A wonderful woman I dated introduced me to John Bradshaw's Healing the Shame That Binds You. She had a 2-cassette tape of one of his events that we'd listen to on weekend road trips. It was a healing relationship for me.
Bradshaw introduced me to the term Toxic Shame. It resonated when I listened to him speak of deep raw wounds are as fresh as the day of occurrence and view your true self as defective. I've always believed that at my core there was something wrong.
As with much of my recovery, I didn't do much to investigate more (you know, read the book) and see how to handle this. As with most information, I went "OOH OOH" and claimed I knew a little more about me, another identification, but little concerted effort to actually change.
I'm incredibly fortunate enough to have found a therapist where I'm ok letting things go. I'm still guarded, but the work I've been able to do with her is what I've needed for over 30 years.
I'm actually reading posts and articles on different sites as they're suggested to me. Again, not a lot of initiative to seek it out.
If I've got it right, I'm at a point where my therapist is providing a space where I'm experiencing my idealistic vision of a good mother. Imagine the unconditional acceptance that a mother gives a 3-yr old. My narcissistic mother blew that opportunity when I was around 4 or 5. As I said, I'm fortunate to be able to feel that acceptance.
It's a bummer to realize how my programming has impacted my life line.
I'm not proud of some of my past.
I scraped by thru school. Stayed awake in enough College classes to regurgitate the info back and pass tests and get a degree.
Longest I've held a job: 5 years (twice) I'm pushing 60. I have some unique responses when asked why I left a position. Can't just say 'They canned me cause I wasn't doing the work'.
There MUST be something wrong with me.
All the social gaffe's that still burn as if I just said the words,
the history of using people,
the objectification of women,
the lack of respect to others.
There has GOT TO BE something wrong with me to be like this. There has been:
There's nothing wrong with ME
I sat and slowly wrote that on a piece of paper 10 times. I find writing very effective for transfer of energy, in this case helping to release grief and sadness. I've had great success with creation using pen to paper, but that's for another time.
I've been wanting to share like this. Amazing what some effort will do for you.