Shame…

Skylight Zoe G.

Skylight
Zoe G.

The definition of shame is: A painful feeling of humiliation or distress, caused by the awareness of wrong or foolish behaviour.  Disgrace and dishonour are the noun forms of the word.

How many of us feel shame for struggling with mental health,or for the abuse we’ve been through? I know I do.  Is it really mental health, or is it the effects abuse has left us with?  How can we not be mentally affected when those who were supposed to take care of us and protect us to the best of their ability, are the very ones that abused and neglected us?  I loath that there’s such a stigma attached to mental health issues. Those of us who struggle with them, are often shamed.  In fact I don’t like the word mental health. I prefer the term survivor.  Our brains were literally damaged thanks to our abusers.  How is that our fault?  What do we have to be ashamed of?

When I read the definition of the word shame, I realize even more, that we have nothing to be ashamed of.  I want to put the shame where it belongs, and that’s back on the shoulders of our abusers.  We did not ask to be abused, we did not do anything to deserve it, and we don’t have to put up with the negative things people think about what we’ve been through, or how it’s affected our mental health now. We’ve been through enough.

I’m coming to a place where if people can’t handle my truth, then I don’t need them in my life.  I’ll bet I’m not alone on having friends and or family walk out of my life because they can’t handle the reality, or they would rather camp in denial.

Well not me. I have a voice now, and I’m not going to be ashamed of what I lived through, nor am I going to sweep it under the carpet and pretend that everything is okay when it’s not.  If people don’t like that, then oh well. While abuse doesn’t define me, it has affected me, therefore it’s a part of who I am.

I live with C-PTSD and BDD, I’ve battled depression, I’ve overcome self harm.  I will do my best to take what I’ve been through and use it in a good way to help others, but I will no longer be ashamed.  I’m a survivor. I’m proud that I survived and didn’t become an abuser. I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in recovery. I have a long way to go, but the progress I’ve made, tells me it can be done, and I will do it.

If anyone wants to judge me, or look down on me or any of us, here is my message to you…You haven’t walked in our shoes, be thankful.  Until you’ve walked in our shoes, you have no right to judge. If you so choose to do so, I’ll show you the door.  Don’t let it hit you on the way out.

Do you struggle with shame because of abuse and or mental health issues?  If so, it warrants saying again…You have nothing to be ashamed of.  You have everything to be proud of because you survived.  Let’s lay down the torch of our abusers and walk with our heads held high.

There is hope!

 

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70 Comments

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70 responses to “Shame…

  1. Go, girl–well said!

  2. I’ve been thinking (and blogging a little bit) about stigma and shame recently. I get this, completely. You’re right, of course. No-one knows how they would react to particular events or situations – deal with them, cope with them, live with them – until they are put to the test. Though it’s a cliche, I think struggling with difficult stuff really is character-forming. You are who you are because of what you’ve dealt with and overcome. I don’t think anyone else has the right to undermine that. x

  3. Your work is so very important! Here is a funny example of how ridiculous abusers can be; A control freak Once told me that I was a control freak! Because I would not allow them to control me! I just burst out laughing!

  4. True. Shame sucks and it’s almost always the victims/abused who suffer instead of the abusers!

  5. ‘I want to put the shame where it belongs, and that’s back on the shoulders of our abusers.’
    Yes! That’s where it belongs! Strong blog.
    Lots of love to you my friend.

  6. refinedrandomness

    I love how u say: when I read the defination…….there isnt anything to be ashamed of !! ;)

  7. It took me a long time, but I realized I can only be ashamed of things that “I” do. I refuse to carry the shame of what someone else did to me.

  8. I was recently reading a book on trauma treatment and one of the things that the author suggested was to look for hidden shame issues whenever a trauma issue has been thoroughly worked on and seems like it should be resolved, but it just isn’t. Shame just sneaks in, hides, won’t let go, and keeps you trapped.

    I’m at the point where I understand that I shouldn’t be ashamed, but that doesn’t doesn’t stop the shame reaction at layers that are deep within me. :-( I’ll get there, but it sure is slow going.

  9. What is this shame of which you speak???

  10. wow, like the article. Im with you. It so angers me when I get triggered by some thing.. and have to deal with crap (again). And hear the shaming words someone has stupidly said …like why are you still stuck on that ,how long is it going to take you to get over it, leave it behind, forgive. Heres the 1,2,3, step plan this will do it if you only apply it and …O REALLY WANT TO LEAVE IT BEHIND AND MOVE ON!!!
    Like I want to struggle over and over with it… like I enjoy the painful memories and how its twisted my thoughts and how I respond to others…how I cant trust, struggle to love others, be vulnerable, emotionally screwed up…O ya ….what a life ….more like what a Hell

    • It’s so frustrating when people people say that crap, well meaning or not! If we could just get over it we would have a long time ago. I’m sorry you too struggle with this it sucks! It’s not fun. It is like hell. Thank you for this!!

  11. Kira

    Amen to that!!! You are my inspiration. Each day you offer your readers hope. You are such a blessing to me and others. Lets turn our backs on shame and walk away!!! Xoxo

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  13. The SHAME falls squarely on the shoulders of the abusers.

  14. You are awesome. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Well said! I’m glad you’re proud of your progress, you should be!! When we get to the place where we don’t need others’ approval we are in a position to change their views of us and our struggles. Your refusal to cower in shame is so powerful…..I feell proud of you too!

  16. Cat

    If only we could curse our abusers with that shame….

  17. Your writings are in inspiration to others, and that my friend is something to be very proud of. :)

  18. Beautifully written! I love that you are standing up and being proud of ALL the progress you have made already! When I started recovery, I could only think, what did I do wrong? I’m getting to point where, the question goes back to those who have hurt me! I hope in my lifetime , ‘sociey’ will have an understanding that illness of the brain, it just that…brains are organs, they can get ill, just like hearts, livers and other organs! You are such a important inspiration to me, the amazing courage to bring ‘hard’ stuff out in the open. Sending my love, support and positive vibes….lol
    love Ziggy
    p.s starting to feel better, am just getting to know new doc, I find more at ease, I’m so grateful, my T has continued working with me. He is the only thing that has stayed with me. With all the changes to my professional support. Must add, I do have amazing GP, it’s just she’s not so ‘involved’ in my mental health team. She’s near my home, my ‘team’ are 50 minutes drive away! I hope you and ‘Pickles’ are moving forward together and rebuilding trust, I know she has been helpful in grounding?!!

    • Awwww thank you Ziggy and I ‘m so glad to hear you’re beginning to feel better!! That’s great news!! There’s nothing like having a good GP!! xo

      • Are you doing ok, I even managed to FINALLY write in my blog….I know not felt able to do it till yesterday! Did you find a GP you could work with near by, I remember you were looking earlier this year? ……..lol

      • Hey Ziggy,

        Thank you for asking, I”m up and down, very scared about Hubby not being able to find work. We did find a very nice family doc thankfully!!

        Sending hugs xo

  19. I have always struggled with shame, but not from abuse. I have, until recently, felt I wasn’t worthy of whatever I received or was. My life is changing in grand fashion for the better; however, having known shame, I can identify with you, Zoe, and others who feel it. It is a debilitating feeling and must stop so we can all grow.
    Scott

  20. Pingback: Shame and Sexual Abuse: Through A Survivor’s Eyes | Ginger Kadlec: 4UrKids™

  21. In my case, I felt shame because I wanted to be just like everyone else. I didn’t want to see the pity in my friend’s eyes. I didn’t want my friends to feel uncomfortable around me because they knew I was getting beaten at home even though I wouldn’t admit it. I wanted to fit in & sadly never did.

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  25. Reblogged this on Pomelo girl thoughts and commented:
    This is going to be the base of my response to people who think I’m weird or straight-out lying because I’m open to talking about my past.

    The first thing to defeat is thought.

  26. Thank you, Zoe for your beautiful and encouraging message. Keep on speaking the truth. Those of us who have battled through the shame can be a beacon of light to survivors who still struggle with it.

Every voice matters!

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