Go back to the age when your abuse began.
Now go and carefully observe children of that age, with their caretakers, at a park, playground, ballfield, zoo, etc.
Maybe you can take a notebook and record your observations of how those children act & interact with one another & with the adults around them.
Then you might go to the library or bookstore and read some books that accurately describe the developmental capabilities of a child that age.
Then, in your mind, put that child in an environment of abuse [perhaps like your own] and carefully think through your previous expectations
and harsh judgments of yourself.
This is usually a powerful exercise. Part of the reason for that is that survivors think back on their abuse with adult minds. They consider what happened and how they responded as if the child they remember could do what they are now capable of doing as adults [this may have something to do with the survivors' frequent lack of a real childhood]...survivors' perceptions of children, especially of themselves as children, are far from what is realistic.
We weren't adults then so how could we have stopped our abuser? How could we tell when we got
older after years of threats & fear?
This exercise could help some of us "shed light on a confused mind that for years has been full of lies and unrealistic expectations."
(Adapted from "On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse" by Diane Mandt Langberg, Ph.D., pp 64,65.)
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."