My suggestion is that you read each of the previous 4 Parts of this article series. You are invited to read each Part by clicking on the link (s): Brain Injury, Parents, Awareness, Creativity, Freedom and Hope Part 1, Brain Injury, Parents, Awareness, Creativity, Freedom and Hope Part 2 , Brain Injury, Parents, Awareness, Creativity, Freedom and Hope Part 3 and Brain Injury, Parents, Awareness, Creativity, Freedom and Hope Part 4
Through my recovery process, I discovered that I needed to examine how shame played a role in my life. In the early 1990’s, I reached an emotional and spiritual bottom after breaking up with my fiance. At the time the emotional pain was no fun at all, as you may imagine; but looking back I see the gift in that pain. The pain helped me to find a freedom that gave me the ability to create hope in my life. The pain motivated me to look for solutions. The pain helped me to realize that I needed to examine patterns in my relationships. I needed to look at what drove and motivated me.
Through my process, I discovered a 2 cassette tape series by Mr. John Bradshaw “Healing the Shame that Binds You”. I listened to that tape series over and over again. As I listened to the 2 tape series I heard about other authors and books, 2 of which helped me to understand shame and the impact of shame upon my life.I listened to that tape series over and over again. As I listened to the 2 tape series I heard about other authors and books, 2 of which helped me to understand shame and the impact of shame upon my life. I was drawn to 2 particular authors and their books. Two particular authors and their books, that Mr. Bradshaw spoke about in the tape series got my interest. So I went out and purchased those books.
As I listened to the tape series, I was drawn to 2 particular authors and their books. I would encourage anyone who feels like they just don’t make mistakes, but they are a mistake to read these 2 books. These 2 books helped me to realize that “it” was not all about me.
The 2 Authors, Jane Middleton-Moz and her book, Shame and Guilt — Masters of Disguise and Alice Miller and her book, Drama of the Gifted Child. Other books such as, Do I Have to Give up Me, to be Loved by You by Dr’s Jordan and Margaret Paul and Dr. Margaret Paul’s book, Inner Bonding gave me further insight into my codependency. As I listened the 2 tape series, “Healing the Shame that Binds You” I was drawn to read other books, which helped me to understand how toxic shame based codependency undermined creativity and hope. Gaining the wisdom and insight from all of these books helped me tremendously recovery process. The information helped me to begin to love and accept myself.
Through examining how shame impacted my recovery process I grew in awareness. As I grew in awareness, I grew in acceptance. As I grew in acceptance, I discovered that I had choices. These choices helped me to take action. Through taking a different course of action, once depleted and drained sources of energy became available to me. As I discovered once depleted and drained sources of energy, I found a new freedom. With my new freedom, I discovered that I no longer had to be limited by my deficits and limitations. I discovered that I no longer had to focus on what I could not do, but that I could use my creative energy to find ways to use my gifts, talents, and abilities in ways that would work for me.
With my discovery, I found hope for the future in today.
My Experience with Shame
In my experience, my Dad’s inability or unwillingness to accept that I had a disability motivated his behavior. He blamed me for not being able to be more and do more. His criticism of my best efforts made me responsible for his disappointment. My Dad could not or would not accept that I was doing the best I could, given the fact that I was a traumatic brain injury survivor. I also believe that my Dad transferred his guilt and shame onto me for his driving the night of the accident that caused the damage to my brain. Because my Dad was unable to process his own guilt and shame, he transferred that guilt and shame onto me in the form of blame and criticism. His criticism and blame drained my creative energy for many years as I attempted to gain his approval.
I am not angry or bitter at Dad. I am glad I worked through a lot of my hurt and pain and was able to stop carrying my Dad’s guilt and shame for not being more. I believe that I am more than enough, disability and all. I am not my traumatic brain injury, but my brain injury changed the course of my life forever. I wish my Dad could have accepted that I was doing my very best, rather than wanting me to be someone without a disability. I am sad for both my Dad and myself because we could have had a much better relationship for many years before he died. His acceptance of my disability came in the last 3-4 years of my Dad’s life and he was able to accept that I was doing my very best. He also told me that he was proud of me on many occasions during those last years.
Freedom — Action
Through my recovery process, I was able to let go of my need to have and gain the approval of my Dad. Not only the approval of my Dad but also people like my Dad, who are unable to accept the impact of my brain injury. As I was able to let go of the need for my Dad’s, and people like my Dad; approval, I discovered a once depleted source of energy. With this new source of energy, I discovered my capacity to create in ways that worked for me. I discovered that although I had deficits and limitations, I did not have to be limited by my deficits and limitations. Through much trial and error, I discovered that I possessed a talent to write and communicate through sharing my experience, strength, and hope. On February 6, 2007, I created Second Chance to Live.
To read more about my process and journey in recovery, I would invite you to click on this link: About Page — Second Chance to Live
In conclusion, I would encourage the parents that are reading this post to encourage your children. Your child may have an invisible disability that has gone undetected for many years. If you want your child to excel avoid blaming, shaming and criticizing them for not being more. They may not be able to reach or meet your expectations, however, they may be doing the best that they can. By acknowledging this reality, you will be able to cultivate an empowering relationship with your children that will last a lifetime.
Parents by nature want their children to grow up to be professional adults. Having such a hope is not wrong, however, your child may never be able to become a Doctor or a Lawyer or some other dream you have for them. Encourage your children, teenagers, and young adults to follow their dreams, not yours. Nurture their strengths and you will both get what you desire, an empowered individual. An empowered individual who is learning how to use their gifts, talents, and abilities in ways that will work for them.
You have my permission to share my articles and or video presentations with anyone you believe could benefit, however, please attribute me as being the author of the article (s) video presentation (s), and provide a link back to the article (s) on Second Chance to Live. In the event that you have questions, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you. Copyright 2007-2016.