A number of emotional problems may emerge from the abuse, including inability to trust, perfectionism, phobias, avoidance of both intimacy and emotional bonding. The denial system that insured our survival as children now prevents us from enjoying unencumbered adulthood. We don’t trust our own perceptions; we were forced to become an expert in disbelieving our own senses. We tried to convince ourselves that we over-reacted and that nothing really terrible happened: "My daddy would never REALLY hurt me." When reality is too painful for a child's mind s/he learn to fictionaliz - to somehow make it all make sense. It is extremely painful to give up the fantasy family we needed but never got. Children see themselves either in reflected glory or disgraced shadows. Therefore, we sometimes make excuses for the abuser: "He was drunk at the time. She had it rough as a child." We take responsibility for the assaults: "I was too attractive, too sexy." The abuser probably reinforced our own nagging guilt and questions we had concerning our own innocence. Essentially, we defend the perpetrator by minimizing, rationalizing and taking on the blame. If we continue to use these coping mechanisms (or "old ideas") as adults, we set ourselves up to be abused in current relationships. We may even feel safer in the familiar role of victim. In Survivors of Incest Anonymous, we can learn to accept the fact that we were abused rather than loved by the abuser. We can then learn to seek out healthy, loving relationships. We have been accustomed to accepting only crumbs, believing that we do not deserve anything better, when in fact we deserve the very best.