Tag Archives: toxic shame

You Aren’t Always The Problem In Relationships

Growing up with a narcissistic parent or two builds a very dysfunctional foundation in a child.  One of those dysfunctional beliefs created is that you are always the problem  in a failed relationship.

 

I knew the day I met my now mother in-law, she didn’t like me.  For the first eight years of our relationship, I tried with her.  No matter what I did though, I was wrong & never good enough.  My mother in-law even told me shortly after our marriage how disappointed she was my husband married me instead of an ex girlfriend.  For most of those eight years, I tried to figure out what I was doing wrong.  How could I improve the difficult relationships with her?  What could I do to make her see I’m not such a bad person, or that I’m better suited for my husband than his ex?  Nothing I did worked, & in fact, things only got worse.  My sisters in-law weren’t exactly my best friends to start with, but those relationships also got worse.  It seemed like the more time passed & the harder I tried, the worse things got & the more frustrated I got.

 

Then one evening in the spring of 2002, my mother in-law called about 8:15.  She asked to speak to my husband, who was either still at work or on his way home.  I told her this, & she screamed at me because she didn’t think he should work so late.  She mentioned she thought he was working too much.  He looks tired & I said his allergies were flaring up, & she resumed screaming at me because he has allergies.  It was a wake up call for me- I realized I can’t be in a relationship with this person.  She was mad at me for things I had absolutely no control over.  Nothing I can do will make things better between us.  I gave up.

 

A few months later, my husband called one of his sisters for her birthday.  He was flustered by the call, because he said she was screaming at him about me- how I keep him from his family & treat them all like “poor white trash.”  I used to think she & I were friends, but realized that wasn’t the case.  No friend would think such a ridiculous & untrue thing about me.

 

I haven’t spoken to my in-laws since 2002 & it’s been very freeing!  They blame me & even my husband did for a while for being unreasonable.  Due to my bad foundation, I blamed me too!

 

I’d been through this same scenario with every failed relationship in my life.  Everything was all my fault.  If only I would’ve been smart enough to figure out the solution to make things better.  If only I had been nicer, more understanding, etc., this wouldn’t have happened.

 

It took me a long time to realize, not everything is my fault!  Bizarre, huh?  Looking at the situations, it seems painfully obvious it wasn’t, yet it took me years to realize I wasn’t a bad person because I couldn’t make these relationships ok.

 

My point (finally..lol) is I am sure you have similar feelings, Dear Reader.  I have yet to meet an adult child of at least one narcissistic parent who doesn’t blame herself for the failed relationships in her life.  Are you thinking that this probably doesn’t apply to you?  Well let’s look at a couple of things..

 

First, your bad relationship with your narcissistic mother.  How can this be your fault?  She’s a narcissist!  No one is good enough for a narcissist.  Even those she idolizes will show a flaw at some point, & the narcissist won’t be impressed with him any longer.  Plus, as a child of a narcissist, you were born with a job- to please your narcissistic mother at all times.  This is IMPOSSIBLE!  Narcissists deliberately set up others to fail, especially their own children.  It amuses them & makes them feel powerful.

 

Second, as the survivor of narcissistic abuse, other abusers will be attracted to you.  This is especially true before you understand narcissism & work on your healing.  Chances are good you were abused by others in your life simply because you learned early in life how to be a “good victim”- you learned to keep secrets, have no boundaries & never talk back.  That isn’t your fault!  That fault lies squarely on your first abuser.

 

Lastly, no doubt you have made mistakes in your relationships.  Being human, that is inevitable.  However, what are the chances that you are the sole problem in every single relationship you’ve been in that has gone badly?  I would have to say the chances are slim.  Very slim.  The odds of you winning the lottery are probably better!  Relationships are a two way street.  Both people have to work on it.  One person cannot carry the entire relationship!

 

Today, Dear Reader, I just want you to think about this.  You honestly cannot be the problem 100% of the time.  If you believe you are, then it’s time to look at things objectively.  If you can’t, try pretending a close friend is telling you about her failed relationships that are exactly like yours.  Would you blame her for their failures?  What would you tell her?  Write it out if it helps- seeing things in writing somehow often makes things clearer.  You also can ask God to tell you the truth about what happened.  Were you always the problem?  What went wrong?  He will gently let you know the truth, & chances are, you are going to be surprised to learn that you aren’t the awful problem you think you are.

 

I truly hope you do this.  Living with the undeserved guilt of failed relationships is a miserable way to live.  You don’t deserve to carry around false guilt & shame!  You deserve to be happy!

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Why Does It Feel Wrong To Tell Your Story?

Those of us who have been through abuse tend to feel that we are doing something wrong by telling our story.  We may even wonder if we are making things up because so few people truly believe what we’re saying.  (Having your feelings invalidated or told you’re exaggerating truly can make you doubt the reality of what happened to you.)  Things like this tend to keep us quiet.

However, the fact is that we have every right to tell our stories, & by the way, no, we didn’t make it up.  So why do we feel this way?

Victims are groomed by their abusers to keep the abuse a secret.  To tell anyone about it would incur a terrible wrath.  We learned early on that it is better to stay quiet than to talk about it.  When my mother suspected me of telling someone what she was doing once, I was shamed deeply for “airing our dirty laundry.”  When I got myself into therapy to figure out how to deal with her, she demanded to know everything that I talked about with my counselor.  It became much easier not to talk about it than to deal with her wrath!

Abusers also groom their victims to doubt themselves, while only believing the abuser.  It’s called gaslighting or crazy making.  Abusers do their best to determine their victim’s reality.  This makes it easier for the victim to accept abuse, because although a part of them realizes it is wrong, they are told it is acceptable so much that eventually that false belief overrides their belief it is wrong.

Being too afraid to tell your story when you feel it’s time to share it also means you are carrying your abuser’s shame.  It’s not your shame!  You have done nothing wrong by being abused!  The one who abused you is the one who should be ashamed!  It is not your job to feel the shame for her even if she refuses to feel it herself.  Remind yourself of that often, & the shame will lift.

You have every right to tell your story if you want to do so.  It is your life & your story.

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Shame For Being Abused

We live in a culture where victim blaming is the norm.  People wonder what the woman did to provoke her husband for beating her, & offer her no sympathy because she stays with him.  Rape victims are blamed for being attacked.  If she wasn’t wearing that short skirt or wasn’t drunk, it wouldn’t have happened, they say.  Even many adults who were abused as children  are not often believed, & sometimes even blamed.  “If it was really so bad, why didn’t you tell someone?”  “I really can’t see your mother (or father) doing that.”  “I had it worse than you & I’m just fine.”

This leads to a tremendous amount of shame in victims.  They can feel ashamed for being so “weak” as to be affected by what happened, or ashamed it happened at all.  They blame themselves for being abused.  They may feel terribly about themselves because  so many others have had it worse than they did.  They even may wonder if it really happened.  (Not being believed really can lead to that much doubt!)

I’ve been through this myself, & still battle it sometimes (although thank God those times are fewer than they once were).  I especially have trouble with beating myself up for being so weak as to be so damaged from the abuse I endured growing up.  Not healthy & really not wise!

If this describes you too, Dear Reader, please know that you have no reason to be ashamed!  Abusers are the ones who should be ashamed, not their victims!  Just because you were abused doesn’t mean you have done something wrong.  What it means is there is something very wrong with the person who hurt you!

When you feel this way, I’ve found praying to be very helpful.  Telling God just how I feel helps a lot.  Keeping things secret, I think, gives them power. but bringing things into the open releases their hold on you.  Talking about them helps you in that way, especially talking about them with God, who loves you so much & can comfort you like no one else can.

Also, remembering some of the worst events helps too, believe it or not.  It puts the abuse in perspective & reminds you that yes, it really was bad!  It also reminds you that you didn’t, couldn’t, do anything to deserve what you went through.  Write them out if you like- that way you can look back over them the next time you feel that shame creeping in.  The anger over what happened can be helpful.  While I have forgiven my mother for abusing me, I am still angry over the unfairness of it all, & the damage caused by it.  That anger helps me when the shame starts to act up.

Always remind yourself- the blame & shame for you being abused belongs square on the abuser, not on you.  Remind yourself that it is not yours to carry.  If visuals help you, imagine yourself carrying this large, ugly sack.  Then, see yourself handing it over to the person who abused you & walking away, leaving them to hold this sack.

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The Garment Of Shame

Psalm 132:18 says, “His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” (KJV)

I noticed something about this Scripture.  See how it says “will I CLOTHE with shame”??  That really is how it is when you live with shame- it’s like a garment you just can’t take off.  The only way to remove that garment of shame is with God’s help & the truth.

When you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse, you know shame all too well.  You have been made to feel ashamed of everything about you- your thoughts, feelings, likes/dislikes are all wrong, according to the narcissist.  Even things beyond your control are wrong, such as your eye color or weight.  You know that you are a terrible person, wasting space on this planet, & the world would be better off if you hadn’t been born.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  It surely does with me.

Dear Reader, today I want to encourage you to tear off that garment of shame!  You deserve so much better than to feel this way!

It’s not your shame that you are carrying anyway!  You are carrying the shame that the narcissist who abuses you feels inside.  Remember, narcissists are extremely insecure people, ashamed of themselves.  That is why they act so confident, constantly trying to impress others- to convince others (& themselves) that they are in fact good, talented & beautiful/handsome.  They don’t want to feel the shame that they feel, so they try to get rid of it in any way possible.  They try to convince everyone of their awesomeness or they project it onto a target, usually someone that they admire or feel is a good person.  This means they try to make someone else feel as bad about themselves as the narcissist feels about herself.

Putting their shame on someone else means that the narcissist doesn’t have to feel it.  The other person feels that shame, carrying it with them constantly.  This also gives the narcissist a feeling of power since she can have such an effect on another person.

Why would you carry that narcissist’s shame for another moment?  You don’t need to!  The shame is NOT yours to carry, so refuse to do it a moment longer!

How do you go about doing this?  One thing that has helped me tremendously is constantly asking God questions.  “Am I bad for liking *fill in the blank*?”  “Am I ugly because of *fill in the blank*?”  “Please tell me the truth, Father- my mother said I am *fill in the blank*.  Is that true?  Am I really so bad?”  Then, I listen for the answer.  Usually it comes as a knowing feeling inside.  Doing this taught me that I’m really not the awful person I was always ashamed of myself for being.  Instead, I was carrying my narcissistic mother’s shame.

I also talked to other daughters of narcissistic mothers & wives of those married to narcissistic men (usually ex wives, by the way).  I learned their experiences were often quite similar to mine with my mother & my ex husband.  It was very eye opening!  So many narcissists use similar tactics!  That helped me to see that it’s abusive people who say such things, not normal people.

Once you realize the truth of what has happened, that you are carrying around your narcissistic mother’s shame, it is very freeing!  You begin to accept yourself & even love yourself.  You also stop taking her cruel words to heart, because you know that is how she feels about herself- it doesn’t mean that it’s true for you.  In fact, it can be educational too, because you learn just what she feels about herself deep down.  This can benefit you by helping you to learn how to deal with your narcissistic mother.

So please, Dear Reader, make a decision today to throw off that garment of shame & never put it back on again!  It’s not yours to wear, so refuse to wear it a moment longer!  xoxo

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Illness & Injury In Adult Children Of Narcissists

As many of you know, I got very sick in February.  My fireplace’s flue wasn’t functioning right, which resulted in me getting carbon monoxide poisoning.  At its height, I passed out, hitting my head on the log holder beside the fireplace, passing out for around 25 minutes & getting a concussion.  It’s been a long six months living with all the symptoms, & I’m still getting used to them.

A few days ago, I felt really bad because of it.  Everything on my body ached, especially my head, I was exhausted even though I hadn’t done anything tiring, my moods were all over the place & I kept forgetting things.  Yet in spite of the obvious & annoying symptoms, I wondered if I was faking them!

This baffled me.  I don’t know how to convince myself of the body aches or make myself moody.  Besides, I was home alone- no one knew how I felt.  What would be the point of faking it with no witnesses besides my cats & dog?!  They weren’t going to tell anyone anything.  So why would I think this?  I didn’t even get to ask God before He started showing me some things.  I believe what I learned may help you as well.

God reminded me of many things that I experienced that invalidated any suffering I felt when sick or injured.  There are many more but here are a few examples:

  • When I was 5, my mother woke me up one morning by tickling me.  To get away from her I hit my head on the edge of the bookcase headboard on the bed.  She called the pediatrician who saw me then sent me to the ER.  I ended up with several stitches & had lost a lot of blood.  To this day, my mother says how hard that episode was for her.  She also complains that when she took me to the mall after leaving the ER (WHY?!) I wanted new crayons & I already had so many.  Seriously?  $1.50 on new crayons after that experience shouldn’t have been a big deal.
  • In elementary school, I hurt my foot in gym class, & my mother wrote a note excusing me from gym.  That teacher told me I’d never amount to anything if I refused to participate.  I was a failure, lazy & other cruel things.
  • In fifth grade, I got the chicken pox.  For whatever reason, it lasted 2-3 weeks & I was utterly miserable the entire time.  My mother complained about being “stuck in the house” because of me, so my parents & I went out to dinner while I was sick.  She told me to lay down in the back seat & hide.  She also said to tell my friends she was taking me to the doctor if anyone saw me in the car as she drove out of the neighborhood.  I never saw a doctor, by the way.  She did get me two presents during that time, which made me think she actually did love me.
  • Towards the end of ninth grade, I hurt my foot.  One weekend several days later, my mother wanted to go window shopping & I said I’d rather wait in the car.  She brags that she knew if I wouldn’t go shopping, I had to be in pain, then she got me to the doctor a couple of days later.   She later complained about how her mother’s day was ruined that year because I was on crutches & my father had hurt his back.
  • During that time on crutches, my class was to visit the local high school to see where we were attending school the following year.  My mother sent me to school that day, even knowing how big that campus was & I was on crutches.  Then while trying to keep up with my classmates, I stopped using the crutches briefly & a classmate made fun of me “faking” it.
  • When I was 19 & my mother threw me into a wall, I had back pain for 10 years.  For those 10 years, the only people who believed I was in pain were my chiropractor, my ex husband & later my current husband.  The doctors, others I knew & especially my mother said I was faking the injury to get out of working, I was lazy, & I had a low threshold of pain.
  • In 2010, I lost several furbabies & was under a lot of stress.  I got the flu 3 times, probably from the stress compromising my immune system.  My mother & another person said it was my fault for not getting a flu shot.
  • Last year, as my father was recovering from a stroke, I volunteered to help my parents get things done around their home on Sundays.  Unfortunately, the arthritis in my knees didn’t appreciate it & I had to quit.  I told my mother this & she ignored me.  My father listened & understood.  He mentioned it to my mother who called me & asked if I “really had arthritis like my father claimed.  Had I even seen a doctor about this”  Just one of many times she’s doubted I had something wrong with me.  She then told me if I’d just lose some weight, I’d be fine.
  • I’ve been insulted for how bad my memory is & how hard a time I have finding the right words sometimes even when the other person knows what causes these problems.  (C-PTSD made these things bad, but the carbon monoxide poisoning & concussion made them much, much worse.)

 

Incidents like these instilled some false beliefs in me:

  1. My pain or illness wasn’t as bad as other people’s.
  2. My pain or illness didn’t matter, but other people’s did.
  3. I shouldn’t bother anyone with any illness or injury.
  4. I just want attention, so I fake illness or injury in an attempt to get it.  I’m not really sick or hurt.
  5. On the off chance I really was sick or injured, it was all my fault & I’m weak.  I deserve whatever I get.
  6. I don’t deserve to have help while recovering.
  7. If I don’t look sick or have other solid, irrefutable evidence of illness or injury, then nothing is wrong.

 

Growing up with a narcissistic mother, I believe, set the stage for me to believe these ridiculous ideas easier than if I’d had a healthy upbringing & had normal self-esteem.
I never realized any of this until a few days ago.  These false beliefs were so deeply ingrained in me that it took me until age 44 & healing from a life threatening situation to understand why I handle things so poorly when I’m sick or injured.  Aside from wondering if I’m faking whatever the problem is, I try to cover it up so nobody knows I have the problem.  I also trivialize it.  For example, when I broke a toe last year, I said, “It’s just a broken toe.  No big deal” even though it was my big toe (which I learned sees a surprising amount of activity) & a year later, still hurts often.  I also never used crutches or sought medical care.

Dear Reader, please learn from my mistakes.  If you too have a hard time admitting you’re sick or hurt when you really are, ask God to show you why.  Chances are, you have stories similar to mine.  If so, it’s time to reject those false beliefs that cruel people instilled in you.  You are allowed to have problems, you are allowed to ask people for help in your time of need.  You aren’t weak or looking for attention if you’re sick or injured- you are simply sick or injured!  Your pain is just as bad as other people’s & just as valid as other people’s.  There is nothing to be ashamed of if you get sick or hurt.  It happens to everyone at some point in their lives.

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Toxic Shame Resulting From Narcissistic Abuse- There Is A Way Out!

As of yesterday, it’s been one month since I got sick with carbon monoxide poisoning & a concussion.  It’s been quite an interesting month, too.

My recovery is a slow one, but at least it is giving me a much needed break from life.  It’s also given me more time to think & pray.  

Shortly after returning home from the hospital, God showed me that I had a big problem with toxic shame, which stems from emotional neglect & criticisms in childhood.  (it’s why I felt I didn’t deserve any help from the ER staff, even though that is their job, & my husband shouldn’t help me recover- I should do it all on my own.  That’s pretty bad, especially considering the severity of my illnesses!)  I believe this is a very common problem for adult children of narcissistic parents, so I thought I would share a bit about this past month’s journey with you.

When God first revealed this to me, I was happy & sad.  Happy because I finally understood what was wrong, why I felt I deserved nothing.  Also sad because, well, let’s face it- this is pretty depressing realizing I was made to feel so poorly about myself.  I also had no idea how to cope with this problem, & had to ask God to show me.  He gave me some really good  ideas, which I shared in the post I originally wrote on this topic.  Please read that post at this link.  I’ve been trying to do the things I mentioned in that post. I also have been doing other things, such as paying more attention to my dreams, which have been revealing a great deal to me about how much I need to take care of myself.  (Almost nightly, I’m having dreams that show me that, so obviously God thinks it’s important!)

I also told God I want to change this problem- I want to be rid of this toxic shame once & for all, & I want to learn to take care of myself too instead of only everyone else.  Was that a powerful prayer!  He has been helping me tremendously!!

About a week after I got sick, I got an email from a jewelry company.  They had a lovely ring on sale that reminded me of one my paternal grandmother had when I was a kid.  This wasn’t a real diamond like hers, but it was still beautiful.  I felt that instead of thinking it’s pretty & ignoring it, I should ask hubby if we could get it.  That took a lot of guts for me- I hate asking him for anything, let alone something frivolous.  He said sure, go ahead & get  it.  When I got on the website to order it, I saw they had an identical ring with a much larger stone that I liked even more.  I ordered it, even though it cost a bit more.  For once, probably the first time in my life, I realized I deserved something special & felt no guilt about it.   Getting myself that prize was a big step towards shedding the “I don’t deserve…” mindset of toxic shame.  Now the company has failed to fulfill my order, but I’m not giving up- I will just get that ring from another company .  🙂

Also, I’ve had trouble with my recovery.  I need to relax, avoid any strenuous physical activity & stress until I am healthy again.  This means hubby gets to do the bulk of housework.  It’s been hard just laying around while he works, then comes home & does laundry & cleans.  Every time the guilt comes up, God reminds me to relax.  I need to recover- I’ve been poisoned by carbon monoxide & have a nasty head injury.  Anyone in that situation would need to relax & recover so stop beating myself up!  Besides, hubby has never really had to take care of anyone before, so this is good for him, having to prioritize another person’s needs.

Although I haven’t told my parents about my illnesses, I’ve spoken with them a few times during my recovery.  Instead of the usual feelings of guilt, hurt or anger when they play their head games, God has reminded that they have problems.  For example, my father recently said I should call if I need anything or just want to talk.  I felt guilty for not calling more often, like a bad daughter, but only for  a second.  Almost immediately, I realized he only wants more contact with me to receive his narcissistic supply, not to spend time with me.  The guilt was alleviated immediately.  I realized I’m not a bad daughter, but instead am someone who doesn’t wish to be used.  Life is too short to be someone’s narcissistic supply!

Something else interesting just happened that made me realize what progress I’m making. I just had a good, long cry.  You see, when some of my pets have died, God has comforted me by telling me shortly after their death that a certain song reminds my recently departed of me- the song then becomes our song.  Aerosmith’s 1988 hit “Angel” just came on. That’s my lovely snowshoe Siamese cat Jasmine’s & my song.  When I heard the song, I started to cry.  I miss Jasmine so badly, & maybe because I’m very sensitive due to my illnesses, the magnitude of missing her hit me very hard.  As the tears finally came to a stop, I realized something- I felt no shame for them!  As much as I love my animals, because my grief at losing them has been so severely invalidated repeatedly, I’ve often felt shame for crying because of them & did my best to ignore my pain.  Especially years later, when I “should be over it”, according to many people. Today was different.  It was the first time I can say I honestly felt no shame, & was able to cry without holding back.  It was actually a very good feeling.  Jasmine was a very brave, amazing & special cat. She survived 4 strokes before she passed away in 2011 & fought hard to come back from each one.  She deserved the love & respect of being grieved properly, yanno?

I’m sharing these things with you today in the hopes of encouraging you.  If you too suffer with toxic shame, God can help you to heal as He is helping me.  He is breaking the hold of toxic shame in my life & will do the same thing for you!  Living with toxic shame is no way to live!  You deserve so much better than that, as do I.  God wants us to be happy & healthy- two things no one living with toxic shame can be.

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Emotional Neglect & Critical Words

Lately, I’ve been reading some about emotional neglect & criticism, & their detrimental effects, especially on children.  They can cause anxiety & toxic shame, both of which are absolutely horrible to live with.

I’ve been seeing lately how much anxiety & shame I carry, & as I mentioned in this post, now I understand why I have them.  When a parent doesn’t care about their child’s feelings, acts as if the child is a bother &/or is overly critical, seeds get sown in the child.  The child becomes fearful.  She learns early that people will hurt her with their words or actions (or both), & no one will protect her, not even her parents.  She also internalizes the fact no one cares enough to protect her, & becomes deeply ashamed of who she is. After all, if her own parents don’t love her enough to care about & for her, she must be deeply flawed, unlovable, a terrible person.  Or so she believes.

These dysfunctional beliefs carry into adulthood.  It means she settles for dysfunctional or abusive relationships (friendships or romantic relationships), lives with extreme anxiety especially when dealing with other people, has a hard time asking for assistance, & doesn’t believe she is worthy.  Worthy of what?  Pretty much anything!  Anything from setting healthy boundaries to taking care of her health to getting new clothes because her old ones are worn out & more.

It is a miserable way to live, & no one should have to live like this!  If you recognize yourself in this post, then please read my other post I mentioned above.  In it, I offer some ways I think can help you overcome toxic shame.  As it diminishes, the anxiety should follow.  It has for me.

I’m praying for you, Dear Reader.  May God bless you, & help you to overcome the pain of toxic shame & anxiety!  xoxo

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What Is The Difference Between Guilt & Shame?

Many people who have survived abuse, especially childhood abuse, don’t realize there is a vast difference between healthy, normal guilt & toxic shame.  We are taught from day one to feel shame- ashamed of who we are, what we think/feel/do/like/don’t like & more.  This is absolutely deadly to one’s self-esteem.  When you are ashamed of who you are, you want to hide from the world- you don’t want to expose anyone to the terrible person you believe you are.  You would love to be invisible.

Guilt, however, is a very useful, healthy tool in life.  Guilt doesn’t make you feel ashamed of yourself- guilt makes you feel ashamed of something you did that was wrong instead.  Guilt speaks of the action, while shame speaks of who you are.  For example, if you come home after a very trying day, & snap at your husband, you should feel guilt.  Enough guilt for acting that way to make you say, “I’m sorry, Baby.. I’ve had an awful day.  It’s not fair of me to take it out on you though.”  Once your apology is accepted, you let it go.

Shame however, would make you tell yourself that you are a terrible person.  You shouldn’t have acted that way- only a bad person acts like that!  You may or may not apologize- shame may make you feel too embarrassed to apologize- but you will beat yourself up for being such a bad person.

Do you see the difference?  Guilt says, “I did something wrong,” where shame says, “I am wrong & bad.”

Do you have a healthy sense of guilt, or do you feel shame?  If you are in doubt, ask yourself how you feel after doing something that hurts another person’s feelings.  (And yes, you will- we ALL do hurtful things sometimes, no matter how careful we are to avoid it).  If you quickly do what you can to make amends & let it go, then you are feeling healthy guilt.  If you beat yourself up for being a terrible person, you feel shame.

It can be hard to overcome shame, especially after a lifetime of experience with it, but it can be done.  As you work on your healing, your self-esteem naturally improves.  You also see things in a much healthier perspective- you begin to realize that you are NOT at fault for everything, as you heard you were when you were a child.  You realize that things were done to you that you didn’t deserve, & nothing you could have done would have made you deserve to be abused.  These things help you to feel less & less shame as time passes.  

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism