Shame, See Ya

Buh-bye, shame. 

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You’re a tough nut to crack. Just when I think I’ve got you pegged, you slither unexpectedly, mostly without warning. You no longer define the person writing this blog post. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Shame is not for others to bear. It’s yours only. Look at it. Pierce its heart. Don’t allow it to eat your soul. 

If allowed, shame will kill a spirit. Shame will harm a person’s soul to the core and can cause severe depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. I experienced all three shortly before, during and after my divorce. During my lowest time, truly losing the person I once knew, I made some unfortunate decisions. That’s putting it mildly. Decisions that were unconscionable and unreal. Comfort came in camouflage form – the illusion that someone cared about me.  Who was this woman I became? Why? Why? Why? How did I not think to make rational decisions? There are no excuses. I was not brainwashed and no gun was put to my head. I. was. sick. Broken. Unsettled. Alone. Isolated. What was most alarming was how unworthy I felt, that what I felt didn’t matter. Thus, self-destructive behavior to the max. How can I be worthy if I hurt the people I’m closest to? Who am I to think that I have a right to be sad when I have everything in life many would only be so grateful to have? Please don’t fool yourself, kids. If you are feeling unworthy, pay attention. Seek help. The more I tried to suck it up on my own and make life look grand to the outside world, the darker the hole. 

Healing began when I acknowledged my shame. (Unconsciousness has a way of blocking awareness, thank you very much) The more I looked at shame directly in the face, the worse I felt. The pain sears deep and won’t go away. I try and pretend it’s not there, that what happened never happened. I talk myself into thinking decisions were somehow justified, that my unhappiness was caused by something bigger than myself. We make decisions, followed by consequences. I wasn’t yet ready nor willing to look at myself. Too hard, too painful, too everything. Yet once confronting our past, so then begins healing. 

I’m still sorting all this out, yet one thing is certain – somewhere along the way, in my life and in my marriage, I lost myself. Such an “Oprah” thing to say. I lost my voice in my marriage, though unsure I ever had much of a robust one to begin with. He loved me, though I don’t think he had much interest in hearing me. Allow others to hear you. If not heard, speak elsewhere, where others will listen. With pain, comes healing. At the same time, during this process of several years, shame eroded and self-respect emerged. 

The need to explain ourselves is done when we understand and accept the consequences of our decisions. May your journey be one of learning, healing and self-care. 

We’ll find each other soon. ❤

 

 

 

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