For confidentiality purposes, names and characteristics have been changed.
The door opens and in walks “Client Bob” who has difficulty in looking at me. Right away I sense his #shame. Fear of being judged and holding onto #blame, #guilt and shame which I suspect has been there for years. Bob is in his early 40’s and is rather nervous as to why he has come to see me and what he must right down on the Intake Form. I tell Bob not to concern himself with that for now and let us just settle in.
The negative beliefs from these past events are playing out today. As adults, their lives in some way are validating these beliefs yet denying themselves true connection, love, openness, honesty, vulnerability, excitement and happiness for the future.
Under the shame and guilt is #anger my clients have towards themselves and the beating themselves up continue causing, in many, ill health, depressive symptoms, #anxiety, self harm, obsessive compulsive disorder, inability to maintain healthy relationships, isolation, promiscuity, drug and alcohol #addiction and the list goes on. It is only when my clients feel comfortable enough to look at the cause, the events in their childhood, which have caused their shame that the journey of letting go begins. There is no judgement, only an open space to feel safe and comfortable to off load the years of carrying this heavy load of pain and #suffering. In essence, to set themselves free.
Bob had come to work with me as he was longing for a loving partner and long term relationship, yet this is what Bob feared the most. What Bob craved, he was most scared off. To his friends he was the career driven bachelor. It wasn’t until his mother passed away a few months prior to coming to see me, that many triggers brought up Bob’s anger. She had wanted to see Bob settle down and have a family. That had never happened.
Many of his friends were now married, settled down, had children but Bob would be the one to say “Marriage does not work, it is not for me, my career takes my time”. Bob had had a few short term relationships, jumping in too fast and getting out too slow, saying the right things but unable to follow through and ending the relationship. If he could not end it, he would behave so badly, his partner would end it. It took several sessions for Bob to feel comfortable with me and to gain the trust to let his walls down. When that happened we looked at the events in his childhood that caused these negative beliefs of shame, blame, embarrassment that in turn caused his own self hatred and guilt.
It went back to a busy mum and dad arguing a lot whilst looking after Bob and his 4 siblings. Money was hard to come by and very little emotional nurturing was given. 5 year old Bob found a friend. Someone who liked him, listened to him and paid him attention. This was from the regular babysitter, who was a friend of the family, who regularly would buy Bob some candy and make him feel so special away from his other siblings. He would then get invited to the movies, which was their secret, which thrilled Bob to have some one wanting to spend time with him as well as being given treats.
It wasn’t too long before the baby-sitter inappropriately touched Bob and asked Bob to do the same to him. Bob knew it was wrong and felt uncomfortable yet every Saturday would accept the movie invitation. This went on for years. As an adult this haunted Bob. He never told anyone. In his mind, he asked for it as he took the treats and accepted the invitation week after week.
During our sessions, Bob realised that the young 5 year old child back then was an innocent, vulnerable child longing for attention and emotional nurturing. He had been taken advantage of from an adult who was trusted by him and his parents. The only person judging Bob today was himself. Bob felt a sense of relief and so much better letting go of his secret, his silence; unburdening himself. Bob recognised his “Lack of Trust Patterns” by never allowing anyone to get too close to him. He felt dirty and embarrassed and would not allow himself to be loved.
After going back to the cause, the event, #understanding where these negative beliefs came from, we were able to re-programme Bob’s #subconscious with the truth and the way he wanted to be and feel allowing himself to be worthy and deserving of giving and receiving unconditional love.
Living with the “Silent Shame” affects so many people and it is not all related to sexual abuse. It is however related to the events in our childhood that we have perceived ourselves in a certain way. We as children take on the blame, it is our fault, we should not have been born, I am lazy, I am not smart enough, there is something wrong with me …….. the list goes on. The illusional list in which we do not understand why our needs are not being met on the nurturing level. The family members who are there to protect us, to keep us safe, to love us, to hug us, to get to know us are often the ones, through their behaviours, cause our inner child the most pain. No child wants to feel pain and the pain is pushed down inside.
If anyone reading this can relate or know someone who may relate to this blog, then please share. We all deserve to live a life of #freedom and allow ourselves to give and receive unconditional love in the healthy relationships we allow ourselves to be involved in.
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This blog is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians and/or mental health counsellors. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Although this blog is based on actual experience, all the characters are completely fictional. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.