Everyone feels shame at some point in their lifetime. An essential part of shame, is how you deal with it. Below is an excerpt from NAMI’s blog post, “How I Healed Myself Of Shame” by Beverly Engel.
“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel shame. But I do have evidence that there was once a time when I was shame free. I have a photograph of me as a little baby, smiling with a twinkle in my eye. I look radiant and filled with joy. I have another photo of me at four years old, in which I am frowning, and I look defiant and lost. The twinkle in my eye has been replaced with a dark, empty look.
What had occurred that had taken away the joyous smile on my face and replaced it with darkness, emptiness and hatred?
The answer: shame. Shame replaced my innocence, my joy, my exuberance for life. Shame caused me to build a wall of protection and defiance. Who was I defending myself against? My mother, a woman who was so full of shame herself that she couldn’t help but project it onto me.
After being neglected and emotionally abused by my mother, sexually abused at nine and raped at twelve, I found myself riddled with shame and the belief that I was unlovable and rotten inside. I began acting out by shoplifting. I was angry at my mother, the men who had abused me and at all authority figures. I wanted to get back at everyone who had taken advantage of me. After I was finally caught and brought home in a cop car, my mother gave up on me.
Fortunately, I didn’t give up on myself. I knew there was goodness in me and I fought to find it. I turned to solitude and introspection and began to find the pieces of myself I discarded when trying to shield myself from further harm.”
The full article can be found at, https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/April-2018/How-I-Healed-Myself-of-Shame.
Keep on, keeping on.
Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18
Case Management Intern
Destination Greatness, PLLC
About Destination Greatness
Destination Greatness is a mental health and substance abuse psychotherapy agency dedicated to assisting individuals and families in maximizing their level of functioning on all life domains in pursuit of Greatness. Destination Greatness provide individuals and families with the opportunity to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Destination Greatness strives to enrich each individual and family through greater self-awareness, focus on strengths, and belief in a greater destiny.