Shame is the most damaging thing that can happen to a person. Shame has far-reaching consequences and an extremely long recovery process. Many people wonder, “How do I find a Psychotherapist near me?” when considering seeking assistance from a professional in healing their shame. It is important that you find a Therapist that you feel comfortable and safe with during this process.
Through shame, we learn that being our own true self is not an option. We learn to disown many parts of our true nature. We learn that we are never “good enough” and that nothing we ever do is enough. Essentially, we end up feeling as if ‘We are not enough’.
Shame develops earlier than you think
When we grow up without healthy safe and secure attachment figures, where shame is prominent, we usually don’t ever experience self -love or even emotions. We can grow up sort of blank, learning to ‘act out’ or fake emotions so to the world we appear “normal”.
When we attempt to cut off our pain by focusing outside of ourselves in unhealthy and often addictive ways, we also cut off our feelings of love, happiness and joy.
We can not cut ourselves off from one emotion only, all of the emotions go at once.
Have you ever wondered why you feel blank inside or why you just cannot seem to be still, quiet with your thoughts or even alone?
This is most often because if we allow ourselves to experience these states, our shame and then our Inner Critic will come in very loud, reminding us of all of the ways we are not good enough.
Then we begin to feel the pain of this feeling again and it is just too much to bear.
So, we keep ourselves busy, we go out partying, we cause drama where none is really needed, we turn to drugs, alcohol or other damaging addictive behaviours, simply so we don’t “have to feel.”
This is the shame cycle and trust me when I say, “most all of us have been there before.”
Find someone to talk to!
Ultimately though if we can find another person who we can feel safe to be vulnerable with and who we can feel safe to open up to and perhaps even tune into parts of ourselves that we have disowned, this is where we can begin to heal our shame.
We must be able to be vulnerable in order to heal our shame. And when we have a secure attachment figure in our life, one who displays their own self love and can abundantly be in connection with their own emotions, that person can teach you what a secure attachment looks like and what self-love looks like.
If they can have the patience to be with you on your journey of self-discovery and reconnection then this the most beautiful gift we could give a person.
Also, be patient with yourself. This healing process happens over time and comes with many ‘A-Ha’ moments usually.
We have to peel back the layers of “our onion”, and arrive back to our true self, our authentic self.
Often times with clients, it is my role to demonstrate what a secure attachment figure looks and feels like. This can be the beginning of a person learning to recognize other secure attachments in their life and walk away from red flag, shaming attachment relationships.
It is also very important to only share your deepest most vulnerable parts of you with someone who has earned your vulnerability. A person who has proven that they can hold that space for you and not ever use it as a weapon.
Be aware of who you are being vulnerable with.
Many clients have shared with me that family members or friends which they have shared their deep innermost feelings with have turned around at a later date and used that information against them in an attack of sorts.
We must discern who these types of people are and decide not to go to them with our painful and vulnerable emotions and feelings.
Only trust those who have demonstrated clear empathy and whom you are certain will never turn your shame against you.
Lastly, please find a professional to do this brave and complex work with. It is important that you have unconditional support during the process of healing complex shame.
As this is amongst the most damaging conditions to our human experience, it is a good idea to have someone who clearly and deeply understands the concept of shame to help guide you through your healing and help teach you how to be your own “secure attachment figure”.
If you resonate with this article and are thinking, “How do I find a Psychotherapist near me?”, I welcome you to call Psychotherapy with Shelley to book your complimentary consultation today.