“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.