The progress is slow, the road long and winding with many unexpected obstacles to overcome, but here are my current thoughts. I think I see improvement, I have hope. There is hope.
I am enough.
I am a good mum, a good friend.
I can paint and I can draw.
This is the beginning, not the end.
I’m a work in progress.
I’m not perfect. Nor will I ever be.
I’m not striving for perfection.
I’m striving to be me.
But here’s the thing. I do still feel shame.
“Shame is the inner experience of being “not wanted.” It is feeling worthless, rejected, cast-out. Guilt is believing that one has done something bad; shame is believing that one is bad. Shame is believing that one is not loved because one is not lovable. Shame always carries with it the sense that there is nothing one can do to purge its burdensome and toxic presence. Shame cannot be remedied, it must be somehow endured, absorbed, gilded, minimized or denied. Shame is so painful, so debilitating that persons develop a thousand coping strategies, conscious and unconscious, numbing and destructive, to avoid its tortures. Shame is the worst possible thing that can happen, because shame, in its profoundest meaning, conveys that one is not fit to live in one’s own community.”
Robert D. Caldwell, “Healing Shame’
I am working on freeing myself of shame but it is what I have profoundly believed and felt for all of my life. It’s not easy. The battle makes me want to cry, scream, break, hug, hold, belong. It’s confusing, frightening, overwhelming. But most of all it is longing.