If you spend a significant amount of time replaying a disturbing physical interaction in your head, it is possible that you will be having a difficult time relaxing, feeling comfortable and concentrating on things such as work. You may be wondering what led you to go through this experience, and after much rumination, you might have arrived at the conclusion that it was likely your fault.

Unfortunately, self-blame is a common symptom of those who have experienced sexual harassment or assault. There are many reasons why a person might start to blame themselves; however, it is important not to blindly listen to your inner voice. By looking at the situation more objectively, you may be able to see that any sexual memory that is causing you so much distress is possibly a form of sexual assault or harassment.

How can I take action when I feel so much guilt?

Internalized guilt can arise for many reasons. In part, the guilt may arise from social dialogues that often make victims of assault seem to blame. Additionally, the guilt could come from a reluctance to view yourself as the victim. It can often be harder to admit powerlessness to yourself than to feel guilt and shame.

It is important that you talk to people about the event, and seek guidance from a mental health professional. They will be able to help you to evaluate the event more objectively, and they will give you resources to help you take the appropriate action. You should also consider getting legal advice from an experienced attorney about your options.