Are You Sick of Shame?

by Ayanda Mandlazi about a month ago in advice

Letting go of shame for the sake of peace

Are You Sick of Shame?

The feeling of shame is one of the most overpowering feelings you can ever experience. The definition of the emotion implies that you had to have done something, therefore, you feel humiliated or embarrassed. I'm sure we've all been there after doing something out of character, and you end up feeling shameful.

But... the shame I'm mostly interested in is the one a person who suffered abuse carries. If you ever suffered abuse, you know this feeling too well. It's debilitating.

Guilt is usually the culprit that informs the shame. And that is why the healing takes time for survivors of abuse. There are too many-layered emotions, and shame hits harder than all of them. I say this because shame prevents you from sharing your story, it makes you believe it was your fault, you deserved everything that happened, and that most people will talk and judge you. Sigh, when are we never talking?

With everything you've endured, this becomes the most toxic part of it all. Some spiral out of control and others find ways to cope through self-medicating. The cycle is vicious and unbearable. You can go from a survivor of violence to being the perpetrator yourself.

But, as all things are in life, I believe you can overcome shame. It will involve a lot of introspection, acknowledgement of your pain and the source of it. You must be willing to confront yourself, call yourself out, and eventually, hopefully, you'll arrive at forgiveness. Forgiving yourself releases the power shame have on you.

I will have to admit it is not as easy as I make it sound. I imagine anyone who is carrying the shame of abuse or other trauma in their lives has mastered a way of living with deception. You are accustomed to the lies you tell yourself every day. Undoing that will require a certain amount of truth from you. I don't claim to have the formula to heal your past traumas or current ones. But I can share with you that shame prolongs the healing process, so I will hope that this catalyzes your journey to healing. This text is here to remind you to breathe and that know your pain is valid, therefore, the shame holds no power. Let go of it.

You have survived the worst, why must you be ashamed of that? I understand you didn't have the tools to deal with your trauma, but none of that is ever your fault. Be patient with yourself and choose kindness in treating yourself no matter how you're feeling. I understand that some days will be harder than others, and that's okay, that is how life generally operates. Be present, acknowledge those emotions, and hear them out instead of trying to move on from them quickly, because running away from them will not make you feel better.

The thing about shame is that it thrives when you're wounded. Emotional wounds are difficult to tend because of their invisibility, unlike physical ones. Emotional scars take time to heal because we don't have the range to deal with the trauma. Societal standards force us to sit in the heat without ever saying you're burning, but understand that there are things to be endured, and some to be left behind. The trick is to know which ones are worth it. There is no shame in walking away from something that doesn't benefit you anymore.

And your power is in knowing that, even if the thoughts of the past events arise, you know that it is simply a memory, and it holds no power in the present moment. Don’t dismiss your emotions, tend to them, then let go. Shame holds no power, that is your manta. Take care of you, you’re important, and always remember that it wasn’t your fault.

advice
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Ayanda Mandlazi

Dare to dream, passionate about passion and above lover of all things different and uncomfortable. 

See all posts by Ayanda Mandlazi