Recovery: My Personal Battle with Shame

This is the third time I’ve attempted this blog.  I don’t know why it’s so much harder to write than my other blogs.  You know exactly what I mean too.  I'm sure.  You have all these things you could say, but when you go to say them, it doesn't sound as good.

If you follow me, you know my story.  My first step-father from ages 4-7 molested me.  I was raped twice as an adult at 19 and 26.  I’m open and honest about my experiences and provided information on how you too, can recover and heal from sexual trauma. It's a hard thing to deal with.  So, I love sharing what I've learned mainly because it's so hard to find information like this because it's soooo taboo to talk about.

Maybe this blog is harder to write because I don't have some amazing 3 step process to get over shame.  I have a personal battle that has run deep through my soul.  What I know now is I no longer live, eat, and breathe shame.  Which is impressive but how can I pass something like that along?

Honestly, I don't have the answer, at least not right now.  Maybe down the road, I will.

What I can tell you, is shame keeps the secret inside of us.  The secret is what breeds the sickness.  The reality is the reason why people don't speak outcomes to down to shame.  It's the reason why we haven't told our partners, pressed charges, etc.  It's the core of why it changes us as women.  As human beings.

My battle with shame runs deep.  It manifested at every possible turn in my life.  See, I didn’t recall consciously what happened to me when I was a child until 27 years later.  What happened after 7 were just layers of shame.  What do I mean?  Let me share with you.

I was a fat girl most my life up until I was about 24.  The heaviest I weighed was 280 pounds.  In a time where being a heavier set girl was unacceptable.

I never had a boyfriend in high school.  I lost my “virginity” to a man that was twice my age at 17.  I think I knew him for a month.

I slept with whoever whenever no matter how it made me feel.

I would get blackout drunk most nights.

I married a man to complete school because I had a falling out with my mom and couldn't use her income. I never even finished the schooling. I divorced him not even a year later.

I dated men I hated and played games with them because they had hurt me in some way, shape, or form. I was so good at manipulating men; it was almost pathetic for me to watch.  I used sex as a weapon- that was the ultimate power.  I could bring any man to his knees.

The night I remembered what happened, I didn't think anything of it.  I thought I was okay.  I continued to manifest shame in my life.

Almost a year and a half later after that night, I was single and pregnant.

In this recovery blog go behind the scenes with Angela’s personal battle with shame and how shame impacted her entire life.  Learn how shame from childhood sexual abuse can manifest for years and cause more shame, if the pain goes unhealed.

Some of you might not see this list as shame, and that’s fine.  For me, it reeks of shame. All of it.  Especially the single and pregnant part.  Because for once in my life, there was clear proof that I was living a battle with shame.  

I didn't know my ex very well when I got pregnant. I knew him for a few weeks, and we had sex within that few weeks, and I got pregnant.   I didn't want to have sex.  I was afraid to say no, though.  (I don’t care what others are teaching or saying, not saying no or speaking up is 100% my fault.)  Not speaking up, stems from my unhealed past. He disappeared (he didn’t know I was pregnant) I had to show up to his doorstep and tell him.  We tried to work out.  It didn’t work.   There is so much more to this story.  If you want more, you can click here to read about my pregnancy journey.

Today, I'm happy it didn't work because he's a narcissist who is also related to my shame.  The narcissist and my shame caused chaos in my postpartum life to the point where I couldn't even enjoy being a first-time mom with my daughter.  It was harder to deal with him because of it reflecting back to me. It was f*cking sickening.  When I finally let go of the shame, (If you want more on stepping into your power, click here) It made working with him slightly more manageable. No, he's probably not going to change, but I'll continue to transform.  That will make our lives easier. 

I'm sure most of us deal with shame some way or another.  Whether or not you were sexually abused , we’ve all suffered from shame.  You’re a bad girl.  Not what you’re doing is bad. That’s where it starts.  Conditioning from our parents as children to believing we’re bad human beings.  Which teaches us we aren’t worth anything and spirals of control into a shame chaos storm as adults.

For me, my parents only did what they could with what they knew.  I don't have any other explanation.  I'm not mad about it.  They can't do anything for me now.

I can only continue to cut the cord with shame over and over and over. 

Even just a couple of months ago, if I could stay connected to shame, I was doing it.  I didn’t even know until one day I figured out that my co-dependency was with shame, not people, things, drugs, alcohol, it was shame.  The truth?  All our addictions and co-dependencies boil down to a core wound.  (You can learn more about core wounds and Gene Keys, here.)

I want to say that just one day in the snap of a finger I let it go.  That’s not true.  I battled it out for years and didn’t understand where it came from.  When I finally figured it out, I battled for more than 2 years before I let go.  It took on a life of its own before I finally let it go.  It was an internal war.  Not just a battle.  It was scary to let go, but I did.  

If I can provide any answers to the way I let shame go is with timeline therapy.  We had to focus on it a couple of times. So if you’re in search of an answer, if you’re tired of feeling the way that you’re feeling, crying, feeling unworthy, not feeling like you’re enough.  Find a timeline therapist.  It will help.  It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.  If you're ready, if you're not ready to let to go, it won't work.  That's okay.  We all go through this at different times and ways. 

Before I end this blog, I want you to know a few things.

  1. You’re never alone.  Please reach out to someone and start your recovery journey today.  It is worth every second.  If you have no one, leave me a comment or email me at angela@asfreeasyousee.com.  Or you can click this link.

  2. You're a survivor.  Don’t let anyone tell you; you're a victim anymore.  Why?  Because it keeps you from getting real help.  Being called a victim is a trap.  Don’t fall for it.  Anyone that survives a traumatic event is called a survivor or a hero, not a victim. 

  3. Remember, secrecy breeds the sickness.  When you speak up despite the shame, it changes something for the next person and the next.  Eventually, generations to come.  Speaking up will be one of the hardest things you’ll do.  It’s worth it.  It also gives others permission to do the same. Your story matters.

  4. You’re loved.  You may not believe it. That's fine.  You may not think that anyone loves you, but I do.  I can finally say that I have enough love in my life and for myself that I have more than enough to give to you!

If you can relate, have a question or need support, please feel free to leave a comment. Let’s connect.

Recommended:

Blogs: Recovery Blog Series
Products: Recovery Journal
Books: Courage to Heal, Courage to Heal Workbook