Tag Archives: shame

Compass Rose

It’s still the same I suppose. Every spring as Easter approaches. I drive past the various Churches, with their steeples acting like beacons, sending their Celestial signal up towards the heavens. I pass there aching to go inside.

The ache rises in my chest as I pass, and then my heart sinks as I sit glued in my seat. My blood runs cold as I nervously think that ‘maybe I am unforgivable’.  How dirty I feel. Less than. Not quite good enough to stand next to any of the people donning their Sunday best.

I ache for closeness with Him like I once had. The only One who ever deserved my whole heart, who ever deserved my obedience and love.   He was the only One who would never betray me.

I can’t remember when I had stopped talking to Him.   Some call it praying.  But it was more than that to me.  It wasn’t rattling off a bunch of rote prayers, though that was how I had begun.  We were close back then.  It was like a friend that was sitting at the foot of my bed, just as real as you are reading this now.  I’d talk about everything.  Then listen.   Oh yes, He would answer.   He spoke through my intuition, I believe.  Sometimes I would ask for a sign.  Sometimes He would give me one:  a gentle cool breeze on a hot night or a small butterfly dancing at my window just as I would ask.

I had stopped going to church.  No one particular reason really and not in anger either.  Then a few years later I had stopped praying.   Other things had seemed to take precedence.  It was like one day He was just gone.  You see, it wasn’t an event, rather it was more of a process. Like most good things in life that slip away.

When I tried praying again?  it felt empty and perfunctory like I was running through mathematical computations.  Something was severed.   And I knew it hadn’t been severed by Him.   That pain of knowing what I lost has been unbearable.  The emptiness, nothing thus far can fill.

A thousand miles I have strayed off that chosen path on which I should have tread, maybe more.  It is easy to get lost out there in the darkness. Still easier to stay lost.

I don’t know how I will get back to Him.   I’m so far off course and a compass rose made only of hope in my grip.   I hope that He finds it in His heart, to forgive me.   Hope that this prodigal daughter can come home.   Hope that lost Faith will be found.

 

 


Toxic Shame

0E6185B6-ADF6-490A-9675-B1E2F5FD549EComplex trauma has left a wound on me that I don’t know will ever heal.  Or maybe it’s that there’s so much scar tissue I just need to get used to that “new normal” of who I’ve  become.

Complex trauma is still a relatively new field of psychology. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder.  (C-PTSD) results from enduring complex trauma.

Complex trauma is ongoing or repeated interpersonal trauma, where the victim is traumatized in captivity, and where there is no perceived way to escape. Ongoing child abuse is captivity abuse because the child cannot escape. Domestic violence is another example. Forced prostitution/sex trafficking is another.

In my particular case, I was a victim of childhood incest.  It is the hardest thing to type that sentence, harder still to say it out loud.  I want to delete the sentence and delete “it” from my history.  Additionally, there was heavy-handed corporal punishment which by today’s standards would be considered physical abuse.   There was definite emotional abuse and at times neglect.  Continual domestic violence pervaded my childhood home.  My home did not often feel like the safe place it should.

Later in adulthood, I was the victim of domestic violence within my two major long-terms relationships.   I don’t know that I even recognized it happening as such it seemed so familiar.  If that makes sense.

All of my life I have struggled with low self-esteem.   Underneath my low self-esteem  belies a  darker feeling .   There is this deep sense of shame I have carried since as long as I can remember.

Unlike ordinary shame, “internalized shame” lingers and changes our self-image. It’s shame that has become “toxic.

When a person is ruled by toxic shame it interferes with their ability to accept positive regard.   For in childhood they internalized the belief of not being worthy of being loved or given any attention.

It dawned on me today as I couldn’t look into the mirror, that I just hate myself because I’m ashamed of me.

I wonder if this shame will ever leave.  I’ve got a new shrink I’ve been seeing for about 9 months.   I’ll call her Lee.  One can’t help but feel disillusioned after 20 years in/out of therapy.   I’ve ditched seeing Lee the past month.  Made up some excuse or other.  I mean everyone needs a mental health day from the mental health provider.   Oh wait this can’t be treatment resistance this soon can it?  I am feeling vulnerable because we are past the point of rapport building, and she’s a quick study.  She sees through my best defense mechanisms, and is trying to dig deeper and I’m running like hell.

There’s no shame in investing in a sturdy paper bag to wear over my head to hide myself, right?  Wearing bags are so much easier than facing your own demons.  ‘Cause Lord knows I’m hoping for a loophole.

 

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