the truth about {shame}

April 15, 2012Karen Courcy

I was watching a video spoken by “Brene’ Brown”. She is a researcher on “vulnerability. She speaks on so many levels about shame and how that is a huge part of disconnection in our lives today.

When I watched the video, I could totally relate. I understand shame. I live in shame. I live in shame to the things that were done to me, even knowing it wasn’t my fault.

Being sexually abused as a child leaves a feeling on your skin that you cannot wash away – shame almost acts in the same way. Shame is something that you cannot take off your skin, or just make go away by talking about it, or hearing that you are worthy; it’s something you need to feel within.

I think the work in therapy that my therapist Andy and I have been working on for so long is not taking the shame away, but allowing the “worthiness in”.

Taking shame away is not the answer. You can’t just convince someone not to feel shame because they are worthy. I think the work is finding the worth and connection to self and others.

I think when we feel connected and start to feel more worthiness; the shame starts to fade. It becomes a distant memory of a feelings that took over us for so long.

Today in my work in healing, each day I am becoming more and more aware of my worthiness, and connection – and feeling less of the shame that resides me every day.

Being sexually abused as a child, the shame is not understanding why it was done. The shame is trying to make sense of why I couldn’t “tell”. The shame is allowing the abuse to continue and not understanding why I could not speak the truth.

I am slowly learning more and more of the reasons why I couldn’t speak, and understanding that “not” speaking was my survival, and I am learning the shame I feel today is a projection of how the abusers feel about themselves projected back on me to feel.

I have this habit that alot of people know that I do, and I think in the past month I am becoming more aware that I do it. I put a pillow on my lap when sitting down. I cover myself up when sitting. That is a part of the shame from when I was a child; covering and protecting myself in the areas that were abused – almost to cover up so people won’t know what happened to me.

In therapy I am really taking note that I do that, and taking the pillow off my lap and letting myself be vulnerable to the shame feelings inside. I am learning to be with those feelings, understand those feelings, and talk about those feelings.

When I talk about them and realize they are there, it helps me to be more connected to myself and to find the worth to be connected to others around me.

I think Shame is a huge emotion that people ignore because it’s hard to understand. Brene’ Brown quotes “shame loves secrets, shame needs secrecy to grow, shame cannot stand being spoken”.

Every day I am working more towards connection and worthiness – that is the way to my healing, that is something I do have control over, and eventually the shame will fade, and worthiness will rise.



    April 15, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Your post right now couldn’t of been any more timely. I almost think there was some intervention. What you shared hit some raw spots and I need to think further about them.
    🙂 Again, your brave!

    Looking for a sunspot but only rain today. A pillow will have to do. 🙂

    1. Karen Courcy

      April 15, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      {{{Hugs}}} Lauren – and you are brave for working through your healing as well. Just reading this you are opening up yourself to be open to that healing.

      The best thing is? the sunspots will return 🙂

      LOVE YOU


  • Dawn

    April 15, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Oh, Karen- I am so glad I found you through Faith Filled Fridays! I think this post is so well articulated. I so understand this journey as I too suffered at the hands of more than one abuser. Once the line is crossed, really, you just expect the unexpected. I too, kept my shameful secret until I began a healing journey many years ago…and shortly after hitting the glass ceiling of secular psychology, let God break through and lift me into His everlasting arms. Not saying the journey has been easy, and not even saying that that turn did not present new challenges. I am saying He is faithful…and the points you made were poignant and precious. May you continue to work through the pain of the past, with love and support as you are also upheld by His everlasting love. Will be checking out more of your journey and blog! In His Grace, Dawn

    1. Karen Courcy

      April 15, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      WOW dawn! what a wonderful post! I am touched by your response and openess! you are truly BLESSED as I am to have GOD in our life to help heal! Thank you for sharing a little of your story!

      I hope to hear more from you


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