childhood molestation

“child molestation is abhorrent. this deviation is universally condemned. all people are sickened and enraged by this act. it is telling prisoners, who are not known for their high standards, ostracize and kill child molesters. no punishment is too severe. child molesters have robbed the babies of their innocence. the most precious possession of a childhood. molestation leaves spiritual, emotional and physical wounds that may never heal. the frightening aspect of the abyss is that molested children often become child molesters themselves. the awful cycle must be stopped before anymore children are ruined. molesters should be rendered impotent.”

as a survivor i would like to say that nobody should ever, ever have to go through any type of abuse. if it’s physical, verbal, sexual or emotional. any type of abuse is unacceptable and abusers should be held in prison for life. they took everything out of their victim. their pride, confidence, sense of safety, and the list goes on. yet abusers are still getting less of a prison sentence than people who rob, or sell. my perpetrator was only held for 2-25 years. any year now he could be released and that is a scary thing to think about. it’s fucked how that person gets to have their freedom while im still trying to recover. there’s always “evidence” needed in this type of case. there’s never really evidence. you can’t provide evidence of abuse, unless physical, and even then sometimes there still isn’t any. the system is so fucking stupid. nine times out of ten there isn’t. women nor men should be asked, “well, why didn’t you say anything?” or “why didn’t you..” or “well what was she/he wearing?” that’s really hurtful and such a disgusting thing to ask someone. that doesn’t even matter. the way someone dresses or behaves shouldn’t give another person a reason to do the disgusting thing they did. people don’t know what to do in these kinds of situations. they’re fighting for their lives in that moment. and all that matters is that you’re here today. you did exactly what you had to do. if you’re a victim of abuse, and you’re reading this, remember these words. you’re not a victim anymore. you’re a survivor. don’t let others tell you any different. you did what you needed to do and you should be proud. you don’t need to suffer anymore, you’re safe. they can’t hurt you anymore.

—  inflammatory essays. jenny holzer, 1979-1982 + malaya shears, 2016
with a little bit of my input about this topic at the end.
Life is not a dream.

Psychiatry has no categories for the sort of things I did, because the sort of things I did were not the result of some process that they could pin down and analyze.  This is why I tend to use words like ‘crazy’ to describe my experiences, rather than diagnostic terms.  It’s easier, it feels more honest, and it feels closer to reality.

I badly wanted life to be a dream, and dreams to be real life.  That became my obsession for many years.  Despite this, I knew the difference.  I badly wanted to blur the boundaries, to forget the difference, to escape the hell that I was living at the time.  But deep down, a part of me knew the difference no matter how hard I tried not to.

In dreams, I had freedom.  I could jump out windows.  I could fly.  I could walk into any door I wanted to, touch anything I wanted to, say anything to anybody.  Nothing had to make sense.  Nothing had to be realistic.

I had read books about whether life was just a dream or not.  I had heard people say that you create your own reality.  I was literal.  I believed them.  I believed that if I tried hard enough, I could create a reality in which I was in a permanent dream state.  All I had to do, I reasoned, was treat my waking hours as dreams, and treat my dreams as my waking hours.  And this I tried to do to the best of my ability.

I also had other problems.  I had problems with what people would now call negative energy.  People blame you for that, but most of the time it’s not your fault that you got caught up in it.  People lose their defenses against things like that for all kinds of good reasons, and being molested is a damn good reason.

When I sat in psychiatric emergency rooms pounding my legs to keep invisible metallic creatures from entering my vagina, nobody seemed to make the connection with the molestation.  I was just ‘psychotic’ and ‘hallucinating’.  That was their word for an experience that, to me, seems a natural outgrowth of being molested.  I bruised myself badly before ending up, screaming, in restraints, where my psychiatrist eventually found me after I was transported to the usual mental institution that he worked at.

I worked hard at making reality into a dream.  I worked hard at ignoring what was right in front of me, and creating wondrous visions to take me to far-away places.  But the problem was after awhile the visions weren’t so wondrous, they were horrible.  All I felt like was being eaten alive, eaten alive by something I couldn’t even name.

I’d feel something jamming into my body, almost, and then I’d feel like I had to do something, even if it wasn’t something that made any sense.  And then I’d do the thing.  And I’d be asked why I had done it, and I would have no answer.  I got good at making up answers, even if the answers were “I don’t remember what I just did.”  That answer got me out of a lot because I didn’t have to come up with an explanation I didn’t have.

When I did have to come up with an explanation I didn’t have, it could range from the mundane to the obviously crazy.  I heard voices, I’d say, because that’s what some other kids said.  It wasn’t me who did it, it was someone else inside me.  Sometimes that one almost felt right, but not quite, because it felt more like someone else outside me.  Or I’d spin some wild dreamlike tale of having to go dig up a transmitter that was controlling my mind, and you people better watch out because it’s controlling yours too.  Hitler wanted me sterilized, I said, echoing the words of a boy who told me that I was crazy and ought to have been sterilized the way Hitler sterilized the crazy people.  

People don’t listen to the words of crazy kids too closely.  They don’t listen to find if there’s some meaning going on there.  They don’t watch us very closely, either.  And if they can’t come up with a label, then they force you into one until you fit, more and more and more.  And if you are like me, then as they force you into a label, you learn to conform to that label, because not conforming is called “being in denial”.  Also because having a label that you can understand, even if it clearly doesn’t fit you, is better than being in no man’s land like I was for so long.

(Autism was still no man’s land.  Developmental disability was still no man’s land.  These words held no meaning for me, and were therefore useless to me at the time of diagnosis.  I barely noticed them.)

Trying to be in a dream world meant wandering the mental institution hallways in circles at night, getting in the shower with my clothes on, walking straight into oncoming traffic without expecting to die, trying to do all the things that waking life says you are not allowed to do.  Hoping that one day, you would cross the door into dreamland and never come back, if you tried hard enough.

Being fit into a label that didn’t fit me also had drawbacks.  I felt like I was letting everyone down by conforming to labels that did not fit.  Someone told me that if you made your necklace straightened by pulling the clasp all the way to the top, you could make a wish.  I sat on the toilet in a residential facility, straightening my necklace a hundred times in a row.  My wish:  To actually have the conditions I was being diagnosed with, so that I would no longer feel like I had to pretend.  But there was no choice offered.  To not pretend was to be in denial.  My psychologist even liked when I did little things to defy him, it showed him my symptoms were real.  It was very strange.  He was awful.  He was the same one who beat me into eye contact.

What do you call a 17-year-old who still believes that sie can make reality into a dream if sie tries hard enough?  Who works harder on hir dream world than sie does on hir homework?  I don’t know.  I call hir an autistic person who had more developmental delays than anyone guessed, in certain areas.  That’s the closest thing to a label that I can come up with, and I believe it to be correct.  I did not have this capacity for fantasy at the usual ages in toddlerhood.  I only acquired it in adolescence, and when I read about the development of toddler fantasy worlds, it is eerily familiar to me from adolescence.  This is not to assign myself a mental age.  Not even close.  But it is a known thing that some people with developmental disabilities go through stages late, or in the wrong order, and I seriously think that happened here.

I also seriously think that I was a badly traumatized child — yes, child, because adolescents are part adult part child and some more one than the other, and I was more child than adult until I reached the age of 19 — who was looking for a place I could go where I could be safe, where nothing of the bad things in my life could reach me.  And I think that, combined with a sudden and powerful drive towards alternate realities, dreams, and fantasy worlds, contributed to everything that happened.  I also believe that my sense of reality is unshakable, because no matter how many drugs I took, no matter how much I assailed it with perception and logic and reason, I could not get rid of the sense that reality was reality and fantasy was fantasy.  That sense was ironclad, even when it didn’t look it.

I had an elaborate fantasy world in which I was a forest-dwelling creature who lived inside of trees, was thousands of years old, and had somehow incarnated inside the mind of this teenage child on Earth.  The fantasy world wasn’t as elaborate as I wanted it to be, because honestly I kept running out of material.  But I tried to immerse myself in it as much as I could.  I eventually ran into communities of people who seemed to be doing the same thing.  I got my hopes up:  Maybe I would meet someone from my same world and that would prove it was more than just a fantasy.  I never did.  Not only never did I, but I became wholly disillusioned with these communities, which seemed to take their ideas largely from role-playing games.  It made me realize that what I was doing wasn’t likely to be real either.

People look at people like the teenager I was, and they laugh.

They laugh and they feel superior.

There is nothing to feel superior to.  I was fighting my way through an ableist and abusive world on a daily basis.  I was being molested.  I was going through a complete reconfiguration of my brain’s abilities, that left my academic skills in ruins, the only skills that anyone said would ever get me anywhere in life.  My self-care skills were not developing as planned, nor were lots of other skills.  My friends were all bullies who liked to see me suffer for fun.  No teenager in this position is going to come out well-balanced, and it is disgusting to think of our coping strategies as pathetic or laughable.  

Not everyone in this position copes in the same way, but I coped with what I had.  And I didn’t have a lot of things other people had.  My ability to reason wasn’t working as well as it used to.  My speech and language abilities were crumbling, and they hadn’t been more than superficially good to begin with.  My motor planning skills were crumbling.  I had these enormous gaps between what I was expected to know as a teenager, and… I didn’t even know things that most people learn in the first five years of their life.  I was not coming at this situation with the resources to solve any of these problems, and yet I was coming up with my own solutions.

My own solutions weren’t good enough, according to my psychiatrist.  He said I was pathologically passive.  Meaning that all of my defenses against bad things in my life had to do with going inside my head.  Playing with my autistic and migraine-related sensory abnormalities.  Making up stories like a young child.  He wanted me to develop more active ways to defend myself, and I am certain he had a point, but I was not ready at that age to even understand what he was trying to tell me.  Only in reading my old records do I have any inkling of what he saw of me, and why, and what he was trying to get me to do.  Some of it might have worked, had I had the cognitive skills to catch on.  I didn’t.  So it didn’t.

The things I said in my waking-dream-world didn’t feel like lies, except when they did, and then I felt horribly horribly guilty.  Sometimes I woke up screaming, thinking someone, somewhere would find out that I had done things worse than anyone on the planet.  Nobody could comfort me.  I was sure that by trying to make my dream worlds a reality, trying to make unreality a reality, I was doing something beyond bad, beyond horrible.  I cried inconsolably.  When I could, I apologized profusely for things I hadn’t even quite done.

And many of the things I was doing, I didn’t even understand.  One day, a boy handed me a FAQ for a dissociation support group.  I didn’t understand the word dissociation.  I read the FAQ as an instruction manual for how to behave in this forum.  So I behaved that way in this forum, and began taking it elsewhere, and the boy was quite delighted with this because he and his friends had been wanting to convince me I had multiple personalities.  And now here I was, acting as if I did, no coercion necessary, because I’d read a FAQ that I thought was a social behavior manual!  When I realized, I was mortified, and I apologized as if I had done the world the greatest wrong possible.  My bullies still like to trot out that apology post as if it means that I did this for no reason, that they had no hand in it, that they weren’t claiming to be multiple themselves for their own reasons (in one case, to pick up vulnerable chicks, basically), and so on and so forth.  They bend the truth on purpose, further than I ever bent it by accident in my desire to find a place to fit in, to find a reality that would have me, or a dream, if necessary.  And even in this group, I was operating in dream-world, where what I said didn’t have to be real because it was all a dream and dreams are made up as you go along.

My psychiatric records of the time specifically say that I must be kept away from the bullies, and away from that support group, because the bullies like to encourage me to behave in pathological ways.  Not a lot was getting past my psychiatrist on that front.

I’m writing this for all the teenagers who are doing the same things I did.

I’m writing this to say that when you’re ready, reality will be waiting for you.

I’m writing this to say that no matter how hard you try for that dream world, it won’t work.  You won’t get there.  But you might find comfort in it for awhile anyway, and therefore I would never suggest you take it away before you’re ready.

I’m writing this to say that you’re not weak.  You’re not doing the worst thing in the world.  You’re not a fraud, and don’t let anyone call you that even if you’ve been coerced or enticed or even wanted to take on the attributes of conditions you don’t have.  You’re trying to negotiate areas of life that would confuse anyone, and you might be trying to negotiate it without the cognitive resources that a lot of people have.  You might not even be aware how much more other people know about the world, than you do.  How comparatively little you have to go on, and how much you are making of the little you’ve got.

You’re surviving.

I survived.

You can survive too, I’m sure of it.

I not only lived through this.  I’ve lived through over a decade, in adulthood, of ridicule, defamation, stalking, and blame for the way I happened to handle my personal trauma and severe emotional distress as an adolescent.  I’ve had people go over everything I said and everything I did and make me sound like a monster.  And in the end, I’ve only grown stronger, because nothing they say can truly hurt me anymore.  They’ve already said everything.  Nothing they say can touch the core of who I am.  They can’t even see the core of who I am.

And the core of who you are is always safe.  And it is always invisible to anyone or anything that would seek to destroy it.  It’s embedded in the deepest parts of the universe.  It’s embedded in the most perfect love.  Nothing can touch it.  Even if you yourself wanted to destroy it, you couldn’t, because the parts of your ego that would do such a thing, are oblivious to your core self as well.  That part of you is fundamentally safe in the most extreme possible way, no matter what else happens to you, no matter how shattered the rest of you feels.

And that’s not a dream.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Sam [ESFJ]

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Sam has a wonderful ability to make whomever she is around feel special, wanted, included, and brave. She has a tender sweetness that sees the need in Charlie to be accepted and befriended and gladly sets out to protect him, reassure him, and help him in his trials through life, whether that includes making sure his first kiss comes from someone “who loves him” or in sending him reassuring letters during his mental confinement. Sam cares very much about how others see her; her earlier teen years of promiscuity were searching for a “connection,” and out of self-hatred due to her childhood molestation. She is devastated when her friends are upset with her, and feels very uncomfortable with disharmony of any kind.

Introverted Sensing (Si): Her taste in music shies away from the modern in favor of older rock and roll classics. It’s her mission in life to connect others to funky music from earlier time periods. Sam is largely content with sameness and routine; she does the same performance, in the same play production, for months at a time and loves the sense of community it brings her. Participating in group activities bring her joy. Much of her own emotional problems and insecurities stem from her childhood experiences; she can’t seem to get away from them as long as she lives in the same place.

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): She encourages Charlie to open up to new possibilities, and dreams of a better life for herself. She and Patrick often have a lot of fun making up stories and amusing each other with silly ideas. When Charlie is at his worst, Sam encourages him to believe in the power of the future and the infinitude possibilities it has in store for them, because this isn’t all there is.

Introverted Thinking (Ti): Only when she is older is Sam able to look back on her earlier life decisions and in a detached manner, analyze them to determine her true motivations and confess that some of her decisions haven’t been wise. She is good at thinking about her friends, coming to logical conclusions about them, and then using that information to help them out in life.

Matt Ruins The Shit Of The “Born That Way” Myth

Like all sensitive topics I must reluctantly provide a disclaimer ahead of my arguments. This is to avoid being straw-manned and to try to preemptively sift past the whiny bullshit and get to the real issues. This post is not meant in any way to be a moral commentary on homosexuality at all. It has nothing to do with opposition to gay rights in any fashion.

This article will challenge the idea that people can be born with a sexual preference and will look at some of the evidence that indicates that a biological cause for sexuality (particularly homosexuality) is absurd, unscientific and counter-intuitive. I’ll go through my reasoning point by point.

1.) The Impact Of Socialization

The first bit of evidence that suggests that homosexuality is not biological can be found by simply looking at the current social state of affairs. We live in a time where acceptance for homosexuality has sky-rocketed. In my lifetime it has gone from taboo to discuss homosexuality right to taboo to not be in complete support of homosexuals and their rights. Even the gay rights lobby expresses acknowledgment that our society has come a long way in a short time. What we are seeing alongside of this growing acceptance…is growing rates of homosexuality. If there is no social impact on the creation or fostering of homosexuality why is it that greater societal acceptance has lead to greater incidents of homosexuality?

New research is starting to suggest that homosexuality is not as prevalent in society as was first touted by gay rights activists. They claimed homosexuals made up 10-25% of the population. This perspective came out of studies by Alfred Kinsey from the 1980’s that have since been discredited as being unrepresentative. New research suggests the prevalence has historically been more around 1-2% of the population. In recent years however the rate in North America has increased to about 5% according to studies conducted in both the United States and Canada (National Post, 2012). It then stands to reason that greater societal acceptance of a behaviour that precedes an increase in that behaviour is evidence that the behaviour in question is not caused by biology; but is in fact influenced by socialization.

2.) Twin Studies

Twin studies are the single most illuminating type of research when it comes to investigating a biological link to a specific behaviour or personality trait. They are the go to for scientists, and the evidence from their research into homosexuality does not support the idea that a person can be born gay. I decided to look into this research myself after meeting a gay man with an identical twin sibling who was completely heterosexual.

Research showed that in cases where a genetic twin was gay only 7.7% of men and 5.3% of women had a twin sibling who was also gay. This is astoundingly low, even considering the role of socialization you would expect that number to be significantly higher. If homosexuality were caused by biology that number should much closer to 100%. It’s not even close to being half of the time. If gayness is genetic why are there so few twin siblings of homosexuals that are also homosexual themselves. Concordance rates that low make it absurd to claim a genetic cause for homosexuality independent of social influence. If homosexuality is biological then someone who shares your biological makeup should also share your sexual orientation (Bearman and Brückner, 2002).

3.) Inconsistency 

Ask yourself this question. Why is homosexuality the one behaviour that the scientific and psychological community claims is completely genetic? Why is it the only subset of sexual preferences that we consider to have a biological cause?

The current general psychological agreement on the causes of behaviour is that people and all our behaviour are the result of genetic predisposition and the influence of socialization and the environment. We are a combination of nature and nurture so intertwined that it’s generally considered passé to suggest a completely genetic or completely social cause for human behaviour…except when it comes to homosexuality. Why the exception? Why are people born with a same sex preference but not a hair colour preference, or a body size preference? Why don’t psychologists claim some people are born liking skinny blondes and some people are born liking tall brunettes? It is because those are illogical assertions. It makes no sense given our current understanding of human behaviour. It makes no sense that one specific type of sexual preference would be biological and all the rest of the multitudes of preferences are not.

4.) There Is No Gay Gene

With the amount of pressure and the absolute clamoring to prove that homosexuality is biological why have we not yet discovered the gay gene? Why are we so sure it exists when there has been no evidence of it in a time where we can isolate and identify genes very easily. We’re on the cusp of designing our children like we are about to play an RPG and yet we can’t find the gay gene, it’s almost like it doesn’t exist. Grand claims require grand evidence. Scientists claimed baldness was genetic and they backed it up by finding the bald gene. So far the claim that gayness is genetic has not been backed up. The burden of proof has not been lifted.

5.) The Current Theories On Genetic Homosexuality Are Unbearably Ridiculous

The current theory on the genetic cause of homosexuality is so unbelievably absurd all I have to do is explain it to you in order to discredit it. In fact many homosexuals will probably find it offensive.

This is the theory explained to me in a university lecture hall of over 500 psychology students. It was explained to us as the promiscuous twin sister theory. Basically all homosexuals were originally twins in the womb who absorbed an opposite sex sibling who would have turned out to be an overly promiscuous sibling. The overactive sexuality of the twin sibling makes it a dominant trait in the sibling who absorbed their twin in the womb. Which is meant to explain why a man can be attracted to a man…because he was born with the sexuality of the twin sister he absorbed in the womb. This is also meant to account for the higher rates of promiscuity in the homosexual population, after all why wouldn’t gays be more promiscuous if they contain within them the combined sexuality of two people.

Convinced? Me neither, if that’s the best explanation for a genetic cause that scientists can come up with no wonder they’ve been keeping it under their hats. If they actually came out and told us what they were thinking…a lot less people would accept the notion that homosexuality is genetic. 

6.) The Role Of Abuse

A common theme among studies on abuse and homosexuality is a significantly higher rate of incidents of childhood sexual abuse among homosexuals. I’ve seen numbers upwards of 80% but for the purposes of avoiding bias I’ll only use data from studies not investigating a link between homosexuality and abuse. So no study cited here was attempting to display a causal link between the two, meaning these statistics will be fairly conservative estimates.

According to one study

-       35% of gay men were sexually abused as young children

-       37.1 % were abused between 13 and 16

-       62.9% were abused before age 13 

-       Gay men have significantly higher rates of childhood molestation than do heterosexual men approximately 40% higher.

-       62% of abused lesbians report being molested before identifying as lesbian

-       68% of abused gay men report being molested before identifying as gay 

(Tomeo, M. E., Templer, D. L., Anderson, S., & Kotler, D. (2001)

Timothy J. Dailey, PhD, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Marriage and Family Studies of the Family Research Council, had this to say in his article “Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse.”

“Men who sexually molest boys all too often lead their victims into homosexuality and pedophilia. The evidence indicates that a high percentage of homosexuals and pedophiles were themselves sexually abused as children…”

Now to be clear this does not mean that homosexuals and pedophiles are the same thing or that their behaviours are even comparable sexual acts. It just means that abuse has been discovered to play a role in the development of both behaviours. It is not the only factor and we should all be aware that correlation does not equal causation. However we would be unwise to ignore the evidence because some might try to use it to attack the gay community and compare homosexuals to pedophiles. Social agendas must not dictate what research is deemed valid, and evidence that is potentially upsetting and challenging to our world-view must not be ignored.

7.) Fabricating The Myth Made sense

One of the main reasons to be skeptical of the “born that way” myth is that the creation of the myth made perfect sense and served an important function for the gay rights movement. One of the main reasons acceptance for homosexuality has been able to increase so much, so quickly in recent years is that people have come to accept that homosexuality is biological.

In our minds it is unreasonable to be against something that someone has no control over, and nothing says no control over it more than it being caused by biology. So at the time it would have made sense for the gay rights community to decide that it was in their best interest to promote the idea that they have no control over their sexual preference.

It is also in line with one of the mental health communities’ best-kept secrets…the fact that they actively use stigmatization and propaganda to achieve macro level mental health goals. Evidence and truth is not always the most important thing in the minds of mental health organizations dedicated to improving societies as a whole.  As long as it achieves positive results for them they do not care how it is done or what lies they have to tell. The ends justify the means in their eyes. To show this is not just some conspiracy theory I’ll explain another time in our societies history this has been done…anti-smoking campaigns. 

I took a class on community mental health where they explained to us the practice of what they call “macro level solutions.” They identify a problem (in this case smoking). They decided that they needed to decrease the amount of people who smoke because this would be a benefit to society at large. So they launched campaigns decades long with the express purpose of stigmatizing smoking and smokers. They decided they wanted people to believe not only that it is unhealthy, but also that it is a disgusting and deplorable habit. Look around, it worked, smoking has plummeted and public opinion on smoking has completely changed. 

These are the same tactics they took with the gay community. They identified a problem, which is that society did not readily accept homosexuality and it was leading to mental health problems for the gay community. Their goal of reducing things like suicide and bullying in the gay community is a noble cause… but in their good intentions they spread lies, misinformation and propaganda to achieve their goals, and we are starting to see the consequences of that decision.

8.) The Consequences And The Slippery Slope That Is Coming To Pass

Since the inception of the gay rights movement pedophiles have been trying to horn in on their action and gain the same rights and acceptance that homosexuals are fighting for. In the early days this hurt the gay rights movement and they had to make a distinct effort to distance homosexuality from pedophilia.

Gay rights opponents have been claiming for decades that if we accept homosexuality as a normal non-paraphiliac behaviour then one day we will be asked to accept other more harmful forms of sexual expression as normal…such as pedophilia. At the time this argument was a slippery slope fallacy and went largely ignored. Yet if you have been paying attention you will find that within the psychological and social justice communities there is a growing push towards the normalization of pedophilia. And the arguments that they are using are the exact same ones used to normalize homosexuality. They are already claiming they were simply born that way and it is not right to discriminate against their legitimate sexual orientation.

The arguments used to foster acceptance for homosexuality are now being used to attempt to justify the sexual abuse of children, if this trend is not stopped soon the anti-gay rights crowd is going to have the right to a big collective (we told you so). Again to be clear for those prepping to make a slippery slope accusation, my argument is not that homosexuality will lead to pedophilia.

The evidence just does not support the idea that sexuality is biological and if we do not put an end to the myth soon…there is no telling where else it will take us. To be clear my conclusion is not that biology plays absolutely no role or that homosexuality is a choice. However we cannot claim that the cause is biological based on the evidence. The actual cause will be nearly impossible to pinpoint like all behaviour, and it will be a mixture of predisposition and the influence of the social environment, especially during childhood. It is neither a choice or something you are born with. Suggesting it is either a choice or something you are born with is a false dichotomy. People are more complicated than that.

So let’s talk about Annalise and self-loathing because it comes up alot in HTGAWM. It’s quite clear that Annalise doesn’t think highly of herself. Does she believe in her legal prowess? Yes. Does she believe in herself, as a whole cohesive person? Not as much.

If you review everything we’ve learned about her since HTGAWM started, you can see that Annalise disliking herself started in her childhood.  After being molested by her uncle, having her house burned down and consequently living in poverty, it isn’t hard to see how a child might starting thinking they attract bad things. And that’s where Annalise’s self-loathing comes from. For 40 some odd years she’s convinced herself the she’s catalyst for nearly everything horrible that’s happened to her and the people around her.

So it makes sense that she tells Bonnie that “you need to be saved from me”. She truly believes that she’s Death & his Scythe, sucking the life out of everyone in her vicinity. She doesn’t anyone to be subjected to that.

And it explains why she capes so hard for the Murder Quartet (other than the obvious Puppy and Dead Husband factors, can’t forget that). She feels responsible for bringing them into her house and subjecting them to the  inevitable monsoon of fuckery that follows her.

Now when you look at her kiss off with the BAMF Eve again, when Annalise says “it was good with you, and real. Too real. So I got scared and I left” she really means, I didn’t think I was worthy of this awesome, amazing thing. I mean why else would she stay with that thin lipped he-devil for so long?

But that’s another story for another day.