It’s a Shame

This part really stands out for me right now… (this was written in 2013):

It’s a shame that SHAME affects us so profoundly… yet is used so carelessly.

Shame sticks with us in some ways more than actual physical abuse. If I poke Jenny in the eye and steal her candy, and I get a whipping for it, well… there’s at least a connection between being a hurtful little thief and that being a punishable offense. There are other ways to teach that lesson than a whipping, but I’ve never had to tap with someone over “fair” punishment that was tied to an offense against understandable rules.

Shame, on the other hand, seeks to trigger us into a desperate NEED to get back into good graces, to be accepted back into the tribe. We get ostracized, criticized, and told we are BAD. That we no longer DESERVE food, comfort, or acceptance. This is so triggering of inner panic and terror that nothing else is as important as doing whatever it takes to go from being BAD to being GOOD again.

This tension is at the core of most chronic anxiety. This dynamic sets up such disharmony within us that it shows up as disease decades later. It underlies distrust in others… and in ourselves. It slops over into other aspects of our identity… we even become ashamed of being smart, pretty, confident, ambitious, skilled. Dreamers stop dreaming and huggers stop touching.


Yes, i very much relate.