Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shame as an Identity

When one suffers from alienation, that means that one experiences parts of themselves as alien.  For example, if you were never allowed to express your feelings (anger, happy, sad etc) in your family then your feelings becomes an alienated part of you. And the outcome of that is you will feel shame when you feel particular feelings. This is a part of you that must be disowned or severed & avoided.

The problem with this is there is no way to actually get rid of your emotion without expressing them. For example, anger has odd qualities that most in recovery don’t associate with anger. Anger is self preserving, it is self protecting.  Without the energy of Anger we would all become door mats and people pleasers.

When we deny our feelings and push them aside shame is generated.  If left to its own devices shame becomes an identity. Now because it is so deeply and completely internalized shame stops having a proper place in our life. It no longer is a marker about what we are doing … it becomes who we are.  When it is completely internalized and becomes an identity, it is impossible for any of us to speak about how we feel think or wish because we have become the object of our own contempt.  I am shamed whenever I feel my feelings.

Thus it follows that to feel shame is to feel exposed or be seen for whom we imagine us to be and who we imagine us to be is always a considerably diminished picture of who and what we really are.

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