When we have been abused physically, sexually, or emotionally in childhood we don’t know what to do with the horrible feelings that remain inside of us.
At such a young age, our brains are still developing so we are unable to comprehend that we are being coerced, manipulated, shamed, dominated or groomed or being used and abused by what’s happening to us.
All we can notice is that we feel bad inside. Perhaps we feel a bit of terror or are frightened but we may not understand that there are other feelings going on too like: shock, dismay, powerlessness, victimized, vulnerable, perplexed, alienated, insecure, empty and so on. At a young age, we usually chalk this all up to feeling bad.
So if we can’t talk about what is going on inside our minds and what’s happening to us these unpleasant feelings become internalized and then we start believing that we are bad, that there is something inherently wrong with us, we are defective to our core.
This belief is the seed of shame. Shame means we believe that we are unworthy, that we are defective, that we don’t deserve anything good, that we are unlovable. We cannot separate doing something bad from feeling we are bad.
Imagine us, you, as a little one carrying such a heavy burden. Self loathing and self abuse can then become normal. A negative chatterer now lives in our heads and our belief systems of our worth and what we can contribute to our little worlds is deeply tarnished. We’ve lost our shine, our spark, our brilliance. And this is such a sad way to live.
As we become adults, we develop characteristics that reveal our shame. And yet shame doesn’t like to be talked about nor ever mentioned. It is insidious yet it’s there in nearly everything we think, say and do. Shame manifests itself in many forms. It can be in our anger, our distrust of self and or others, it can show in how we hold ourselves back; it can show in our lack of self awareness and disconnection to our feelings or perhaps we have a critical inner voice which also gets used towards others. It manifests in our relationships with others – we may find ourselves attracted to abusive or emotionally distant partners, we may have a hard time relating to others on a deep level, we may be aloof or detached, have a fear of needing others, want to remain fiercely independent, and so on. It also shows up in the relationship we have with ourselves, if at all – do we know who we are?
Are you in a place now where you are feeling stuck? Are you seeing patterns that are not working for you anymore? I’ve been there.
I’m here to share that these deep poisonous beliefs can be removed, eradicated and kicked to the curb in our lives. There IS hope for us childhood trauma survivors. We CAN change our thinking and thereby change our lives. Let’s travel this healing journey together. You are not alone.