SHAME IS OVERWHELMING
– all I can do is hide!
PREVIOUS: Shame – Part 1
SEE Acronym page for abbrev.
POST: Emotional NEEDS….
A core ACoA toxic rule is : “DON’T HAVE NEEDS!”
We feel shame when:
▪︎ anyone gets too close, emotionally
▪︎ we allow ourselves feelings of love for someone
▪︎ anyone shows us kindness, respect, caring
▪︎ do something a little foolish in public
▪︎ we try something new, & don’t get it right the first time
▪︎ if don’t try to do something, whether we can or not
▪︎ we find out our expectations of someone are not realistic
▪︎ we don’t know something which seems common knowledge
▪︎ 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’ll try to get it met in VERY DYSFUNCTIONAL ways (obeying old rules, so it can be refused or punished, 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
⚡️ we can’t receive anything good without having to ‘pay’ for it somehow, even when it is given freely & without strings !
⚡️ we mistreat, abuse or leave anyone who treats us with respect & kindness
⚡️ we prevent anyone from knowing that we have needs, suffering in silence
RECOVERY from SHAME:
This a deep & long process, requiring much help from H.P. along with kind & knowledgeable people. We can:
✶ start by identifying all NEEDS, common to all human beings
✶ continually give ourselves permission to HAVE these needs
✶ list which ones were not allowed, in order of intensity
✶ list actions to DO, to meet those needs
✶ identify actions & non-actions that prevent meeting them correctly
✶ identify people, places & things who can help with this
✶ patiently, slowly RISK changing old patterns
✶ allow for emotional discomfort, internal backlash, being confused, scared, angry, hearing discouraging comments, regressing to old ways, frustrating delays…..
✶ NEVER STOP improving:
• never, never deny having needs, whether you can get them met – or not
• try out new actions to see what works or doesn’t
• observe the results of the healthier actions, & compare to old outcomes
• validate & reinforce any improvements & positive results
• replace in appropriate people
• read helpful material, attend suitable recovery programs or groups
• participate in any spiritual practice which fits
GRANDIOSITY vs HEALTHY SHAME
• Unhealthy Shame ‘holds hands‘ with grandiosity, which makes us totally believe they can do way more than is humanly possible, or that they’re capable of / have the skill to do. 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 often points out. (“Healing the SHAME that Binds You”), It represent acknowledgement & acceptance that we have realistic LIMITS / boundaries, because of:
— being human, & therefore can’t be perfect
— not being appropriately nurtured & cared for, in childhood
— our genetic inheritance, providing pre-conditions & tendencies for physical, mental & emotional capacities (pluses & minuses)
— our socio-economic, religious & educational background / environment
— our native personality, reacting to & molded by all our early experiences
Positive: To have self-esteem, children need to be:
• patiently taught how to do things
• admired & applauded for the things they do well
• respectfully corrected for errors or lapses
• treated with patience for the things they cannot do, especially if it’s because they’re too young, yet, but will be able to eventually – or because they have a disability.
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