Shaming myself into silence?

I have been in a contemplative place lately. I’ve stepped back from a lot of things to organize my thoughts, needs, wants, and realities. Part of it was an intentional rest from years of writing and marketing my books, part of it was because I found myself falling into old patterns of not having good boundaries by not speaking up for myself when it was appropriate. And part of it was because I was trying to figure out how I wanted to continue to use my voice to de-stigmatize living with PTSD.

I have been in a poetic place. It’s been easier for me to express myself in poetry vs journaling style. It’s a way to get at the meat of my feelings. I absolutely love the creativity of poetry. It feeds my soul, it takes me to places where I say to myself, “If I could paint a picture, this is what it would look like.” But, I found that I was holding my feelings at a bit of a distance, and it caused me to pause.

I wondered if I was falling into a place of shaming myself into silence. If I was becoming fearful that some of the messages of  (let go of the past, it happened a long time ago, can’t you just get over it, you can decide to be happyyou don’t look sick) were beginning to seep in, and I was pushing play on my tape of shame that I live with complex PTSD.

I’m not ashamed of my past. I’m not ashamed of my story. It is the truth of what happened in my life, to me. I didn’t choose it; the people in my life made those choices to traumatize me. 

What I find I struggle with, is living with the effects of the trauma. It manifested in ways that affect my life, probably for the rest of my life. I have found the past four years when I began to speak publicly that I am not alone. A lot of people struggle with mental health issues directly related to trauma.

The good thing is that there is a tremendous amount of research being done to help trauma survivors right now. There have been some fantastic treatment options to help alleviate or extinguish symptoms. But, not all symptoms can be extinguished. They can be managed, and quality of life can improve to a level that wasn’t thought possible even five years ago. Some people depending on their symptoms of PTSD can absolutely be cured. Some of us may struggle for many more years to come. 

I had to re-evaluate that if I’m one of the people who have persistent and pervasive symptoms do I stay silent?  Do I watch as I see people struggling, repeating the lines and trying to live up to the many memes of, just do (or think) this and your life will be better? No, I just can’t do that. It goes against my nature because of all the survivors I’ve met along the way. Yes, there is a place for the feel-good memes, but it can shame us into silence if we don’t self-regulate.

I’m the most obnoxiously optimistic person I know. I love affirmations, I love mindfulness, I love yoga, meditation, dharma talks, and I really do get out of bed and say, “Today is a brand new day.” But I also have to make sure I am living with my feet firmly on the ground. When I’m sick, I’m sick. When I have symptoms I need to talk to my support system about them. I do not want to shame myself or watch others feel shamed into silence.

The other day one of my most trusted friends said to me, “You seem to be very calm about everything unless you aren’t telling me what’s really going on inside.” The reality was, I was calm and at the same time, I wasn’t being completely honest about how I felt. I was calm, I was numb! I didn’t realize it until I went home and thought about how I was feeling. Right now, numb is an okay place to be. My brain and body are resting after being very ill, and experiencing a recent trauma.

I will continue to use my voice to bring awareness and help de-stigmatize living with PTSD. I think it’s extremely important to create a community where people can relate instead of hiding and feel ashamed for having an illness. I continue to work on creating boundaries and will keep learning to speak up for myself, and I will not allow myself, to shame myself into becoming silent again. I’m grateful and acknowledge how far I’ve come in my healing that I recognized that may be happening and reaffirm my tenacity to stay the course on the long, winding road of healing.

Thank you for reading my books:  If I Could Tell You How It Feels,  and  Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

47 thoughts on “Shaming myself into silence?

  1. Thank you M.C. It has taken me a while to get to this place and I too often write because I cant say the words out loud. I think its awesome that you found a way to let your husband know how you were feeling. Im glad he read your post. ❤️


  2. Your ability to speak of it amazes me . I have panic attacks even trying to talk about it. I had to make a blog post just to let my husband know I was at a very low point. I applaud your bravery. I have definitely shamed myself into silence.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Mathias! …”Shame paralyzes and hinders learning. Therefore, no shame!” That is very well said. I agree that shame is extremely destructive.
    I have seen many people struggle with shame. I believe with good support, healing and learning to catch the cues before spiraling, a person can live from a place of self-esteem and instead of feeling less-than.
    All the best to you, too! Have a good weekend.


  4. Shame is so destructive. Nothing anybody has gotten or done legitimizes the judgment that the whole person per se is bad. We can be guilty of having done something wrong, a position from which learning is possible. Shame paralyzes and hinders learning. Therefore, no shame! All the best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a good thing that you’re, taking a step backward, so you can see clearly, and notice your own patterns of behaviors, figuring out if they’re good or bad for you, then, you can, keep the good ones, and, rid yourself of the bad ones…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I understand where you are coming from. I know I am supposed to use social media to put myself out there, but I don’t feel natural sharing all the time, I am much more of a private person, very introverted. Thank you for the honest perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Yes Many Thanks for the compliments. There are days when I’m not so strong or confident but I’m developing strategies to uplift and encourage myself. I had to stop subscribing to certain All Memes Blogs and Instagram posts because they make one feel like a slouch.
    Like you could never Live up to that level of perfection. Some tend to be on the hyper critical side. Nobody’s life can be that perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much for your feedback. By the way, I absolutely love the title of your book!
    There are a lot of exploiters out there and have known a lot of people who feel devastated when they do what the book says and whatever is supposed to change doesn’t.
    Im glad you were able to use your knowledge, and gifts for coaching. Keep up the your coaching and blogging. I have been enjoying your posts. Helping people see their own worth and getting to a place where they give zero F**ks about what people think is awesome.
    Im glad we’ve connected.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post

    Poetry : something that is very beautiful or graceful

    I would add, very therapeutic as well, since the parameters are so vast. Poetry like art is whatever you want it to be. Therefore nothing is a mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Alexis, thanks for sharing and your honesty. I agree and, in fact, have stated in my recent title, F*ck the pain and make today your bitch about affirmations and when you don’t use but rather accept what you’re feeling. I’m a strong believer in that.

    I suffer from chronic back pain and the anxiety that comes from it. In fact, that’s made me a gifted empowerment coach.

    Honestly, too many people buy the books from those that haven’t been through traumatic situations, it’s all textbook knowledge.

    I frankly don’t care if someone buys them but we all need to pay our bills. There’s too many exploiters out there. They can pay $250/hr for their psychiatry care but want it all free from coaches.

    You’re doing great and amazing because you’re definitely at a point of acceptance. That’s key to finally letting go and not giving a f*ck what anyone thinks. They’re not walking in our shoes.

    Blessings, Emma

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree about all the Memes out there. Just a false sense of Security. Many of the People who claim to be Life Coaches and other such nonsense actually use Memes and their own made up affirmations that no Human can live up to, to fool People who are vulnerable.

    Or all they’re doing is trying to sell you their latest book. I had to Block one guy on Twitter because he began espousing violence. Unless someone is physically attacking you his approach is unethical and likely to get someone hurt. I’m a person with a temper but I don’t advocate fighting just to prove something.

    Now me. I’m tough, stubborn and strongwilled. My circle is small and if I feel that I’m being manipulated or used I won’t hesitate to Unfriend, Block and completely cut People off. Basically I have no shame in my game because I’m not a doormat. I’ve been known to hang up on folks or leave you talking to yourself.

    I share very little of myself mostly because I don’t trust folks. Been burned too many times. Unless things get really bad I choose to remain a closed book. That’s why many times I just Go Ghost on my writing Blog. Nor do I owe anyone an explanation of my Life. Whatever I’m going through is between me and my God.

    Liked by 1 person

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