I scheduled an appointment with a therapist about a week ago (if I am suffering from conversion disorder, therapy is key in recovery) and one of the things she said to me before we got off the phone was, “I also do medical hypnotism which I think could help you get better.” My first reaction was panic and the thought ran through my head, ‘I don’t want to get better!’
That deserved some exploring. I began by asking myself why I didn’t want to get better. In surrendering deeply to the question and feeling what my core feelings were, I realized that I believed if I got better I would have to do things I don’t want to do . . . like living in Florida again, going to work outside my home away from my children, spending my time fulfilling other people’s expectations of me instead of doing what brings me joy. Those answers were very revealing.
In knowing what was causing me to be afraid of getting well, I also realized that those fears no longer had any foundation. Maybe I needed an excuse in the beginning to move to Oregon, stay home and rest, and do the things that bring me joy, but not any more. I can continue living in a way that brings me joy and not worry about what other people expect, or think, of me.
Shame on me . . . OR NOT!
I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s book called Daring Greatly. Brown is a shame researcher and her book is hitting home with me, big time! I even dreamed last night about all the ways I feel shame. Let’s see, there’s the mother in me, the father in me, the little girl in me, the little boy in me, the employee in me, the employer in me, the friend to others in me . . . and there were probably more, but those are the ones I could remember consciously so far.
Shame is different from guilt. Shame is the one where one thinks ‘I am not good enough. I am not enough.’ Guilt is the one where one thinks ‘I am good enough, but I did something that was not good. I did something wrong.’ Shame is stifling and causes one to contract and feel helpless and hopeless. Guilt can bring one to action and prompt one to make things right.
In the healing series I am currently involved in, through Wilderness Fusion with Karl Direske and the other teachers, I am looking at my main addiction: disconnecting (I have learned I disconnect with myself, my emotions, and with other people in order to feel safe), and holding that evaluation up to the shame model in Brene Brown’s book. I can see how my feelings of shame and “not good enough” are contributing to my constantly disconnecting from others and from myself.
Shame is painful. Disconnecting from myself, or my pain, or disconnecting from others eases the pain of the shame. Understanding this is very healing because the “shame gremlin”does not like to be seen and understood. Understanding how shame is affecting me, and understanding how shame began when I was young and how I continue to pass it forward to everything I do, allows me to discontinue that shaming voice within me.
I highly recommend the book “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. I want to underline every sentence in that book! There is so much important information in there for healing and understanding shame in our lives!!