No matter how many times you may hear this or see it written, it never seems to be enough! Somehow we invariably believe the abuse was our fault. We tell ourselves, we should have done something, or maybe if we did this or said that, then it would not have occurred. This thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth! When we can see ourselves faultless, then we are one more step closer to the healing.
I’m not saying it is easy, or I have it mastered, but it is essential for the healing process. Another area that seems to consume me (and I’m sure others) is shame. Shame can keep us locked up inside for years, if we don’t do something about it. Yes, we can do something about it, we don’t have to carry it any longer. It is a choice we must make, difficult, scary, and paralyzing at times, yet vital for healing.
Brene’ Brown, one of my favorite authors, explains shame like this:
“Shame is the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging. It’s the most primitive human emotion we all feel—and the one no one wants to talk about. If left to its own devices, shame can destroy lives.”
“The less you talk about it, the more you’ve got it. Shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives:
secrecy, silence, and judgment.”
By keeping quiet, your shame will grow exponentially. It will creep into every corner and crevice of your life.”
The solution is empathy. When you talk about your shame with a friend who expresses empathy, the painful feeling cannot survive. “Shame depends on me buying into the belief that I’m alone.”
Here’s the bottom line: “Shame cannot survive being spoken, it cannot survive empathy.”
“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive. However, if we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.”
God has created us to be in community with one another. He wants us to encourage, pray for each other, and bear each other’s burdens. Be friends, kind, compassionate, generous, and serve one another. When those who are close to me love and accept me, I feel Christ’s love, too. When I confess my struggles, they are quick to forgive. I am grateful they pray for my brokenness, because it is the healing work of Jesus at work. When we feel the crushed by our own failures, it is a blessing to have a community surround us with compassion and encouragement. It lightens our loads, strengthens us, and gives us the courage to keep on trying. And that is exactly what God intended.
I pray you have found some family and friends whom you have created a safe place to share your journey with DID, and can receive the love and acceptance they offer. For me, it was courage to trust just one person. It was like talking to yourself like you talk to someone you love. It is worth taking the risk, because it has been life-changing for me. Be brave, and trust God to bring the right people into your life.