Addressing shame

Geopolis

Confident
Being so new to cptsd treatment can be very confusing for me. Heres a few things that affect me daily.

I suffer from crippling toxic shame. The type of shame that stops me mid sentence. My body floods with adrenaline and my face gets purple. At times, especially recently, I almost pass out. My shame is almost always sexual in nature. I have a sexual thought and BANG! The other severe reaction is when I am speaking to a large group or I view myself from someone else's perspective.

As I'm researching and working with a therapist im running into so many new theories and practices that its making my head spin. So far I've got:

Inner Critic
Inner Children
Integrated family systems
Reparenting
Emotional Flashbacks
Attachment styles

I mean I could go on and on. The bottom line is that I am willing to do anything not to feel this level of shame anymore and I need help.

I guess what I'm asking is...
What is the most productive means by which you've addressed your shame?
 
What is the most productive means by which you've addressed your shame?
Talking about it until I'm blue in the face so it stops having as much power over me, and then examining it to see exactly where it comes from. After that, cognitive behavioral therapy when I feel it, to help me to talk back to it.

And if none of that shifts it, EMDR.
 
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Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I have been dealing with that in therapy too. It's a nasty gremlin to get off your back for sure. A lot of mine came from school and the hundreds of "does not apply himself" comments by teachers. It's sad that no one recognized there may be a reason for that but as someone with a fairly high IQ it was difficult. Especially when school was a disaster but I could figure complex things out so quickly.

I am dealing with mine through EMDR. It's hard to explain but it works.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I've found it really hard to identity what shame is. Because it's always just been there and I haven't realised it's a thing and that it's a thing I can work through. So my starting point is low on this topic.
Which means I'm unlikely to give any good advice, because I'm still trying to identify it

But my T said there is also shame "in the eyes of the other". I.e. other people shaming me and me introjecting that. So that's also something for me to learn about. Not giving someone that power over me.

I also think, in some of the incidents where I have felt shame, that putting blame of a situation where it belongs (away from me) has helped to free me of shame in relation to those incidents. If that makes sense.

The rest: the chronic sense of shame: that is a 'work in progress' to put it mildly.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Further reflection....

Could the roots be either in the trauma itself "I could have stopped it, I should have been stronger" from Multiple Trauma events.

Or the results of trauma - really PTSD before you knew what was going on stemming from a single trauama event.

Like I said in my earlier post, that's where mine seemed to come from post trauma. From my ability to function in a school environment, or should I say lack of ability.
 

Geopolis

Confident
Could the roots be either in the trauma itself "I could have stopped it, I should have been stronger" from Multiple Trauma events.

Or the results of trauma - really PTSD before you knew what was going on stemming from a single trauama event.
Simple answer? I don't know 😕

I think the more likely of the two is the first. What I feel most is overwhelming shame around my entire childhood and I instinctively search for a singular "why". Starting to realize how unreliable my memory is when searching for the sources.

This just hit me but perhaps the constant drip of shame over years has taught me learned shamefulness? Kinda like learned helplessness?

Anyway its almost impossible to know if I experienced CSA at this point. All I can identify is shame over my behavior.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
I think @Survivor3 (speaking when I've been on the receiving end) you should let that go, because being on the receiving end, I think the biggest part is if you didn't mean it. If you didn't mean it, and the other person knows that, and you've apologized, and you're obviously being totally responsible about it and trying not to repeat it, they'd just be happy you are more well. You'd be totally forgiven, and likely it's forgotten as the past and not relevant. That is also ammends, with nebulous things or moments that are otherwise not 'ammendable'. No shame required. 🙂🤗

ETA, I also think it's good to remember, (all) of our less than stellar times might be necessary to teach us how to be more humble, and understand others a bit better, hopefully. I think the shame we direct to ourselves becomes even worse and more unrelenting than what anyone else can level at us. Pretty soon you have shame for just existing! 😔
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
I think @Survivor3 (speaking when I've been on the receiving end) you should let that go, because being on the receiving end, I think the biggest part is if you didn't mean it. If you didn't mean it, and the other person knows that, and you've apologized, and you're obviously being totally responsible about it and trying not to repeat it, they'd just be happy you are more well. You'd be totally forgiven, and likely it's forgotten as the past and not relevant. That is also ammends, with nebulous things or moments that are otherwise not 'ammendable'. No shame required. 🙂🤗

ETA, I also think it's good to remember, (all) of our less than stellar times might be necessary to teach us how to be more humble, and understand others a bit better, hopefully. I think the shame we direct to ourselves becomes even worse and more unrelenting than what anyone else can level at us. Pretty soon you have shame for just existing! 😔
Thanks for saying that. There's alot of clarity in that statement and has made me feel better.🙂
 

Madwomeninabox

Confident
shame is almost always sexual in nature. I have a sexual thought and BANG!
I relate to this so much. I remember being like 16 and having a panic attack because I found Emma Stone attractive.

I thought I was having a heart attack. At that point I felt so much shame about being gay that I thought ya this makes sense.

I was a full time missionary at the time. I was also in school, working a part time job, and babysitting on the side. I was doing so much constantly because I was avoiding admitting to myself I had any sexual thoughts.

One day I was trying to pick a hair cut and saw a picture Emma Stone. My mom brought me to the hospital. the doctor told me I was having a panic attack. He asked if anything brought it on with my mom in the room. Boy panic literally panic during a panic attack trying to come up with a lie.

Thank God that doctor saw my face and immediately said a lot of the time it comes out of nowhere. I said yep it came out of nowhere.

Don't get me wrong I still get that shame so much shame. I just don't have panic attacks or self harm when I have thoughts any more.

What helped me most thought was finding other people like me. Talking to others and realizing I definitely wasn't the only one attracted to Emma Stone.

Also I have some other stuff around my sexuallity that stems from being molested as a kid. But I talked about it here and I also was part of a sexual assault support group that honestly made me feel so much better. I wasn't a bad person because my sexual assault affected me... it just did and other people reacted in a similar way.

Also therapy!! I told my therapist that I feel like I am constantly thinking about sex and I'm not normal.
She asked, is that actually true? or has all of your sexual thoughts just stood out because they are in bold rainbow print?

So basically what helped me is realizing MOST PEOPLE THINK ABOUT SEX. I promise your not abnormal or bad because you do to. I just needed to have stuff normalize I guess.

I don't know you feel about God but I also realized God doesn't hate me... because God doesn't hate anyone. I honestly believed that almighty God hated me because the sexual thoughts I have. Then I realized how small I was making God he is unimaginably bigger, better, and more loving then that.

It's complicated and non linear I don't think I will ever 100% get rid of the shame but I can at least handle it now without feeling like I'm going to pass out. You got this it's just not going to go away over night.
 
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