Just realising....

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Boatsetsailrose

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Just realising....
« on: November 21, 2019, 09:16:43 PM »
Hi
I just seem to be realising in a big way shame is at the bottom of so many of my issues...
Self rejection, self beating, self. Contempt, feelings of worthlessness.
I also struggle with what I am actually feeling.. Also to see who is responsible for what in relating issues.

Had a v  difficult day yesturday and when I'm in that space my mood drops so low. My addiction kicked off in. My head and thank god I didnt binge.

I just need to write this

I Am not a walking disaster...
I have a right to keep growing and develop good enough friendships

Shame lives in me and I am now rising to not be truly sucked into its claws.

I can feel. Good enough about myself

Any experience people have around growing /dealing with shame I'd be so grateful to hear

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Three Roses

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2019, 09:37:13 PM »
You are not a walking disaster.

You have a right to keep growing and develop good enough friendships.

You're not a finished product, nor should you be. You are the same as everyone, a work in progress.

Wish I could tell you I have a handle on my own shame. I don't. But I'm beginning to read about the Internal Family System therapy and I'm really hopeful. Here's a couple of links if you're interested.

https://youtu.be/2UfmGwENz9M

https://youtu.be/LuJLv98ks-I

Thanks for being here.  :wave:

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saylor

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2019, 08:04:34 PM »
Hi Boats,
I’m not glad you’re feeling like this, but given that you are, I’m very glad you posted. I have been mulling over the issue of shame a lot, recently, and had wanted to post to the forum but wasn’t sure what exactly to say. I’m still trying to organize my thoughts. However, I do have some insights into the matter, and I have been finding some small (and maybe growing?) relief through some thought exercises. Actually, I think it’s one of those “2 steps forward, 1 step back” kind of things.
I’ve recently retired and therefore have more time on my hands (and empty space in my mind). Unfortunately, the latter seems to have become the devil’s playground, because I have been flooded, absolutely flooded, with sharp feelings of inadequacy that have been causing me tremendous distress. I especially have these thoughts lying awake at night. It has been brutal. I’ve come to classify the thoughts into a few major categories: humiliation (based on embarrassing things others have witnessed about me, generally as evidenced by insensitive comments they’ve made to/about me), failure and rejection (self-explanatory), and guilt (over bad things I’ve done that I regret and can’t undo). The crazy thing is, these can be things that happened DECADES ago that I maybe haven’t thought about much or at all in the interim. In almost all cases, it seems like I’m suffering from them more now than I did back when they were fresh. It’s maddening. And as soon as one leaves my brain, another pops in to take its place. And then some of them will make the rounds again, and I’ll have to re-experience the misery all over again.
I’m wondering whether I’m so prone to this because my parents made so many unconstructively critical comments about me all throughout my childhood (and I got bullied in school). It’s hard to imagine a well-adjusted person would be so susceptible to re-experiencing shame so vividly and repeatedly over the course of so much time. At any rate, that’s the background. Here’s what I’ve been trying to do, and I think it may be helping, if only just a little bit.
Self-compassion. I’m ashamed to say, I think I used to roll my eyes at that term, but I’m realizing that that may be the only way forward for me. The only way I’m able to harness that power is to remind myself that I got off to a really bad start in life, and seeds that I’m inadequate, unlovable, unattractive, stupid, and unworthy were planted in my head by the people who had the most influence over me, because I depended upon them for sustenance and protection. That created an internal belief system that colors my perceptions and makes me automatically take others’ remarks/actions personally, without any critical examination that might make me realize the contrary. I have my faults, but I’m basically a decent, honest, gentle, caring person, and that’s a lot to be proud of. Kristin Neff has a lot to say about self-compassion, and so does Beverly Engel. If you have time, you might want to check out their stuff. I feel like I got something out of their writings (and Neff’s meditations).
I’m also starting to get serious about meditation. Anything that can yank my brain away from obsessive thoughts that I’m different from everyone else and am flawed and replulsive would be helpful, and certain types of mindfulness might help get me there. I’m only just starting to explore that, so don’t have a lot to say that’s intelligent on the topic (yet), but I’m sure that if I feel it’s working I’ll check back in.
I’m also going to look into IFS, as suggested by 3R.
Shame is probably my main barrier to improvement right now. It used to be anxiety. Now it’s depression fueled by shame and just general self-loathing. Ugh, I’m just so tired of the toll CPTSD has taken on my life. It’s well over half over, and I’m so tired of being stuck...
By the way, I’m glad you didn’t binge (major congrats!) That’s my typical response to the strong waves of shame. Have a few drinks and drift into the warm numbness. I’m trying to end that, too.
Hugs and hopeful thoughts to you
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 09:34:09 PM by saylor »

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Perplex

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2019, 01:37:50 AM »
I'm sorry to hear you're struggling with this. Shame can feel so toxic when it's been embedded so deeply into your head.
It's maybe helpful to remind oneself that you're only human, and we can't be these perfect beings that make everyone happy - that's not what we're meant to do. When we make a mistake, we learn from it and move on. That's how it's meant to be done. Just because a mistake is made, doesn't mean we're somehow inferior or deserving to be ridiculed or shamed. If that was the case, then all human beings are terrible! We are flawed, but we are not deserving of shame because of our imperfection.

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 08:22:00 AM »
Thanks three roses..
I did some ifs when I was in the last trauma therapy... V good

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2019, 08:30:50 AM »
Hi saylor
Thanks for sharing v helpful to read...
I shall. Look into the links on shame as I really want to start looking at this area..

Yes the inner critic can be so fearce and will. Come to me in many guises..
I too am retired at present (early) and time to be in my head more is proving a challenge... Almost a the past can catch up phase which is v challenging..
I'm so tired of cptsd..

Self compassion is something I was big on and have forgot about so thank u another area for me to reopen..
I remember a website called self compassion. Com was good..

I did eventually relapse in the food and am in it, its day 2.. Didn't sleep. Too well as so high on sugar.. I just couldn't cope with my head and feelings anymore plus the loneliness and loom of Xmas... Groan


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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2019, 08:38:38 AM »
Thanks perplex..
Indeed... Perfectionism can really jump on shame.... As Pete w calls it the 'inner critic'..
For me I'm so full of it that it doesn't seem to be one thing or one incident its just a thing I walk around with which erodes my inner world.. Thus triggered by the outer world.. And the inner triggers the outer... A walking conductor
I'm a dear thing and need so much self. Nurturing.. I'm tired, burnt out from the fight... Its time for me to take a different tact.. A gentler one really bring on my self compassion tool box and find some good and nurturing  re parenting tools..
..

This post is so helpful to get everyone's understanding and suggestions
Thank u

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2019, 08:39:54 AM »
A question...
What is peoples understanding of why perfectionism jumps on shame?

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Snookiebookie2

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2019, 01:53:44 AM »
Boats,

Thank you for posting.

I can totally relate. I find shame is one of the emotions that really drives my CPTSD.

I also struggle with perfectionism - something else that drives my CPTSD.

I assume that I have suffered abuse so much and had so many bad experiences and bad luck that my inner child believes that of I'm perfect them I will be safe. When things obviously fall short of perfect, as perfection doesn't really exist, then it must be because I'm defective and I feel shame.

I also think that the people around us use shame as a weapon, especially narcissistic and manipulative people. When we're purposefully shamed on a regular basis for someone's gain it becomes a habit we fall into. And then you try to be perfect to avoid that feeling.....

Once I realised how toxic shame can be, and the frequency we use it with each other without really noticing, I tried to avoid doing to my loved ones.

I know my mum used to use shame with me. Thinks like "you should know better at your age" or "X person has a better job/car/house than you" or "I can't believe that you can't a ball/ride a bike/have neat handwriting".  A comment that seems to simply stating fact, but is saying that you're defective in some way and that you really shouldn't be and you should feel ashamed because of it.   So you feel if you could correct that defect, you'll be okay. But if you do, them there's another thing where your defective.... And another.... It's never ending. Then you're in cycle of shame constantly striving for the out of gold at the end of a rainbow.... i.e perfection.

Knowing this helps take the edge of my shame.  I'm learning to not be as harsh on myself, a bit more accepting. I agree that self compassion is the key, but I've very little compassion in my life that I struggle with it (knowing how to be compassionate to myself)  So I try and use logic and reason like the above to help. I also look at how others react to similar or worse situations - and am constantly surprised at how little shame they have.

Having said the above, I still do experience many EFs at a memory popping back into my head from days/weeks/months/years/decades ago and I get and intense pang of shame.  Given my understanding of it, I try and say to my past self "I forgive you" or "It wasn't your fault, it's okay" or "that's in the past now and doesn't matter".  It doesn't always work, and doesn't stop EFs but it can stop some of the recurrent EF.

Hope this makes sense

Thanks

Snookie

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2019, 09:26:02 AM »
Thanks snookie
Your writing and experience are v helpful. To hear...
Shame is something I'm really just waking up to as a title to call a lot of my experiences/views  and so I feel hopeful at this new area of recovery.
And the perfectionism is something I want to look at more and not just be stuck in it. I can relate to the' if I just get perfect ill be safe /good enough and yes the truth that perfection doesn't exist and that as I can't be perfect then it must be I'm defective/bad /wrong ... A loop that comes back to its original point... Shame

I don't do a lot of things because of my perfection /shame loop... It is so powerful it affects my life, my being and relationships in fact as I write I can see it corrodes my whole existence. This needs to change.
I forget to relate the past to the present.. And that's OK I'm learning
..(
 Hey I just put a little self compassion in there :)


Also the shame that comes in human interactions in my life today... Real or imagined needs to change...



Re: Just realising....
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2019, 06:58:52 PM »
Hi Boatsetsailrose,

While I'm not glad that any of us are able to identify so strongly with this topic, it's comforting to have others who understand. I also have a perfection/shame cycle. Anything less then perfection is failure, failure is lack of value, and lack of value is at the heart of it all. When things are going badly in life, that voice in my head tells me that I'm worthless and will never be anything else, and everything I'm doing in life is just an attempt to trick people into thinking I'm valid rather than the worthlessness that lies at the core of me. Nothing I do will ever give me value.

I have a suspicion that that last statement may actually be true, but in a good way, if that makes sense. I don't have to do anything to be valuable. I just am. I don't feel it yet, but I'm willing to entertain the idea.

The hope I get from having a name for my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors - CPTSD - is that I can distinguish between symptoms and self. CPTSD is very new to me, so I don't know how this will translate into reality when things get bad again. But when I read about the symptoms, self-loathing and shame among them, I thought, "Oh, so that's what I do, not what I am." I can be curious because now I get to find what I am, and I know that it's not that. It's not that.

I loved your words, and they hit me in my gut because they're what I needed to hear, too: "I Am not a walking disaster...
I have a right to keep growing and develop good enough friendships"

Thank you for sharing with us. I find strength in your strength.

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2019, 06:03:05 PM »
Thank u sunflower
I'm glad the post is helping u with the identification of this inherant part of injury.
Yes seeing it and growing in awareness of how the shame plays out is liberating and painful all at the time time I feel.

Quote
Oh, so that's what I do, not what I am." I can be curious because now I get to find what I am, and I know that it's not that. It's not that'

Thank u for sharing as today I needed to hear the wound won't get healed by 'what I do, or what roles I take in the world'.
I'm really in a space in my life when my physical health determines I really can't be a product of what I do and so I am left with the 'who I really am' regardless of people, places and things' and esp work roles.

Worth is a growing flower. Once recognised as owned or that it even is owned without feeling its presence it can never be ignored again.
It flutters in the wind gently the sun shines on it and we get to water it drop by drop.



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cgl77

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Re: Just realising....
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2019, 08:25:39 PM »
Thank you everyone for posting your own struggles with the inner critic.  It's been a constant nagging companion of mine for more than 60 years.  Both parents were narcissistic, emotionally immature people who lived in a constant struggle for power with each other.  Neither had any interest in parenting, so I took on the job of trying to be perfect to get any approval.  Of course, the approval didn't come but the drive of perfectionism stayed>  After years of therapy and meditation, the IC is much less actively abusive but the feeling of never being enough is always somewhere nearby.  I have a volunteer job I love, working with animals, but the IC always lets me know I'm not doing enough and not heroic enough no matter how hard I work or how tired I get.  Then when I stop 'doing' the critic fires up and even at a low level the SI often starts in with messages like I'll never be enough and don't really matter in the world, etc.   My own dogs have literally saved me from going all the way down the hole many many times.   I wish I has a stronger human support system, but I have always had social anxiety and that has made bonding tough.  Thank you for the time and space to vent.