Shame was always there

There is not a time where shame has not been present; not a time where I have not wondered “what is wrong with me”.  I was never “normal”; never good enough: never smart enough, never fast enough, never slim enough, never fit enough, never pretty enough.  Yet paradoxically I was always “too much”: too sensitive, too caring, too pale, too freckly, too fat, too emotional, too loud, too quiet, too boring, too slow.  Not enough, too much – no matter what, I just could just not “get it right”.  Never “allowed” to be me, shut down each and every time I simply relaxed and let my Self be present.  From the moment I can remember words hurt, people hurt, I carried shame on my shoulder day in and day out.

You are too sensitive!  Shame would say to me each time I felt overwhelmed by the bright lights, the noises, or even the smells in a room.

You care too much!  Words of frustration and disgust would spew from Shame’s mouth each time I felt the physical resonance of empathy within my body for those less fortunate than me.

Keep up, what is wrong with you?  The words would linger in my heart as I tried to be faster to keep up with Shame, but just could not get myself to move any quicker.

Why don’t you just sit in the sun?  Shame would continue to taunt me as I sought shelter from the burning rays against my fair skin.

Oh my, look at your legs wobble!  Look at that belly!  There Shame was again, laughing at me each time I had to run, each time I had to get into a swim costume.

I cannot believe you do not understand, it is not that hard!  Shame would look down at me with a perplexed brow, shaking his head, then walking away each and every time I did not comprehend something.

Shame ridiculed me constantly, it felt like there was no escaping him… And though my teachers had taught me that words cannot hurt me, though my parents had taught me to just ignore it, that they were “only words” and words would not hurt me, no matter how hard I tried I could still hear the words, and they still hurt.  I sought a different wisdom and was told “Repent!  Repent!  Repent for your sins” – I must be doing something bad I thought, there must be something so terribly wrong with me.  I spent years trying to tell myself to ignore it, years attempting my best to “repent” each time someone spoke ill of my character, years upon years denying the pain that by then had seeped down into the very essence of my being.  I hid within myself thinking that if I just stopped being all that I was and began to be all that the world wanted of me – If I could just be all that Shame asked of me, perhaps then I would be accepted, perhaps then I may even be good enough to be loved.

Do not be ridiculous, nobody wants to talk about that!  I stopped talking about the things I was passionate about.

Why would you want to read that, that is so boring!  I stopped reading the books I enjoyed reading.

That is not good writing, no one understands that!  I stopped writing the way that I wanted to write.

Stop singing that song, no one wants to hear your voice!  I stopped singing the tunes I loved to sing.

He lived outside of me and he lived inside of me.  In the language others spoke to me and in the sense manifestations I felt within me.  He lived in those speaking down to me when I was struggling with thoughts and feelings, looking at me with contempt and disgust, belittling me for daring to cry, daring to ask for a hug, daring ask for help, daring to suggest that I was worthily of love.  Do not be ridiculous, you do not “deserve” a hug!  When I wanted to yell and when I wanted to speak my truth, he lived inside of me clenching my throat.  And, when I desperately wanted for it to end, when my guts told me enough was enough, Shame grabbed my heart and told me that I would never find another that would “put up with me”.  Shame laughed at me, mocking me, no matter who I was, no matter what I did, Shame kept attacking, he just would not stop, eating away at my soul until eventually he became enmeshed in my very being…

Though I may not be externally experiencing so much Shame anymore, though I may “know” that Shame is not needed anymore, there is a knowing deep within me that can recognise that because Shame was so present for so long, that to say goodbye to him now would mean saying goodbye to a part of my very being – and perhaps I am just not ready for that just yet.


Connect with me for a complimentary counselling consultation.

Welcome, my name is Chele, I am a therapist primarily specialising in Trauma &  Burnout.
As a psychotherapist & PACFA registered Counsellor I work individually with beautiful humans such as yourself who feel alone, lost, confused, & overwhelmed; those of you who are longing for something different.

As such, I offer my knowledge, skills, and inherent gifts with ears that listen to hear, and a heart open to receive who you are, no matter the suffering you bring; to support you in an exploration of how your past has impacted you and the ways that shows up presently. Together we will rediscover your hope and your sense of Self; we will reconnect you to what matters reclaiming the joy and delight in life you so deserve. I welcome you to view my services or connect with me to explore how I can assist you in your journey.

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