SHAME and what it is...
Shame can be experienced in many forms for numerous reasons, and can mean different things to different people. It can be individual or group, even national. It is often enmeshed with guilt and negative feelings about oneself.
The Root of Shame and Moving On from it...
What is shame?
Shame is a primary emotion. If we sense disapproval from another person, we feel shame. Shame is also a social emotion, necessary in developing a sense of social cohesion.
What does shame feel like?
This may feel like an obvious question, but each person feels shame differently. Ask yourself the last time you felt shame, and try to describe what it felt like…
Often people will use the words “embarrassment”, “awkwardness”, or “humiliation” in the place of shame. This seems to diffuse the emotion, meaning that the fully blown shame is not felt, and is replaced by a less intense negative emotion.
When we are sad, we can release this by crying; with anger, we shout and lash out; yet shame stays inside and intensifies without an easy channel for release.
As an adult, we can become trapped in the cycle of shame. We feel shame, and then associate it with childhood experiences of shame. This leads to us responding to the shame feeling with our usual behaviour (such as using drugs, lashing out, or dissociating). All of this further intensifies our shame.
Segments of information courtesy of Brighton-therapy-partnership.org.
Let's Talk... Quite often we hold our feelings deep inside and over time they build and build until we feel like we could crumple into a ball or explode into fragments because we just can't contain these feelings any more.
Sometimes in life we see, hear or experience things that can feel like a bolt from the blue, and others are a slow defiant burn that maybe grinds us down. Does this sound familiar in any way ?
Having counselling may feel like a big step into the unknown - and I understand that.
But, if you don't like where you are now, I'd like to hope it can only get better.
We so often are affected by life events, even tiny ones, that we forget to care for ourselves as we are so busy getting by and caring for others. And sometimes we experience feelings that WE are ashamed of, and we push them down as we are confused, conflicted, maybe offended or shocked - and we maybe induce guilt onto ourselves for these thoughts or feelings that we don't wish to remember..
These things can appear small and insignificant or maybe HUGE. But if they hurt - they hurt. It's that simple.
Don't push your feelings underground.
Come and see me, and let's talk.
Give yourself permission to have the opportunity to feel better...