave other women, minorities, and anyone really who has suffered from patriarchal systems a glimpse of  hope. But the threat in this election is much more than just patriarchy- Its Donald Trump himself, and what he represents.  It’s Brock Turner.  It’s the Rich, White, Wealthy men getting a slap on the wrist for “grabbing by the pussy” or raping an unconscious woman. It’s the fact that our country chose a xenophobic racist billionaire as the president instead of a woman. It’s the fact that, when people do stand up to their perpetrators, their perpetrators often times win with a smirk on their face. I know that my words are maybe a simplified version of the complexities of the election, but the themes cannot be denied.

  This Election is personally triggering for sexual abuse survivors, and for Women, LBGTQ Folk, Men, Minorities, Immigrants, and Underprivileged populations alike, because that same message that one got from society when they were originally assaulted has just been reinserted with the Election:  Someone who is unsafe has power over you and you will be out of control. I encourage those to fight for what they believe in and I strive to illuminate the voice and the experience for sexual abuse survivors who wish to be heard and seen right now.

Bianca Aarons LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist in San Francisco through the auspices of the Grateful Heart Holistic Therapy Center. Bianca’s specialties include attachment, trauma, sexual abuse, post traumatic stress, relationship issues, depression issues, couples work and work with teenagers. Learn more about Bianca at www.biancaaarons.com, email her at BiancaAaronsMFT@gmail.com, or call her at (415) 553-5346 to ask any questions or to set up a consultation session.