March 12, 2023 at 9:34 am #416098spriteflowerParticipant
I could write so much right now. I’ve been reading the forums on and off for the past year. Posting can take a lot of energy I imagine, and requires you to synthesize things in order to actually put words down- that has kept me from posting.
This past week I reached a new point of feeling such deep shame of who I am, and seeing such clear patterns, that instead of feeling I’ve found an answer, I feel overwhelmed that this has run my life. I don’t feel I can change and I’m deeply afraid it is true.
How do I simplify this tangle of thoughts? Basically, I feel very uncomfortable in relationships because I feel deep shame in who I am. This manifests in me not having many if any close friendships, being uncomfortable in my own skin around anyone, even my family. There is a deep, constant self-consciousness that keeps me from singing, dancing, engaging in genuine conversations, sharing who I am, or feeling safe enough to explore the world and be curious about others. I feel that I am lonely but I also feel the deeper suffering of being afraid of who I am, of feeling that the core of me is bad.
I grew up in a large family, my father was abusive verbally and physically to me and my siblings, but primarily my mom. My path has been successful from the outside, but inside I ache for being more genuine. I can feel all the ways I make myself small. I can feel my voice suffocated by my concern of being judged. I feel unsafe in my skin. Something about the way I was raised makes me see others as a threat rather than my community. I always feel like an outsider, and this is a self fulfilling phrophesy.
When I hear others talking about their flaws, sometimes their focus on themselves is frustrating- of course no one of us is so uniquely broken that they could be unacceptable! But when it is you, it feels so true. The focus is so narrow and the path seems so dark. Something about the way I was treated in the past now makes me truly believe I am unworthy and broken and will never be okay. It is so frustrating and I feel so angry about this. I’ve been in therapy, I journal, I reflect. All the logical things don’t seem to truly get to that core pain. It truly is stored somewhere in my body and I don’t know how to release it or change it. I’ve tried crying and asking myself what that part needs.
This is all I want to share, mostly because I am very tired, and also because I don’t want to try too hard to make it perfect or share everything- just to start somewhere.March 12, 2023 at 10:54 am #416110RobertaParticipant
My heart goes out to you. The trauma of your childhood is clearly impacting on your present life and I hope that you find a professional who can help you heal. Trauma sensitive yoga might help you become more relaxed and comfortable in your body.
You spent your early years feeling insecure as the people who should have been nurturing you were doing the exact opposite. So it is vital that you reconnect to your inner source of goodness which was not shown to you when you were young ,so you probably do not believe that it exists in you or in many other people. Personally I would try to find a therapy center/community where you could stay so that you could receive support to heal quickly (relatively) & deeply as my son said it normally takes 3/4 of a session for him to get relaxed enough & then just at the end of a session start to unpack something & then he was just left hanging until his next session a fortnight later.
I hope that you will receive plenty of kindness & support from this site.March 12, 2023 at 12:46 pm #416132TeeParticipant
I feel for you and I think I know exactly how you feel, because I’ve felt the same. This is something I could have written about myself years ago:
There is a deep, constant self-consciousness that keeps me from singing, dancing, engaging in genuine conversations, sharing who I am, or feeling safe enough to explore the world and be curious about others. I feel that I am lonely but I also feel the deeper suffering of being afraid of who I am, of feeling that the core of me is bad.
At that time I started working on myself and was told to meditate. But I was reluctant to meditate because I was afraid of what I would find within… because like you, I believed I was bad to my core. My inner critic was so strong and I completely believed what it was saying. It came from my very criticizing mother, who was never happy with me, and nothing I did was ever good enough.
I imagine your angry, abusive father had a similar effect on you: of crushing your spirit and making you believe you’re unworthy. Your mother was his victim too, so I believe she couldn’t protect you. Maybe she protected you from physical abuse and took it mostly upon herself (if that was the dynamic?), but she couldn’t protect you from verbal abuse.
And I guess growing up seeing abuse and being exposed to abuse on a daily basis, and seeing your mother helpless to do anything about it, created in you a sense of hopelessness and helplessness… about yourself, about life and the future. Would you say that’s true?
It took me many years till I realized that it is my inner child that got crushed by my mother’s upbringing, like a flower that gets stepped on again and again… and not allowed to bloom… And that this child within me was (and still is) innocent and beautiful and precious, and she didn’t deserve to be treated like that.
When I found compassion for the little girl that I was, who was deprived of love, warmth and emotional support, my healing started. I could slowly separate myself from the inner critic and see the goodness within. I realized there is nothing wrong with me, and that the core of me is beautiful and good!
I hope that you too can find healing because it is definitely possible!
I’ve been in therapy, I journal, I reflect. All the logical things don’t seem to truly get to that core pain. It truly is stored somewhere in my body and I don’t know how to release it or change it. I’ve tried crying and asking myself what that part needs.
I think the core pain is the pain of your inner child. It’s stored in your body but primarily in your heart. What type of therapy did you have?March 14, 2023 at 6:50 am #416285PeggyParticipant
I’m sorry that you grew up in an abusive home. The abuser is the one who has the problem not his victim. You don’t need to keep playing the victim. The abuse has gone through all layers of your being and it needs to be removed. I’m not a great believer in talking therapies that have no end. I love Tee’s paragraph that says “When I found compassion for the little girl that I was, who was deprived of love, warmth and emotional support, my healing started.” It’s not too late to send love to your inner child. Do you have a photograph of yourself as a baby or young child. If so, look at yourself and send love to the photograph, the image of who you used to be. If not, you can still send love to yourself. Give yourself all the kindness and warmth that you missed out on. Do this every day. It is a very powerful exercise which has amazing results. Believe that this will bring about the changes that you so desire and it will.March 14, 2023 at 1:32 pm #416299PeterParticipant
Hi Sprteflower – I like that username – what led you chose that, and did you intentionally leave out the i – sprite – a small being, human in form, playful and having magical powers? (I wonder if its not time to embrace a little of the sprite in only to see what ‘powers’ such play might revel?)
We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality. – Seneca
Thanks for sharing your story.
Your post reminded me of something I read long ago
If you have a nagging feeling that you do no measure up to the person you imagine you ought to be, the generic label for what you feel i shame. We have shame when we persistently feel that we are not acceptable, maybe unworthy, and are less than the good person we are supposed to be. Shame is a vague undefined heaviness that presses on our spirit, dampens our gratitude for the goodness of life, and slackens the free flow of joy. Shame is a primal feeling, the kind that seeps into and discolors all our other feelings, primarily about ourselves but about almost everyone and everything else in our life as well.
Shame can get us in touch with the most beautiful part of ourselves, a warning we that we are becoming a person we do not want to be, But shame is often an unhealthy feeling of un-worth that is distorted, exaggerated, and utterly out of touch with our reality. Most of us carry both kinds of shame – shame we deserve and shame we don’t deserve. – L B Smedes
Reading through your post I suspect the shame your experienced is undeserved yet in holding on to this undeserved shame it is also a warning that it is this holding onto this undeserved shame that is leading you into being the person you do not want to be. The irony of being caught in a loop of being ashamed about being ashamed, trap I can relate to.
You mention – My path has been successful from the outside – suggesting that you have overcome the objective experiences of your past, a indication that you will continue to do so and to which you should give your self more credit. It seems it is the inner stories you are telling yourself that you can’t get past. In other words its possible that its language that is keeping you stuck in undeserved shame.
A meditation practice I like is creating space and stillness as I remind myself that I am not my thoughts, there are thoughts, I am not my memories, their are memories, I am not my emotions, thier are emotions, I am not my past, the past has past, I am not the words I use to tell my stories, there are words. The map is not the territory, and words are not the things they can only point to, there is no requirement that I hold on the them.
<p lang=”en-US”>“You likely have parts of your own history you’d rather forget, same as I do. But when I actually wrote these things down, when I got up close and personal with them—yes, there was pain, and yes, there was hurt—by giving them a name, I stripped them of their power. And what I learned is that lies (undeserved shame) will always be worth fighting against. Because what you’re left fighting for is the truth, and that is the most freeing thing in the world.”
― Joanna Gaines, The Stories We Tell: Every Piece of Your Story Matters</p>March 15, 2023 at 12:32 pm #416333PeterParticipant
Came across the following today from Power of Myth
“You must have a room, or a certain hour a day or so, where you do not know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe to anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you—but a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. And first you may find that nothing’s happening there. But if you have a sacred place and use it and take advantage of it, something will happen.”
This corresponds to my experience – that creating just a little space each day in which you can empty oneself of self does bring about changeMarch 23, 2023 at 8:55 am #416619GeorgeParticipant
Anything good for you, find it, the flavor of food, the sunlight. A tidbit.