In my experience, I had to address how toxic shame crippled my life and my relationships. In my experience, I knew that something needed to change. In my experience, I became willing to do whatever was necessary — because I no longer wanted to be bullied. Because I no longer wanted to be bullied, I looked for solutions. Because I no longer wanted to be crippled by toxic shame I reached out for help. In my reaching out for help I found a new way of living. I found solutions for living life on life’s terms.
Please read my article: Second Chance to Live and the Action Steps
In addition to working the Action Steps I was led to read several books. These books helped me to put a face on the bully and toxic shame. These books helped me to see how toxic shame operated and took advantage of me.
These books helped me to understand why I allowed other people to abuse me. More importantly, these books helped me to understand why I abused myself. These books and the Actions Steps provided a way to stop the abuse. The Action Steps provided a way out.
I would like to share those books with you.
Shame and Guilt — Masters of Disguise by Jane Middleton-Moz
The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller
For many years I did not know how to distinguish between guilt and shame. Through my recovery process I learned some thing that changed my life and my world. Let me share what I leaned with you. Guilt is different than shame. If you made a mistake you can make an amends and thus resolve the guilt. Shame on the other hand is a being wound which leads the person to believe that they just don’t make mistakes, but that they are a mistake.
The tendency to over achieve and develop a sense of grandiosity or to under achieve and develop a sense of helplessness is often a response observed in people who have been bullied by shame. Being bullied by shame can lead to a learned helplessness, which can in turn undermine the individual and their motivation. Grandiosity and a learned helplessness can both serve to distract and keep the individual in the cycle of bullying.
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