"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.
An Overseas Tale...
5 days ago