i have toxic shame and i feel fantastic

How do you bend the rotor on your disc brakes? Did I get a stick rammed up in there? Did I do it taking my rear wheel off and on, impatience and a bit of belligerent force and suddenly the rotor is stuffed? A bent rotor rubs, rub-rub, rub-rub, and though when you’re riding you can’t really feel it, you hear it more than you feel it, you know that you could be going faster. You are held back. The almost un-seeable bend in your rotor robs your energy.

I watched a YouTube tutorial to figure out how to get the old rotor off and the new one on. I watched another tutorial to figure out how to adjust my calliper to make the dragging stop.

It’s been a learning couple of weeks. And it was the Best Easter Ever.

Because, like trying to ride with a bent rotor, knowing you could be obtaining more out of your effort if there wasn’t some issue, I’ve been walking around with a brake on. The drag has been incredible. When I turned up to the psychologist two weeks ago, though I was prompted into a new depression by grief, I knew shame was in play.

Apparently, if you consult the Internet there are many types of shame, mostly the kind of almost-good shame that prevents us from running around naked in public or ripping off old lady’s purses, etc. But there is also the more life-threatening type, Toxic Shame.

There is nothing quite like knowing yourself, even the ghastly bits, and I recommend it. I have Toxic Shame and I am rapt.

Toxic Shame makes you feel unworthy. It makes you feel like the worst person in the room no matter the size of the room, or the amount of people in it, ten or ten thousand. And the funny thing is I don’t normally judge people; there are no worst people. Only me.

According to John Bradshaw, who seems to be the bloke who coined the phrase, Toxic Shame, or at the least popularized it, child sexual abuse, is the best way to get it. Thanks to my grandfather, bingo! We have a winner!

Toxic shame is why I can’t quite believe in me and it’s why I can’t believe in people who believe in me. Toxic shame is why I can’t look people in the eye. It’s why I look out windows and not at faces.

Toxic shame is the bent rotor of my life but I can fix it.

How do you heal Toxic Shame? How do you rid yourself of the false Voice that’s been in your head for forty years?

Over Easter I researched the crap out of Toxic Shame. Yes, the internet may cause the break down of civilization, and yep, humanity may selfie itself to death, but not me, because I’m using the internet to rebuild. Rewire. I’m changing my story steps at a time and it will be done. Part of getting better is Owning It (it always is, right?). Apparently that’s why 12 Step programs are so useful because you say who you are and what you are. I’m not dong it there but I’ll do it here on Days of Hilda, land of secrets and dreams; I am Nicki Reed and I have Toxic Shame let the getting better begin.

I made the longest list about how shame manifests itself in my life. Procrastination, perfectionism, fear, anger, worry, lies, half truths, evasion, binging on junk food, thinking ‘happy’ people are idiots who don’t know the truth (sorry), the list could go on but let’s quit while we’re taking it easy on ourselves. And I made the longest list, of the ‘good’ things about me. It wasn’t easy, because I tend to argue, but I started with things that were irrefutable, concrete things, like good marks, like a published novel, like how freaking much I love to cuddle and kiss my kids and vice versa. I made affirming ‘I’ statements and posted them to the mirror in my study.

I have Toxic Shame and I am proud of me.

It won’t be an easy thing to change my wounded-person-walking default. There will be days when I backslide to the awful comfort of what I know. I’m ready to forgive myself for a slip to a time-old fallback position and that, forgiveness, patience, acceptance of me and who I am, is in itself, growth.

I have toxic shame and I feel fantastic.

IMG_4455

affirmations in colour and 

a mirror i can look in. 

3 thoughts on “i have toxic shame and i feel fantastic

  1. Dear Nicki, wow that just resonated!! I have it too but never knew its name, thanks to my bastard uncle. I have often wondered what those feelings were about and now I am going to investigate the hell out of TS (to us insiders) now too!! Might even help my memoir. Thank you so much and I’m proud of both of us too. Sure we are not sisters?? PS :Love to see you again, not to interview you, just hang and gab. Oh and thank you for introducing me to that legend fivefemalesandafella queen, Julia. She is blowing me away. Keep the quest going, love Jan xxx

    • Perhaps we are sisters, Jan. I lost one, I could do with another (like it’s that easy…). I’m glad you got so much out of the post, it sounds like you reacted like I did when I found out there was a name for what I was living with.
      Coffee sometime – yes!
      Jules – yes, how ace is she?

      Yours in toxic shame, Nicki

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