I have written here about shame a lot as I have found myself face first in it again. When immersed in this toxic shame, we are constantly tempted to do anything to get rid of that feeling, if even for a little while. One of the things that woo’s you in the midst of this is keeping things you do or think a secret. Feeling like a failure already, who would want to risk further judgment?
By whatever means, stuffing, lying, running away from, when we try to keep a secret it gains momentum at a remarkable speed. I know the harder I try to suppress something or not talk about it, the more powerful it becomes against me.
In my re-experiencing and the recent free-flowing of flashbacks, I have been hiding my urges to wash or drug away the painful feelings. As I fight those, while continuing to harbor the secrets, the urge to punish myself for these feelings gains more strength. As they gain their strength, I lose mine. The urge to bring more harm to myself begins to rear it’s ugly head. I am horrified, more stuffing; I am fearful; more stuffing; I am intrigued and strongly tempted; now disgusted with myself, I build a fortress to hide that secret!
A random phone call. A good friend asks me sincerely, how I am doing. I had hit my pit so I spewed it all. By that point I was again ready to die so what did it matter now? She admittedly had no experience or understanding of what I am going through so there was no sound advice or healing words. She listened. She just listened, cried, and apologized for my pain; acknowledging that it must be horrendous.
Long Exhale. I could not believe I just told someone, especially someone who knows me, my disturbing and disgraceful secrets. (I do realize they are based in distorted thoughts) I could still breathe. It didn’t kill me. She didn’t hang up on me. She didn’t try to fix me. She told me how honored she was that I was so vulnerable and trusted her with precious information. And she told me she loved me. Hmmm. I was searching for the magic absolving answer and her just listening was what I truly needed in that moment.
How much better my evening went not being consumed by tormenting thoughts. My dark secrets had been escorted into the light where there is a significant transfer of power. The burden of the seductions was lifting. I am not a horrible person… Look in mirror. Repeat. I am not a horrible person.