Shame and Attacking Self

Shame and Attacking Self

Postby Janann on Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:17 am

At the age of 56 I am still struggling with the shame of the rejection by my entire family. Being the youngest, it was passed down to me like something I should take for granted and if I had been a better person--things could have been different. I think my mother passed this message to the oldest and he made sure he passed it on as did each one after him. I remember watching an Outer Limits when I was about six about the sin eater in a village in Europe. He was dying and the wife made sure all the sins were passed on to their son. I knew at that moment that I was the sin eater of my family. My father being a minister, I needed a religious title for myself. I guess shame just wasn't dramatic enough for how I was feeling. I allowed myself to be defined by th rest of my family for years, in spite of knowing that I was intelligent and gifted. I felt confused so much of the time and did things that helped me cope with the confusion. I drank, stopped and started school which both added to me feeling ashamed and humiliated and just validated what they said about me. I would get my life together for awhile and then I would let their feelings about me take over and I would feel ashamed and unloved. Both my brothers were ministers along with my father, and I felt like I was forsure locked out of heaven if they rejected me. At this point I have come to realize that my family is sick. Not in a way that I blame them and not in a way that I blame myself. They were rejected too. I mean by my mother and my father. I think I always saw them as being cohesive while I was on the outside looking in, but really we all were alone and each in our own way have to find love.

In Response:

I said I would get back to you and so I am doing so. The problem is what to say in the face of such a gift? It must certainly be recognized. You must be recognized. Such testimonials seem to me are one of the last steps on the road to freedom albeit freedom is always elusive. They are gifts as they are a realization that shame is used to torture as such is but a Hobgoblin that can be thrown off as we realize we all live pretty much equal lives. Or in any event the only hope of living another life is to leave that one.

It is a process. Such a difficult one because one important lesson is we only know what we know and those above us intuitively know this and "know" they have the power to teach at will.

So some call your position in the family a "poison container" you label it the "sin eater." The depositor of overflowing negative affect. You have arrived at that resting point where you can see their actions as a result of themselves being "sin eaters." "To understand is to forgive." You say "They where rejected too." Thank you. You say much, much more but I have said enough.

Dr. Lynch
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