Saturday, August 1, 2009


"Shame is worse than death" Russian Proverb

When I went to therapy I couldn't talk. I couldn't stand for the therapist to even look at me. Shame - it was unbearable. Painful. Extremely uncomfortable. I hated to be seen. In my mind, to be seen meant to be hurt, raped, beaten. Even when there was no threat of danger, I felt it. Shame had become a part of me. I couldn't shake it.

The therapist - in her wisdom and kindness suggested we turn off the lights. In the dark - with no eyes looking at me I could relax a bit. When she tried to talk to me with the lights on - everything inside me screamed - Don't look at me!

I couldn't do it. It was insane. So she talked with her back facing me. I couldn't stand being looked at. I felt hideous, repulsive, different. Shame made me feel 'bad, unacceptable, wrong.'
Shame - it is worse than death. It feels like death. It feels like having no control. It makes me sick inside. It makes me want to puke.

The therapist said - shame is when we feel like there is something inherently wrong with who we are. I believed there was something wrong with me. I believed I was bad, wrong, different. I felt unworthy. I believed I had no right to exist. No right to life.

I don't know how He did it, but somehow God broke through the layers of shame. I couldn't feel love before but I felt His love, His acceptance and mostly His gentleness. I don't need to hide so much anymore, although I still get antsy when I'm with people too long.

Yesterday I went running in the mountains where I used to live. In the quietness of the woods, in the power of nature - I hear His voice whispering in my spirit - He is my hope for freedom from shame.


Denise said...

Praise God,keep listening to His voice sweetie. He loves you so much. He accepts you just as you are, let Him take your shame away.

Madison said...

You can walk in faith believing that He won't let you down in the healing process. God bless you today.

Gin said...

I am glad you were able to break through. You are stronger then you think.

Andrea said...

I praise GOD with you that HE was able to break through this horribly painful barrier. I am also thankful you now feel HIS peace, love, and comfort.
It is hard to get past feeling shame. I still struggle with it from time to time. It seems to rear it's ugly head when I am least expecting it. I, too am thankful GOD swoops in to reassure and continually heal my heart.
Blessings and prayers, andrea

Shadow said...

i recognise those feelings of shame. guilt. don't look at me. how can i bear to utter the words that hurt so much.... and you found your way. i'm glad...

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

Wow! What a powerful post.

I learned something from your post. Sometimes I may need to turn the lights off when a person I am helping is dealing with shame.

Your writing of your experiences is helping me understand the women I see better that are suffering with shame.

Thanks so much for posting this.

Blessings and Hugs,


Colleen said...

Powerful and honest and beautiful. That shame still comes and goes for me. So I try to remind myself, it is not my shame. God bless.

Just Be Real said...

Sarah, thank you for sharing on this topic and how it helped you to deal with the shame in therapy! Very encouraging to me to read how God broke through your layers of shame. Blessings dear one!♥

ElanaJ said...

I'm glad you feel that love again.

Prayer Girl said...

I am grateful to God that you are finding your way through the shame to a place of knowing your are loved and accepted.

I love and accept you just as you are.

Thank you for sharing your intimate experiences that help others.


Patricia Singleton said...

Sarah, thanks for sharing this article. I get scared when the lights go off. I need to be able to see. It feels safer. This is one of the reasons that I still occasionally have difficult nights. As soon as the sun comes up, I can go to sleep. Most, but not all of my abuse, happened at night.

Lisa Marie said...

That is so amazing that your t tried so many different avenues for you to be able to feel comfortable. I'm glad you are keeping your mind and heart open to God's presence, even when you feel as awful as you did in your session. Shame is something I deal with too.

VICKI IN AZ said...

Hi I am Vicki.
This is a very moving post.
Shame is a powerful emotion. I know from experience just how difficult it is to overcome.
I am so happy you went to the mountains. I need to do that.
Take care,