It’s the core of our experience with a psychopath. We experience shame when we’re with a psychopath, and we experience shame when it’s over.
Psychopaths are experts at shaming us in so many ways. Even after they’re gone, the shame continues as we wonder how we allowed ourselves to be treated so poorly, how we accepted less and less until there was nothing good left, but still couldn’t let go.
When our relationship with a psychopath started, it seemed like the best thing that ever happened to us. Finally, we were truly loved and appreciated. But then something terrible began to happen. As time went on, it seemed our faults and weaknesses made us unworthy of that love. Being slowly and painfully judged, rejected, and found unworthy by the one who we believed loved us, and whom we loved, led us to feel deep shame.
But now you know you were manipulated, so you know you didn’t deserve the shame you were made to feel. For that very same reason, you don’t deserve the shame you’re feeling now. When you get that, you take a giant step forward.
What is shame?
Shame is the feeling of deep humiliation not for what we’ve done, but for what we are.
Shame can destroy lives. It damages your self-worth, and it’s hard to live a good life when your self-worth is non-existent.
When we feel comfortable enough to take risks and expose ourselves emotionally to someone we believe we can trust — and then experience judgement and rejection instead of empathy — we feel shame.
“Shame is a soul-eating emotion.”
~ Carl Jung
What heals shame?
“Empathy is the antidote to shame. The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: Me Too.”
~ Brene Brown
Empathy is something we did not, and could not, get from the psychopath. And empathy is exactly what is needed now to heal from the harm done by that lack of empathy we experienced.
That’s why validation is so important for a victim. And that’s why victim-blaming is so damaging, whether it comes from someone else or from yourself.
Things like, “how could you be so stupid?” or “how could I be so stupid?” are devoid of empathy. They are also devoid of any understanding of how psychopathic manipulation works, which is why it’s vital to learn how you were victimized. If you understand that, you will not blame yourself any longer. When the blame is gone, the shame goes right along with it.
“Dark forces are no match for the light of love, acceptance, self-respect and, most of all, courage. Truth, courage and love of oneself bring shame into the light, where it cannot survive. Love of self, self-forgiveness and the pursuit of emotional healing are soul-affirming, the universal elixir to the cancerous condition of shame.”
♥ Are you still experiencing shame or have you moved beyond it?
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