WHAT IS SHAME? (Part 2)



SHAME IS OVERWHELMING
 all I can do is hide!

PREVIOUS: Shame – Part 1

SEE Acronym page for abbrev.


POST
: Emotional NEEDS….


IN ADULTHOOD

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 publicScreen Shot 2016-06-11 at 6.10.11 PM
WHEN
▪︎ 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
ALSO
⚡️ 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
AND
✶ 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
AND
✶ 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 notLive Long & Prosper
• 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

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 5.56.29 PMPositive: 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.
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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