Photo credit: James Phillips

The scene opens… there are six or so of us sitting around a restaurant table discussing our favorite cocktails.  I found the saw in my drink in front of me and took a long sip.  “I can’t believe you’re drinking.  What about the child you’re carrying? Have you even thought of them?” snipped my friend to the left.  I was floored with betrayal.  I had recently taken a leap of desperate faith and confided  in her about this pregnancy.  I couldn’t believe that she had just outed me, and in such a nasty way.  Shame.

“How could you be pregnant?” said one friend. Shame.

“What were you thinking?” said another. Shame.

“Oh honey…” said a more compassionate voice. Shame.

I looked back at the original accuser with sharp eyes of pain, hate, and disbelief and rose from my chair.  In a fog I walked out of the restaurant, not even bothering to take any belongings with me.  I just had to get out.  I had to run away.  Shame.  Looking left, I stumbled along in the way of a drunk person headed home.  The present circumstances of my life had just come shouting into reality and I was sick.  Continuing to walk, I had no destination, I just wanted to keep moving… as if my crisis was oil that would just roll off my back.  But no.  Shame… still more shame.  I couldn’t decided if I wanted to die or just keep running.  I wasn’t even thinking clearly enough to figure out suicide.  I noticed a car’s open driver side door, climbed in, started the engine and speed away, not even caring what stranger saw me.  I just wanted to run away faster, much, much faster.  Shame.  There was a tree just up ahead.  As if I was deciding what to have for lunch, I plainly thought to myself, “I wonder if that would work,” and accelerated the car with purposeful aim.


I awoke this morning feeling immense shame.  This disgusting blanket of emotion was so heavy on my chest I felt as though someone was holding it down.  The above story was all a dream I had last night, with just a little too much truth mixed in there for my comfort.  But it got me thinking… about this idea of SHAME and how powerful it can be.  It’s so choking, so demeaning… such a lie full of truth.  I think much of the power in shame comes because it attacks the core of a person.  It screws with your very identity, not just telling you that you did a bad thing but that you are a bad thing.  With this in mind, I’m finding that the only way to beat it is to make sure that truth is securely married to the essence of the good you know yourself to be.  Hang on tight to that.  That truth is where I find my independence today.

May this blog serve as an education to those who do not yet know or understand the atrocities of trafficking and may it serve as an encouragement to those who understand it all too well.

(Post originally written 6/18/12)

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  1. Isn’t it scary that our dreams often reflect issues that we’re dealing with in life… Shame is something that doesn’t go away quickly, especially when it starts in childhood 😦


     /  July 7, 2012

    Wow. Can’t believe this timing. My wife and I just started reading “Free Yourself, Be Yourself” by Alan Wright. The former title it was released under was “Shame off You”. The book is very excellent and my wife is getting a whole lot out of it, since she has dealt with shame for a long time.

    Here is a link to his website for podcasts to listen to. We love them all.

  3. Anonymous

     /  July 4, 2012

    Sorry, I have to go twice…….i always thnk that I push people out, all of them out, but what happens is that I still run away……….. from the betrayal, from the inconsistencies, from the hopeful expectations gone reality one more time. Running away……relapse. Today, I don’t act out. Anyway, thank you again, I feel better, I am grateful I am free today and thank you for insights, they lead me into my own..

    • Likewise my friend. 🙂 And for what it’s worth- I do the same thing… Not necessarily push people away but I run away in order to avoid their “inevitable” rejection. Having to learn all the time that some relationships can last and can last in a healthy way… Weird…

  4. Anonymous

     /  July 4, 2012

    Thank you…….. Wasn’t having a good morning. Thinking about mistakes. Feeling pissed or maybe pity that I really am ruined for life. Ive been in recovery and out of the life for a while, but things come up,it doesnt go right and I feel alone, usually after I’ve pushed everyone away. All of the adjustments, all of the secrets. The worst is hanging around a group of good women listen to their laughter, sharing , sweetly comparing and fondly talking about memories, childhood, family traditions, proms, boyfriends, perfect things I dont even care to know I’ve missed, even from long ago. In the discomfort, I’m silenced, taking in that too familiar glimpse of feeling non-existant, making myself invisible once more and that acute pain of shame. If my past wouldnt have hapoened, I have been a better…….. fill in the blank. What does my thorn feel like ….. I keep going on, but did I have an obstacle I carried with me? like a missing leg or breast cancer that I couldnt tell you I had in my sufficiency . Or does striving to do everything better heal it? Does it fix the deep sense of shame and need to prove my value. In God’s all sufficient grace, I pray that i know that I am good enough….. Remembering how much Jesus loved the woman stoned and accused and chastised, how Mary poured everything out over Jesus’ feet . She had nothing to lose, nothing left….Jesus was the only one who could touch her, if she could only believe she had the mark of TAW, the stamp or crown that links generations of survivors to Mary … the women abused and then shunned. Mary, graced in humility and selflessness, the returning sense of purpose and direction, salvation, being counted worthwhile to spare…..
    So you said it beautifully, encouragingly…… Hold on to the truths…..Mary gave all and held to His love~

    • I can’t even thank you enough for sharing this. I am sorry for your pain and lack of something “ordinary” to share in those circles of childhood memories. I am sorry and I understand that feeling all too well. Thank you for encouraging me- we ARE worthy and enough and beautiful and intelligent and covered by grace. ❤

  1. shaming shame « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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