SHAME IS OVERWHELMING
– all I can do is hide!
PREVIOUS: Shame – Part 1
SEE Acronym page for abbrev.
POST: Emotional NEEDS….
A core ACoA toxic rule is : “DON’T HAVE NEEDS!”
We feel shame when:
■ anyone gets too close, emotionally
■ we allow ourselves feelings of love for someone
■ anyone shows us kindness, respect, caring
■ do something a little foolish in public
■ we try something new, & don’t get it right the first time
■ if don’t try to do something, whether we can or not
■ we find out our expectations of someone are not realistic
■ we don’t know something which seems common knowledge
■ we want to be paid attention to, but get smacked down or ignored….
Re: ANY NEED that was ignored, abused or made fun of in the past :
it’ll now be completely suppressed, so we’re not even aware of it, OR
■ we’ll try to get the need met in a VERY DYSFUNCTIONAL way (so it can be punished, hurt us, have bad consequences, denied to us), OR
■ we wait endlessly for someone else to come along & notice that we have needs – as long as we DO NOT ask for them to be met
■ we manipulate dysfunctional others into providing them for us
■ we cannot receive anything good without somehow having to ‘pay’ for it, even when it is given freely & without strings !
■ we mistreat, abuse or leave anyone who treats us with respect & kindness
■ we prevent anyone from know that we have needs, & so suffer in silence
RECOVERY from SHAME:
This a deep & long process, for which we need much help from H.P. & knowledgeable & patient people. More specifically, we want to
✶ start by identifying all our NEEDS, common to all human beings, & which are the foundation, the roots of our human-ness
✶ continually give ourselves permission to HAVE these needs
✶ list which ones were not allowed, in order of intensity
✶ list action to DO, in order to meet those needs
✶ identify actions & non-actions which prevent meeting those needs correctly
✶ identify people, places & things who can help with this
✶ patiently, slowly RISK changing our old patterns
✶ allow for emotional discomfort, internal backlash, being confused,
scared, angry, discouraging comments from others,regressing to old ways, frustrating delays, etc.
✶ NEVER STOP TRYING to improve ways to meet our needs:
• try out new actions to see what works or doesn’t
• observe the results of the healthier actions, & compare to old outcomes
• validate & reinforce any improvements & positive results
• ask appropriate people for help when we really need it
• read helpful material, attend suitable recovery programs or groups
• participate in any spiritual practice which is comfortable
• and NEVER, NEVER deny having NEEDS, whether you can get them met – or not. They are you BIRTHRIGHT.
GRANDIOSITY vs HEALTHY SHAME
• Unhealthy Shame ‘holds hands‘ with grandiosity, which allows a person to thoroughly (but most often unconsciously) believe they can do way more than they are – capable of / have the skill to do / is humanly possible – AND is therefore a defense against deep feelings of powerlessness, carried over from childhood
• Healthy shame, as Bradshaw often points out (in “Healing the SHAME that Binds You”), is the reverse – the antidote – to grandiosity. It represent our acknowledgement & acceptance that we have realistic LIMITS / limitations & boundaries, because of:
–being human, & therefore cannot be perfect
–not being nurtured & cared for in healthy ways, in childhood
–our genetic inheritance, providing pre-conditions & tendencies for physical, mental & emotional capacities (pluses and minuses)
–our socio-economic, religious & educational background / environment
–our native personality, which reacted to & was molded by all our early experiences
Embracing realistic limitations does not mean that we cannot heal & achieve!
It does mean that we spend the ‘first half’ – or so – of our life repeating all the bad stuff we learned, & then spend the rest of it fixing the damage that was originally done to us. It’s not fair – but it can be done! THEREFORE: PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE !!
NEXT: “They did the best they could” #1