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  1. #51
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I don't know if different personality types experience shame in different ways, Hirsch. That's certainly a possibility. I'm guessing that shame is the same in everyone and the way it plays out/degree of recognition is the difference.

    I think what you are talking about is generalized shame. It's that slow-burning fire that's always there eroding our self-confidence unawares. Shame a kid enough times and it can become generalized.

    Certainly a singular focus on causation will distract from the goal and that may be an unconscious motivation.

    Those flare-ups I describe, while seldom for me, are cause for caution to avoid rekindling the original fire. Make sense? Ach. Metaphor. . .

    If someone is experiencing chronic shame it's a safe bet to say that at some formative stage someone, perhaps many, implied that that child's acts and thoughts were wrong in some way and that, over time, the person internalized those messages to mean that they were inherently flawed as a human being.

    I used to think of it as , "Once upon a time Mom shamed me a lot. Now she doesn't have to follow me around and do it anymore. I carry her within me and can do it for myself." Heh.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  2. #52
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    Boy have I been on the wrong track, then. I have an insatiable need to understand why this is happening in order to devise a strategy to manage it. ...
    I'm the same way.
    And that method has worked for me very well.
    However, if there's one thing I know for certain having spent over a year on this site,
    no single approach works the same for everyone.
    My method usually involves grieving my pain from past abuse, neglect or loss,
    and forgiving those who have hurt me.
    The more specific I can be about how they actually injured me, the deeper the healing.
    (My method also involves prayer to God,
    but I know that's not a very accepted concept in this forum,
    so I usually don't mention it.)


    Perhaps Anja means that if you can't discover the cause,
    it shouldn't prevent you from doing the things you can do to overcome it.
    Certainly I can agree with that.

  3. #53
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    ...
    I used to think of it as , "Once upon a time Mom shamed me a lot. Now she doesn't have to follow me around and do it anymore. I carry her within me and can do it for myself." Heh.
    Very familiar with that.
    And sometimes that is specific enough.
    In my case, when I started to face the pain, I had flashbacks of the actual things she said to me. (How could an adult say such things to a child... I can only pity her now.)

    Cutting that voice off is very difficult but it can be done. I had to emotionally divorce myself from the fact that she is my mother, in order to reject the things she said to me.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    And, the good news is that, with time and practice it gets easier and better.

    I've been at this for thirty-some years and can honestly say that my old shame is triggered perhaps once a year! And dispensed with in moments. Think it's a life-time process.

    I also have been able to learn how to have a satisfying relationship with Mom, something I'm especially grateful to have accomplished. Never expected, or even wanted, that to happen.

    And she didn't need to work at it at all. I did the work and she made adjustments over time to the new and improved me. Not to please her, but to please me. Aha!

    But that work was in a different realm than shame work and involved learning to self-reparent and boundary setting.

    You are very fortunate, Mom, to have been able to discover the original source of shame for you. Some people are never able to do so.

    And my point is that that doesn't have to be a roadblock to recovery.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  5. #55
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    And, the good news is that, with time and practice it gets easier and better.

    I've been at this for thirty-some years and can honestly say that my old shame is triggered perhaps once a year! And dispensed with in moments. Think it's a life-time process.

    I also have been able to learn how to have a satisfying relationship with Mom, something I'm especially grateful to have accomplished. Never expected, or even wanted, that to happen.

    And she didn't need to work at it at all. I did the work and she made adjustments over time to the new and improved me. Not to please her, but to please me. Aha!

    But that work was in a different realm than shame work and involved learning to self-reparent and boundary setting.
    Awesome. It's tough but it's worth it.
    You are very fortunate, Mom, to have been able to discover the original source of shame for you. Some people are never able to do so.
    I think the book, Facing Shame, suggests potential sources of shame in a person's life.
    When I was reading it, I remembered things I hadn't thought of since I was a child.

    And my point is that that doesn't have to be a roadblock to recovery.

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