Overcoming Shame.

“At the center of the emotional wound created with a loved one leaves is shame–the terrible shame of being thrown away. Shame is what drives you to keep silent about your feelings. Loss can be worked through, it can be mitigated, it can be displaced, it can be projected, channeled, medicated, lessened. But the shame of abandonment evades almost all remedies…

Almost all of us have felt the tidal wave of shame that washes over us when we have been left–the condemning silence and crushing isolation…At first, when your world seemed to shatter, being alone was a shock, devastating. During withdrawal, being alone was an unwelcome condition that intensified your grief. But during the internalizing stage, you see being along as evidence that you are unworthy of love. It is at this point that being alone is transformed into self-deprecation. In isolation, your shame can incubate, creating the invisible wound of abandonment.

At the very heart of shame is the belief that you are underserving of love, a crucial and potentially dangerous belief. Remember, this is a feeling, one commonly experienced by abandonment survivors. But as potent as it is, it is only a feeling, not a fact. You are deserving of love, as we all are.”

Susan Anderson. The Journey from Abandonment to Healing.

This book has been so helpful in my healing. It has made me realize that what I’ve been feeling for the past two months is normal and understandable. Even biological. There is no time line. There is no “just getting over it.” The loss of a love is a profoundly painful experience, especially when the loss of a close friendship is mixed in with that love.

I have had a lot of shame.

I felt ashamed that I fell in love.

I felt ashamed that I fell so deeply, so quickly.

I felt ashamed at being cast aside and pushed into dark corners.

I felt ashamed at being deleted, ignored, unseen.

I felt ashamed that the abandonments hurt so badly after such a short time.
Every little abandonment.

I felt ashamed of my pain. The intensity. The seemingly bottomless pit of it.

I felt ashamed of how long my grief lasted…is lasting.

And I couldn’t talk about it. I was to behave as if nothing had happened. That my heart hadn’t been shattered. I was to be a friend or nothing. My shame intensified. Hidden and raw. Left, naked and scared in the dark.

And I was so ashamed…

But, there is no shame in love. There is no shame in loving deeply or feeling the loss when someone important leaves your life. There is no shame in having hope, and there is no shame in believing the best in someone.

~ by omgrey on January 10, 2011.

14 Responses to “Overcoming Shame.”

  1. Beautiful and powerful words. Stay strong and believe your own words. They are absolutely true. There is no shame in love, and no shame in feeling.

  2. Thank you for your kind words and your support, Maxwell. xo

  3. […] Then comes another layer of torture: realizing you have been fooled, duped. That you are going through all this agony because you trusted the wrong person, because you believed in someone with no integrity. Somehow, you tell yourself, you should’ve seen through them. Somehow you should have known. You feel deeply ashamed. […]

  4. […] yes. Shame. I talked about the shame I felt after a loss in the post “Overcoming Shame.” Nine weeks later…I’m here to tell you that you are not […]

  5. […] know that I am deeply ashamed for my weakness in this situation, and although I was open and honest with my husband and my lover […]

  6. And I’m really, really ashamed for having fell for it again so soon.

  7. Thank you for this post. It means so much right now, and expresses some of my current feelings so eloquently – it makes me understand so much better what I’m going through.

  8. […] year I also wrote about shame, victimization, and betrayal bonds. All well worth another read. No doubt. Gaslighting and […]

  9. […] After my first devastating heartbreak, twenty years ago, a counselor handed me the book How to Survive the Loss of a Love. That book saved my life back then. I recently got another copy of it, and it is as helpful now as it was then. All too often, when a loss of a love occurs in one’s life by choice, rather than death, friends and family and other support often try to rush you through the grieving process, which inadvertently suggests there is something wrong with you for just not “getting over it.” They’re not projecting that judgment usually, as they only care about you and don’t want to see you hurting, but that’s often how the brokenhearted feel. Rushed. Ashamed. Foolish. Idiotic. Ashamed. Duped. Naive. Have I mentioned ashamed? […]

  10. […] excerpt from “Overcoming Shame“: “what I’ve been feeling for the past two months is normal and understandable. Even […]

  11. Reblogged this on reflections2change and commented:
    This post spoke to me so deeply. Perhaps shame is something I need to start looking at…

  12. This post spoke words I had been trying to put together and just hadn’t found the best way to express them. Yes. Shame. I hadn’t pin pointed it. Shame in so much. Shame that I shouldn’t own but I take it on anyway. Thank you for your site. I continue to find it as a source of strength and knowledge.

    • I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling so much shame. It is indeed deeply ingrained, that’s for sure. We’re socialized to take on shame that isn’t ours, and the first step is to recognize that. I’m so pleased you find my words comforting.

      Thank you for reblogging, too.

      May you find peace.

      The Grey Ghost (Deceased) Author. Poet. Romantic.


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