The source of a person’s pain alters their life in unknown ways. The greater the pain the more powerful the feelings the more the subconscious hides us from the trauma, but not completely. That pain comes out sideways, often in the form of addiction, anger, self-sabotage, and victimization.
When a child’s trauma is so great, the child must check out to survive. The child is not equipped to process the trauma and or fight back. So the child must put these unwanted and frightening emotions somewhere. The child’s subconscious puts a wall around its heart to never allow that pain to be felt again and the child’s mind will hide their own memories from themself.
For the rest of that child’s life, they will unconsciously avoid any situation that even closely resembles the feel of the original pain. It’s like an imaginary line that can never be crossed. The anxiety and fear will start to surface and they will not understand why. The avoidance of anything that brings on these feelings becomes their path. Their world becomes smaller, freedom to be who they are and what they want gets smaller as they look through the rearview mirror of their life.
Their life is spent as a victim. Only they don’t know that they have adopted the victim role and become stuck as their emotional development stopped at the time of the abuse. They live in constant fear, defenseless without a voice. Everywhere in life, they are unknowingly the victim, their identity is for the world to use and abuse them because that’s what they learned….. to be loved you must be the victim, to be loved is to allow yourself to be abused. The most attention they received is when they were being abused. The feeling is that they have no human rights, they feel as they were property, without personal boundaries, have no right to say no, to protect themselves or leave abusive relationships.
Children internalized the abuse. They feel not as they did something wrong to deserve the abuse, they feel they are wrong. Not that they made a mistake, that they are a mistake.
Abuse is the transfer of shame. The abuser is filled with shame and instead of dealing with their own shame they beat, humiliate, molest, and torture the child enough that it now carries the abusers shames as if is their own.
That child will carry the abuser’s shame for the rest of their life. Always knowing that something within them isn’t right, but not quite knowing what. Not knowing the origin of the shame they carry, they don’t even know that it’s the shame they carry that is slowly destroying their life.
A shame-based person is always in hiding, they hide their true feelings not only from the world but also from themselves. feeling unloveable they spilt off from themselves, from the shame and create a false self and spend the rest of their life never knowing who they are because at the core they have internalized the shame, hate, and abuse and come to hate themselves. They live in darkness, closed off from love, joy, trust and spend their life Isolated, always on guard so not to be betrayed again.
How does one heal these wounds? It will never go away on its own, it will never just pass through you or dissipate. To move from victim to survivor action must be taken. For many, the time to take action is when they can’t avoid or mask the pain anymore. When the drinking, drugging, sexing, working, hiding, gambling or whatever the addiction of avoiding no longer works to temporarily take the pain away. When nothing outside of your self gives you temporary relief of the shame you carry. When there is nowhere outside of yourself to look, that’s when its time to go inward.
The only way out is through. Don’t avoid the pain any longer, face it, stand up to it. Go back into the darkness, put yourself back there as the helpless victim, feel the fear, helplessness, and trauma. By feeling the original feelings we release the shame that has been stored up inside of us. The more you go back and feel it, face it, and release it, the less power it has over you, the freer you are. Joy and shame cannot occupy the same space within. The less shame you carry the more room for joy to occupy the space shame once did.
You can not know strength unless you are willing to be vulnerable. With self vulnerability, comes self-understanding, with understanding comes self-compassion and with compassion comes self-forgiveness. By forgiving yourself you are giving back the shame you carried back to your abuser.
Its time to take your life back. Move from victim to survivor, to empowerment, to freedom.
* abuse, trauma, and original pain work should never be done alone. Find a qualified trauma therapist and take the first step to come out of the darkness and shining light onto your joy