Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the problem with shame is

Let's face it: I'm a perfectionist. I always have been.
If I did something wrong when I was little, I would go into the bathroom and cry, thinking, "WHY AM I SO BAD?!" over and over.
And by I was little, I mean I was like, six. SIX! And I would think these things.

“Perfectionism is addictive because when we invariably do experience shame, judgment, and blame, we often believe it’s because we weren’t perfect enough so rather than questioning the faulty logic of perfectionism, we become even more entrenched in our quest to live, look, and do everything just right.” - BrenĂ© Brown

When my therapist told me that I have a big issue with shame and a fear of abandonment, I only agreed with the latter. Shame? Ha. Shame about what?
Only after I read the psychological definition did I admit that I carry that burden as well.

shame: thinking there is something about you that makes you unworthy of connection with other people
Yes, oh yes. The reason WHY I have a fear of abandonment is shame. "I wasn't perfect! They hate me!" "Someone is going to get to know me JUST enough that they'll get scared and leave me!"

The problem with shame (like BrenĂ© alluded to) is that it sometimes gets validated.

A friend no longer keeps in touch.
You trust someone enough to share a secret, only to be rejected by them.
Your boyfriend breaks up with you.
You are never good enough for your parents.
You still can't get a job.

I know shame is going to try to take this breakup for a long ride.
It will keep whispering in my ear: "You thought you were safe after 2.5 years but you were wrong." "You're boring." "You're too fat." "You're weird." "You're not good enough."

These are thoughts I have to fight EVERY DAY. It's exhausting, but I have to do better or else they'll keep winning. They've won most of my life.
Thank goodness I'm learning the tools I need to fight back.

I am enough. :)

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