SHAME

 

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Shame – Wikipedia
Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self, withdrawal motivations, and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness

I cannot make that word large or ugly enough to express of how much it has affected my life.

To keep shame hidden and unaware, is a weight I have carried and many carry daily and throughout their lifetime.  The thoughts that come that we are not good enough for this or that, the negative that has infiltrated our minds from childhood and through life is somewhat disabling.

It was not until a few years ago that I understood shame and it’s effects upon my life.  Still, this morning as I am looking and researching many websites about shame did I realize that I was triggered just a few weeks ago of something that put me in a downward spiral of anger, unworthiness and sadness.  While I managed and coped, I realized today that was shame again heaped upon me.  Not understanding the situation and why somebody that was dear to me would ignore me basically.  I took that as I am unworthy, they have lied to me all this time and I am a nobody.  While I identified I was angry, it was not until writing this blog did I recognize shame.  Disappointment and all the emotions became alive with this situation, I became stuck.  It’s shame, yet again.  Shame, it’s time to go! Thankfully, through this period, I had my counselors to allow me to talk and work through it all.  Just to recognize shame, it cannot stay.

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Shame wants us to hide and be all negative about ourselves that we will not fully succeed in life.  It’s a great ploy of the enemy because he knows that if we had the confidence and compassion toward ourselves, as we do others, we can make an impact.  As a Christian, the enemy does not want that at all.  Keep him or her quiet and all is well.  Becoming aware of shame and how it has tormented me, I will speak out and go forward.  It may knock me for a loop, as it did recently, but I will bounce back.F6035147-A86B-4B42-99AC-84F8E79DC483

To understand and to put a word with the feelings is enlightening.  Why I never knew of shame really before in life is unbeknownst to me.  Perhaps it wasn’t the time.

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Shame is feeling sorry about who you are as a person.     And toxic shame is feeling bad about who you are as a person all the time – it is pervasive.  What is Toxic Shame?  (The Little-Known Mental Illness) LonerWolf  https://lonerwolf.com/toxic-shame/

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First, identify what shame feels like in your body. How do you embody shame? For many people, shame feels and looks closed down. We tend to embody “closed down” by hunching our shoulders or looking down, anything we can do to hide. We might clench our jaw, hold our hands as fists, or harden our gaze. The longer we hold these closed down expressions or “poses,” the longer we embody, feel, and think shame.   How to Overcome the Weight of Shame  by https://www.recoverywarriors.com/the-weight-of-shame/

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👉🏻 Be aware! 

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For more information about shame, Brene Brown is awesome!  https://brenebrown.com/

Bracelet Beauty

DED2117F-6DF0-433D-A905-12FA4A37EBF0I have a sweet friend that I met in Sunday school, sitting next to me, many years ago and we have been friends since that morning.  While we lived miles apart, we managed to meet several times a year to shop and soon developed our routine of favorite stores, etc.  On my birthday about a year or two ago, we met and she had a gift for me, a beautiful bracelet of friendship.  Soon, she and husband moved further away, in another state.  In that last shopping trip together, I gave her a friendship bracelet.  This move was good for them but we both missed our girl-time together so we decided to meet half way for a few days to shop back in the spring.  What fun it was to get away and enjoy hours talking, laughing, sharing and at times crying.  True, best friends.  In that time together going from shop to shop, we found bracelets and sure enough we bought the same.

Just recently, while she was in town, we met, shopped and there again found ourselves looking at bracelets.  So now we have a new theme to our time together. Bracelets.

It was this last trip that I was telling her about my first bracelet many years ago, that I had forgotten about wearing.  Some things in my past, I wanted to forget.

It was back, almost twenty years, I was dealing with some issues that no wife needs to experience or words to hear 14C97E8C-B4F1-4F96-BEBE-51E23A0968E3from her husband.  I was lost in the emotional turmoil and nobody to turn to due to shock and shame, thinking maybe it was all my fault.  I felt hopeless, ugly, unworthy and whatever negative word you want to throw in this mess I was in and dealing with.

A little girl on our street, about ten years old, would often come to see me when I was out in the yard.  I had boys so I was outside with them or checking on them.  The girl was selling jewelry for her class at school so, of course, I bought one.  I still remember that day, as if it was yesterday.

686BAD4C-585C-492D-ABD5-AE8A4BBFC909It was a stretchy soft-color bracelet and I thought how pretty it was and happy I bought it.  It was when I put it on to go to church one day, I guess I felt good that day.  I put it on, then I realized I felt different.  I felt pretty.  In shock with that feeling, I took it off, as I noticed a difference in me.  I put the bracelet back on and wore it all the time, thereafter.  It helped me to feel pretty when I did not feel pretty at all.  It gave me a sense of hope in myself when I had rather disappeared in life.

I still have the bracelet.  While I do not wear it nowadays, I keep it to always remember where I was then and how it helped me climb through despair.  There were a couple of years where I bought or was given bracelets as gifts so I have quite a few.

In those years, I wore the cheap, school bracelet mostly or another here or there but in time I took the bracelet(s) off as well as my wedding rings; I wore no jewelry at all but my post earrings.  Done.  No need to feel or look pretty.  If I had a good day, I knew it was short-lived.  No wonder I wanted to forget this period in my life.

0615FC93-BAED-4A83-9D80-6EF86150919AIt was just a month or so ago, I bought myself a new watch, I slipped on a bracelet with it and again the feeling came, I felt pretty but also knowing I am worthy to wear this bracelet.  Isn’t it interesting that just a cheap or any other bracelet can change the thoughts and feelings by wearing it?

9B3B740D-C2A7-45B5-8B6B-BDF675A6FE9CLife issues, marriage, relationships, etc., can take all hope from us at times but knowing the One who gives hope is what matters.  I gave up on everyone and even God through those years although knowing deep down, he was there for me. He was all I had but I even doubted Him..

Questioning the Lord of why I had to go through everything295382E6-CCC1-4B9D-8139-F816E2BAD317 that I did.  He knew that I would question Him.  He knew I was and felt hopeless and that I was angry.  He knew where I was and what I was going through.

I said this so often and I still do, as it keeps my faith alive: He knows my name and He knows where I am. 

You are welcome to use that, too!  No matter what you are facing, know that you take one day at a time.  Trust Him!

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Imposition

Isn’t it funny how things come about and make sense, perhaps years later, more like decades in my case?

As a small child, I was always told to sit down, be quiet and do not bother anybody or anything.  I would go to work with my mom many times when she cleaned 5A620FB0-F8CF-4D5A-AE94-7BB47297B8D2houses.  I knew to never touch much less breathe on anything.  What I did though was look at the beautiful homes we were in, imagine what it was like to live there.  While we had a nice, clean home ourselves, it was my place to escape within my mind.  I can still smell the Ivory bath soap and see the bathroom at Betty’s house.  I can see the beautiful knick knacks and remember looking out the window in the side room to the back yard at Addie’s house.  I was a good kid, I could entertain myself just within my thoughts.  I had to in order to stay out of people’s way, including my mom.  I was no bother.

0550A961-9751-4A3C-9C03-8BD377E9EEC0Many times, I have noticed through the years that I would not call others, ask for help, etc,, and I am still that way.  For instance, I have been given permission by my former counselor, in the past, and my present counselors to contact them, if needed.  Each one, my comment is that I appreciate the offer but I did not and will not bother you and I don’t.  The risk of rejection, of them having no time for me would only magnify the panic within me.  In a situation at work, just yesterday, now I had to bother several and got a little more involved than usual.  Perhaps that is me not being so independent, codependent, passive aggressive, etc., as I will take so much and then… Enough!  Majority of the time, I will solve the issue and figure out how to rectify the problem for ease on me and all involved.  As in this work situation, besides my time and a stress headache pounding on each heartbeat, I now have a solution and will put in place starting tomorrow.  Done.

The imposition came to mind when discussing abandonment with my counselor yesterday.  I was an unwanted burden.  We both know this has been an issue for me in life.  One of those things yet again, I never had a word for of how I felt until my former counselor identified.  So, that is what I felt and it all made sense, that was just in the last five years.  Not easy to work through but at least I am not questioning the whys within me.

Abandonment, odds are came early for me, birth to eighteen months.  Seems unreal and kind of crazy to even consider but makes sense to tie all the lose ends together.  No maternal bonding as that was one of my questions wondering why our relationship was not like most mother-daughter connections.  There was never a mushy greeting card to reflect what was not there, ever.  Still she was my mom.  One of those moments, all my life, to sit back and look at the situation but never understanding.

“If my own mother can’t love me, who can?”  “Is there something wrong with me.”

Talking to him about this abandonment, I remembered mom’s words many times through the years the fact that right after having me, the day we came home from the hospital, she had to make Thanksgiving dinner. Back then, they kept mother and baby for days in the hospital, unlike today.

So, with a large family already, knowing I was the seventh child, seven years younger from my sister, other family members visiting, you know the general holiday gathering of family and friends, odds are I was tossed from one to another and that continued.  Take care of 309CD4E2-F84A-45BA-ABE9-A81E7CAF0CBAyour sister and don’t make her cry.  I heard that so often, as she did not really care to hold or even hear me.  How sad.  I have always felt and known I was an oops baby.  To realize even back then, I was an imposition as a baby, a young girl, adult and still an almost retired lady, it kind of does something to you.

Partly, there is shock and working through for healing but then comes strength in knowing the facts.  With all the comments, whether in joking, sarcasm and perhaps hatred of being in the way, it happened to me.  I heard all of that and it affected me, more than I realized.

As I told my mom while sitting on her bed, while she was putting laundry away, and out of her way; it was when I was about seven or eight, I questioned if I was a mistake with no reply.  I still remember that day, as if it was yesterday.  I shrugged my shoulders probably knowing already or why would I even ask, but then said to her that perhaps I am here to take care of you and dad later in life.  That actually took place, until their deaths.  Out of the mouths of babes.

649F54F8-B095-41BB-A5F9-F45960CD43A6While I may have been an oops, an imposition, a bother, felt the abandonment in life, I know one thing for certain and that I am a child of God.  I think I even knew it back then, too, but nobody to encourage me spiritually.  I know that He does not make mistakes.  I am not a mistake.  I know that He loves me.  I am loved and B806CA6C-2627-4DE8-A085-0F28E1E301DDlovable.  The ‘I Am’ statements are not just off the wall and flippant but necessary and truth behind each one.  It has taken me years to truly grasp His Love for me.  It’s when you know because you know.  Joy!

So many times in life, we are put down, ridiculed, etc., to where we do not know the who, what, when, where and whys in life.  But God…  It’s when you put your trust in Him and believe He has your life in His Hands, and trust Him and watch your faith grow, then the other does not matter as much.

I am no bother or imposition to God.  He is there for me 24/7 as He is for you.  Trust Him.

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https://healingbrave.com/blogs/all/i-am-affirmations-healing-purpose-abundance

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201105/when-mothers-don-t-bond-their-daughters

 

Lost and Found

2E35C2E4-F24B-457E-8FEF-68DC4587F2E4I am now in the final stage of my life with many years remaining and hopefully the best of them yet as my hope and joy are returning to me.  There is a spring in my step of this older, adult woman who is finally understanding herself and more importantly, accepting herself.   It feels good to feel worthy if to nobody else but to God.Lost and found vector motivational romantic philosophical quote

While the last five years have been tedious with counseling and digging in the dirt to see clearly, it has been worth every penny, the time involved, heartache felt and many tears.   I did this for me.  I made a choice that I want more in life before I die.  To know that only death was before me and hopelessness, only brought more hopelessness plus doom and gloom. Not a good place to be or to stay.

People get stuck and see no way out.  Like a cat in a paper bag.  Yearning for more but overwhelmed by all the negative that they have encountered and believing it all to be fact.  Nowhere to go, distrustful of others due to past relationships of hurts and basically alone.

As a Christian, feelings of despair in this lost state brings condemnation so that, too, must be dealt with and fought against.  People around us are lost as a non-Christian but many are lost in just hopelessness felt.  Not because of unbelief, as they just might have more faith than you may think in order to hold on, it is just no zeal to push through.  93F29398-D3FD-4E27-ACA3-581107A2823C

There were years that I walked through that mess.  While being unsure who I could really confide in or one that would believe the chaos that seemed to swallow me up.  The craziness that it brings because on the outside it all appeared normal.  I walked in a fog at times and for a bit, I was numb being so hurt and not knowing what to do.

I was lost for many years of basically feeling like a caged bird being F20671BD-9FD0-4B1A-A87E-62FDECEEAFD1unsure and afraid.  Plus, forgetting myself as my confidence, what little there was, removed itself from my life.  A zombie at times going through the motions of life, wearing a mask. People and circumstances can strip you of your whole being, of which happened year after year.

Today, I am not the same person I was five years ago.  Thank God.  Walking into my former counselors office the first day, sitting on her loveseat and being asked why I was there was the beginning of the me I am today.  I felt I was going crazy, which was my response to her and I 35B47D33-8A10-40F5-9B33-DCA08DA6C2EEbelieved it because of the imprisonment of my life.  Help me!

When we make a choice and decide to move forward, our faith ignites and the Lord will see us through the pain and struggles.  Trusting Him with it all and our lives, He will open doors and will bring the joy back into our lives that we have forgotten.  The excitement of living comes alive and in color like never 18132AAB-9AA3-4569-907C-C342433BAA19
before.  I forgot and lost myself in the past and for years but today I feel I have found myself once again and finding each day better than the last.  So the best years are ahead of me and I am going forward.

How about you?  If you are going through something that seems overwhelming and the hopelessness seems to be clinging to you, allow the Lord to help you.  Trust Him.

While I was a Christian, and have been since my early twenties, it came to a point of desperation and saying, Lord it is me and You.

He knows, He cares, He loves you. ❤️

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Homeless Little Girl

While getting ready to be picked up by some friends recently to attend a popular musical in a nearby city, many thoughts kept coming to mind that I haven’t thought of since I was a child. At least this much thought.

I do not give myself such luxuries to attend these types of events often enough. One, because they are too expensive and I am not too terribly fond of musicals. Perhaps for this very reason I am writing that I am not a fan. This one had a meaning, as my son was in the orchestra pit so you bet I would pay and make myself available to be with others to enjoy. Slowly crawling out of my shell, too.

Since it has been years, like I said, I was a young child and I might have been ten, if not a bit older but not by much. There was this girl at the other end of our small, country town and we were becoming friends, hanging out, as we talked on the telephone like most girls do, which was all nice. While I liked her friendship, I knew she was more outgoing and just better than me. I have always thought everyone was better than me, a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.

0941A85F-F0C1-4B8A-B855-1CD52ED17D18It was when Jen called me at home one evening. As a typical young girl, I played outside, did not dress up much and spent just an ordinary day at home, most days and weekends. Her call was to ask me if I wanted to go with her, her mother and maybe another person to a play, a musical or something fancy. Knowing and thinking that I may never have this opportunity again, I agreed and thought it would be fun. Of course, with that agreement, I had to be ready within minutes. Sure, I am ready, I said. Now, I had no idea what or where we were going, just with my friend. I felt special knowing I was asked to go. I felt special and important.

It was when they arrived to pick me up and my friend, younger than me by a year, walked through the door with her mother. I remember the exact place I was standing, looking at them, probably thinking oh my. I’m sure my mom and others in the living room were thinking, what the hell. While I do not remember what the mom had on, I do remember my younger friend looking like an adult. All dressed up, 14C7F979-C6D1-454A-B751-78D4DD1A1062wearing her mother’s mink stole and makeup. They were both classy looking. Here I am, probably greasy hair somewhat, in my normal clothes from the day. Remember, I only had five minutes to be ready. Not knowing what to expect, definitely not this night or what followed.

I do remember my mom asking me if I really wanted to go. I know now that was to protect me from being hurt due to the way they were dressed and the homely look I 8cb1ff75-fa04-467a-aec4-0c7793a42308-43917-00000876b968150aportrayed compared to them. At that time, I did not give much thought to this, although I remember the shock when they walked through the door beaming, but I made a commitment to go so off we went. No doubt my mom was concerned, but I did not know how to say no and to go somewhere was a luxury.

As I gave thought to this fancy outing with my friend dressed to the nines and here I stand with them in the lobby area of the event feeling very insecure, as I see people stare at me. To them and those around, I did look homeless and I am sure I was an embarrassment to them, sorry they even asked me.9EF4F1E2-2795-4293-890E-F52792B130A8

As I got ready to go to the musical for my son, I felt a little apprehensive about what to wear, which brought up all of these memories. Dealing with excitement to go but the torment from the past. I was dressed nice, my Sunday best somewhat, but I caught myself scanning those that picked me up and others in attendance around me. Fear. I found I was dressed appropriately although I was overdressed probably to some. Anything goes nowadays, anywhere but not so much back in my day.

0e3b2b0e-2c25-422e-a280-f8ab576f69be-10228-0000025b43f0b48bInteresting how my morning getting ready to go dealt with the night almost fifty years ago. I felt as though the Lord was revealing some hidden hurts that need attention and healing. No doubt, enough to make my head swim.

So many thoughts took me back, as a lot of negative roots in my feelings of myself and even others grew from that night. I remember them all dressed up and we are standing in the foyer area to enter for seating.  It was like I was frozen watching others look at me and then those I was with.   Strangely enough, I do not remember anything else from that night. I was there physically but nothing more.

d0033ac5-e020-490d-a057-24f0c1a90c7c-43917-00000875474bb142I wonder if I disassociated myself during that outing and have allowed that to happen throughout my life, at times, when hurt or placed in predicaments where I was uncomfortable. I felt anger from these thoughts of that night. As I thought of this event and that this so-called friend used me because probably because a classier friend could not go or maybe others and I was was the last one on her list. Last resort is what I felt like. To still remember seeing myself standing there feeling like dirt, perhaps that is why all my life I have felt I never measured up. Interesting how such things affect us throughout life. I freeze in fear and other issues. How sad that such an event that should have been a big deal and enjoyable but it caused some major issues for me that I have kept buried.

No surprise, our friendship did not last. Even though I never discussed this back then with anyone or since, it all affected me. Here almost fifty years later, I am remembering and writing about it and acknowledging the moments. I understand a little more about me, which brings more healing. That in itself, I will accept and move forward.

In fact, my fourth grade timeframe has been zapped from my memory and I never could understand, as I have mentioned to my counselors. No doubt, I bet this event lines up, as I was swallowed up with shame.834FBE85-E9B9-42FC-A0FF-56650D179ABA

Feeling used and ‘used’ might not be the word I am searching for but I do know how hurtful it was and to feel like a no-good human being due to looks, clothing, etc., can be devastating. This whole scenario was wrong in so many ways.

I hope and pray that from this point on, remembering and analyzing the dynamics of this classy musical or whatever it was that was fancy enough for them to wear mink and to appear more than what they were, I hope I never put on an air to be something I am not and make someone feel so worthless. Also, to cause some hidden hurts that I have carried due to this situation but I must forgive them, too. My friend’s mother passed away many years ago and sadly my friend, too, just years later.

I have no doubt that the Lord saw me then and knew I would be at this place now. He has carried me way too many times in my life of hurts. How awesome! 💕

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I Don’t Care!

Well, I do but not as much.2AD3C654-55F5-45B9-BAB1-6586A33A6257

Always I would watch and listen to people and they have their opinions, thoughts or no filter on what was said. They could care less what you thought or what I thought, giving no time to share. Often, I would wonder or want that and question how do they do that, what gives?

My husband was one. Early on in our relationship, he said he did not care what others thought. Proved to be true.

While at times this would be a nice quality, I am glad that I am somewhat quiet and reserved. What is said, is said and cannot be taken back. A few words can destroy a relationship forever. I know that to be fact. Forgiveness is required but the heart will never heal.

Thinking of what I just did for me, I had to come to the conclusion that I don’t care. I am trying to take care of me. I am not a small, petite older woman. I am tall and have a large bone structure and there is nothing wrong with that.

Over the extent of my marriage, a not so happy one, but through the emotional garbage and emotional eating, I gained over one-hundred and fifteen pounds. Not good.

3C4E3597-6B07-4E85-8E34-06C6C41BD9CDThe good news is that I have lost eighty-five of it. Yay me! I am at the weight before having my second child. I walk a lot, watch my food intake and guzzle water often. I am trying. I have been in counseling the last five years to tend to my wellbeing in all areas. This endeavor has not been easy and at times, cookies and milk would sure solve all of my problems, which is not true, of course.

Walking has helped me with stress and anxiety. I found that to be very helpful after counseling sessions a year or so ago, after meeting with my former counselor. As much as I love and miss her, she could really hit some buttons. No regrets.

Anyway, walking is boring especially if I am by myself, although I have my earbuds in listening to either Christian music or podcasts, all to help and encourage me. I need to move so I bought myself a nice bike. 20C42D68-4A3B-498A-8404-3037C58C4AAB

I haven’t had a bike for years and never felt comfortable riding when I did due to my weight and spread of my hips swallowing the seat.  The thought of what others thought riding behind me whether they be walking, riding, or driving is somewhat unnerving to me and my desire to quit and hide has haunted me.  A life-long fear of my thoughts of what others see, think or say.

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That is where I don’t care or at least try to not care.  I need to switch it up from walking and I chose this.  My riding until I get my bearings and hard nosed will go forth.  How else do I or any other heavyweight person lose the weight and seek self-care, if not getting out there to try and not care.

Some people are just rude.  No doubt there is not one person that does not want an area or more different on their body.  We all have insecurities.

This past year I have shrugged my shoulders up so much as to the I don’t care attitude and I like it.  As my mother used to say, sweep around your door.

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I am taking care of me, I recommend you do the same.  It has taken me way too long, many counseling sessions and prayers to get to this point.  I have fought to get to this point. The Lord has more in store for me, for you and each one of us before we die.  Let’s make the most of it.

So, shrug those shoulders and say, I don’t care.

Quotes

  • “The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.”
  • “One of the greatest mental freedoms is truly not caring what anyone else thinks of you.”
  • “What God knows about me is more important than what others think about me.”
  • “Until we care more about what God thinks than what other people think we are never truly free.” Christine Caine
  • “You are not what others think you are. You are what God knows you are.”

https://biblereasons.com/caring-what-others-think/