Healing Yourself of Shame

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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.

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“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.

Katheryn Burton

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.

 

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3 Reasons To Let Go of Guilt and Shame: Part 2

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Still I Rise

Part 1 of this discussion of guilt and shame concentrated on reasons why women harbor guilt and shame which included: Past Experiences of Abuse or Trauma; Feelings that she has to be all things for everyone; and being Physically and Mentally Oppressed.  These reasons keep women trapped which will ultimately jeopardize her health.  Today let’s discuss 3 Reasons to Let Go of Guilt and Shame that increases the risk for women to experience morbidity problems of:

    1. Anxiety
    2. Depressed Moods
    3. Self-loathing

 

Holding on to guilt and shame can cause unwanted health concerns.  Guilt and Shame may appear that she is barring all things and keeping it all together to the outside world, but all the while jeopardizing her physical and mental health.

Feeling the stress and strain of guilt and shame can create health dispersing consequences that can be avoided.  Rise up women and take care of yourself!

Until next time keep the faith!

By:  Kristen Pettaway, MA-LPC Liberty University |

Clinical Case Manager Intern Destination Greatness, PLLC

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3 Reasons Women Harbor Guilt and Shame: Part 1

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Yanla Vansant

For many women being all you can be is a struggle and a burden that is too heavy to bear.  In a time when women are wives, mothers, single mothers, working outside of the home and have demands from every corner there are some things that may fall by the wayside.  When this happens it can be so devastating to women that she begins to harbor guilt about not being able to do everything that she believes is expected of her.  The shame of not measuring up can also eat at her sense of self.  There are several reasons why women harbor guilt and shame but today let’s discuss these three:

  • Past Experiences of Abuse or Trauma
    • Many women have been victims of abuse.  Some have been abused from an early age.  The abuse could have even caused long-term trauma, or maybe the trauma was a witnessing of a horrible situation.

In these instances, women usually blame self for what happened.   The person who did the horrific thing has moved on but the individual who experienced it or witnessed it has held on to the guilt and shame of it.

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  • Feelings of being all things to all people
    • This is an area that many women also struggle with.  It is in a woman’s nature to be nurturing so she wants to do what she can to help those she cares for.  The problem with that is that everyone who knows her will call on her to fix it, serve on the committee, drive the carpool, chaperone, or whatever it may be.

Busy Woman

Trying to help everyone is unrealistic causing her to feel that she is letting people down.  No one is able to be there for everybody.  That is unless you are Jesus, and I do not believe that you are.

  • Oppression
    • Women have been told for centuries that she is not good enough, pretty enough, educated enough, tough enough and will never measure up to her counterpart.  Women have been let down, stomped on, held back, and giving up on to the point when she feels that she is not worthy of any good thing or happiness.

Oppression_Woman

That is what being oppressed can do.  It can devalue everything that God said was good in you.  When women listen to what the world has to say about them instead of what God says about them then she begins to harbor guilt and shame.

Being able to understand why women harbor guilt and shame can be the first step in rectifying the problem.  For those who need assistance in organizing your thoughts Destination Greatness is available to help you sort them out.

Until next time keep the faith!

By:  Kristen Pettaway, MA LPC Liberty University |

Clinical Case Manager Intern Destination Greatness, PLLC

 

 

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