• Lauren Dyche

Shame of Self

The last two weeks have been pretty darn incredible in regards to emotional transformation, healing past hurt and trauma, and acceptance. For the last two weeks I have been able to fully voice my needs to my husband, I have been able to reflect on some past relationships from a present day perspective and rewrite the inner monologue, etc. I was able to take the most stressful event to ever occur in my teaching career and handle it with grace and clarity. I choose to see every event in the last two weeks from a different perspective that benefited my life. So why as I sitting here on a Monday night with a weight on my soul to talk about shame? Because, shame is my deepest battle. I am almost 3 years into therapy and it astounds me that everything that impacts my present daily life, peels back to my childhood trauma and past.

I was abused as a child. I grew up thinking, believing and eventually accepting that my mother didn't love me. That was my inner most shameful secret folks. I hid it away under every achievement and milestone I hit. I used to play the victim story as a survivor and deny the truth of my childhood hurt to the point where I lived in fear everyday till it came full circle back into my present and scared the shit out of me. It all happened so fast that nothing in this life could have prepared me for what was about to rock my life and marriage. Kalib and I were driving back from running errands in the evening when we began arguing about some trivial thing. Our marriage at the time was at dark place and neither of us had the tools or knowledge of self love, therapy or help with our mental health. As the argument continued I took out my cell phone to disassociate from situation when Kalib reached to take my phone. In an instance, I reacted as if I were back to being a terrified 16 year girl who feared for my life. I grabbed my purse and began swinging it towards Kalib in self defense and then tried to jump from the moving vehicle to run. I was reliving an event that had happened over a decade ago. I had just witnessed and suffered PTSD. Kalib, naturally was terrified and concerned and could not understand what had happened. I didn't know either. The very next day I began searching for a therapist and marriage counselor. Upon finding our therapist, I intuitively knew she would be the healer for us when I explained the occurrence and without judgement, she reassured me that what had happened was completely normal and treatable. She spoke to me with acceptance and a willingness to help. Reluctantly, I went to Kalib with my needs of wanting to begin marriage counseling and he agreed. Within one session with our therapist she immediately told us that we both needed to undergo both marriage counseling and individual talk therapy. I was furious. Kalib was the excuse and reason for everything that was wrong in our marriage. My actions were a direct result of his actions. I sat and justified all my poor behavior because I was too ashamed to admit that I needed help and support. Nothing was wrong with me. I had the accolades, the degrees, the successful career, etc. I was ashamed for attending therapy.

I always say, "You don't know, what you don't know. But once you know something, you can't un-know it". When my therapist looked me in the eyes for the first time and said, "You have a core of deep-rooted shame" it stirred everything up inside me. All of the years of avoiding and running away from my childhood past and mother came back to punch me in the chest and suck the life out of me. But once she said it, I couldn't deny it any longer. Looking back, this was a catalyst of my life. This was the crossroads moment where I could have chosen to continue going the way I had been all my life or I could choose to take responsibility for myself, my marriage and my life and choose to walk a different path. I was terrified, uncomfortable and felt isolated in my choice to walk an unknown path, but deep down I knew I wanted more. I knew there was more to life then what I was currently living at.

That's the thing about positive change, it leads to more positivity and positive choices. After deciding to attend therapy regularly as a couple and individually it opened the door to more positive choices. I began reading personal development books, finally committed to working out regularly, adopted our dog Anubis, and took my first steps towards living a healthy, fulfilling, growth-minded life of wellness. Shame still comes up for me today, but the difference is I am aware of it. Being aware of something is empowering. Feeling empowered is joyous. Shame is something that all of us deal with and battle. Whether it is not feeling like you are enough for your partner, or being ashamed of your weight, or thinking you are unlovable I am here to tell you that shame is a liar and a load of fear based bull shit. It is time for you to take responsibility for your choices and then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! I know what it is like to feel unlovable, I know what it is like to look in the mirror and feel ashamed of your body, be it weight, acne or a large nose. I know what it is like to live in terror of a parent and survive it to become a loving woman who wants to make the world a better place. I know what it is to cry in the grocery store because you are overwhelmed by the feeling of ignorance by not knowing how to eat for your body and not your feelings. I am living breathing proof that you can rewrite your inner monologue and turn the shame volume down and off in your mind. Trust me, it starts with calling it by name and choosing to do it differently. Choose you, because you are a gift to this world and you are nothing to be ashamed of.

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