Everyone has felt some shame at some point in their life. Shame causes us to feel different, to feel judged. The wound of sexual abuse intensifies this shame and we begin to wonder if something is wrong with us. It can make us afraid to talk to the very people whom we need to support us.
This fear can lead to loneliness and emptiness and as you see, these other emotions compound the shame even more. Pushing it deeper.
As survivors, we need to retrain our mental and emotional muscles to trust again. You might be afraid of reliving that traumatic experience.
Of being blamed, made to feel even worse if you share what you went through.
“You did nothing wrong”.
Sexual abuse is always the fault of the abuser. Yet, we have invested so much time in trying to deny our emotions – the shame, grief, rage and loneliness that affects us at our core.
Hiding from, or numbing our emotions does not make us free. It comes with a cost. It costs us. It costs us the energy to do the things we want to do, it costs us the freedom to be brave, creative, powerful, and to create the life we want.
So, let’s begin letting go of the shame today.
One way to deal with the shame is to face it and allow yourself to have a conversation with it. Yup! I know that when shame turns up you often cower and hide your head, slouch, fidget, avoid eye contact, shrink.
Shame allows the pain and suffering to continue. It convinces us that if anyone sees these untamed areas of our lives, the dark scary parts, they won’t love us, they will reject us. That if anyone sees our shame we will be unlovable, unsuccessful, even unsafe.
That is simply not true. Today, you will view shame as a scared child. Imagine yourself reaching out to comfort that child. What would you say. How would you coax her to take your hand and come to safety? It may be, “Hey Sandra, I know you’re going through %^$, I care about you. I am here for you. I will sit and be with you. You are safe with me.”
Use your own name, if that is too hard, use the name of a friend. Have the conversation. What do you say? What is the child’s response?
Develop a positive relationship with shame and lead it from a place of darkness into a place of freedom.