WHAT IS SHAME? (Part 2)


SHAME IS OVERWHELMING
 all I can do is hide!

PREVIOUS: Shame – #1

POST: Emotional NEEDS….

SEE Acronym page for abbrev.

IN CHILDHOOD (Part 1)

IN ADULTHOOD
ACoAs’ core toxic rule : “DON’T HAVE NEEDS!”
We feel shame WHEN:

▪︎ anyone gets too close, emotionally
▪︎ anyone shows us kindness, respect, caring
▪︎ we do something a little foolish in publicScreen Shot 2016-06-11 at 6.10.11 PM
▪︎ we allow ourselves to have feelings of love for someone
WHEN
▪︎ we don’t know something which seems common knowledge
▪︎ we don’t try to do something, whether we can or not
▪︎ we find out our expectations of someone are not realistic
▪︎ we try something new, & don’t get it right the first time
▪︎ we want to be paid attention to, but get smacked down or ignored….

ANY NEED that was ignored, abused or made fun of in the past :
⚡️ is now completely suppressed, so we’re not even aware of it
OR
⚡️ we’re vaguely aware, so keep trying to get it met, but only in VERY DYSFUNCTIONAL ways (obeying old rules, so it can be refused, punished, or have bad consequences),
OR
⚡️ we wait endlessly for someone else to notice the needs – as long as we DO NOT ask for it
OR
⚡️ we manipulate dysfunctional others into providing it for us
ALSO
⚡️ we can’t receive anything good without having to ‘pay’ for it somehow, even when it’s given freely & without strings !
⚡️ we mistreat, abuse or leave anyone who consistently treats us with respect & kindness
⚡️ we prevent anyone from knowing that we have needs, as we suffer in silence

RECOVERY from SHAME:
This a deep & long process, requiring much help from H.P. along with kind & knowledgeable humans.
We can:
✶ start by identifying all NEEDS, common to all human beings
✶ allow for emotional discomfort, be angry, confused, scared, face frustrating delays, have internal backlash, hear discouraging comments, regress to old ways…..
✶ continually give ourselves permission to HAVE these needs
AND
✶ identify actions & non-actions that prevent meeting them correctly
Live Long & Prosper✶ identify people, places & things who can help with this
✶ list actions to DO, to meet those needs

✶ list which ones were not allowed, in order of intensity
✶ patiently, slowly RISK changing old patterns

✶ NEVER STOP improving:
• never, never deny having needs, whether you can get them met – or not
• observe the results of your healthier actions, & compare benefits with old outcomes
• participate in any spiritual practice which fits
• replace inappropriate people & places
• read helpful material, attend suitable recovery programs or groups
• try out new actions to see what works or doesn’t
• validate & reinforce any improvements & positive results

GRANDIOSITY vs HEALTHY SHAME
Unhealthy Shame ‘holds hands‘ with grandiosity, which makes us totally believe we can do way more than is humanly possible, or that we’re capable of / have the skill to do it. It’s therefore a defense against deep feelings of powerlessness, carried over from childhood

Healthy shame is the reverse – the antidote to grandiosity (John Bradshaw : “Healing the SHAME that Binds You”).
It allows us to acknowledge & accept that we have realistic LIMITS & capacity, because of:
— being human, & therefore can’t be perfect
— not having been appropriately nurtured & cared for, in childhood
— our genetic inheritance, providing pre-conditions & tendencies for physical, mental & emotional capacities (pluses & minuses)
— our native personality, reacting to & molded by all our early experiences
— our socio-economic, religious & educational background / environment
Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 5.56.29 PMPositive – To have self-esteem, children need to be:
• admired & applauded for the things they do well
• patiently taught how to do things
• respectfully corrected for errors or lapses
• treated with patience for the things they cannot do, especially when it’s because they’re too young yet, but will be able to eventually –  or because they have a learning disability.
Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 3.38.36 PM

Embracing realistic limitations does not mean that we can’t heal & achieve!
It does mean that we spend the ‘first half’ – or so – of our life repeating all the bad stuff we learned, & then spend the rest of it fixing the damage that was originally done to us.
It’s not fair – but it can be done!  THEREFORE: PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE !!

NEXT: “They did the best they could” #1

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