toxic shame is not in my blood

It’s been a while, weeks and months, since I’ve visited DaysofHilda. I had to wait to see what I thought, toxic shame and all. It’s not enough to recognize the thing, the burden you drag, to understand that the reason why you do the things you do has a name. You have to do something about it after the baptism.

But what? How could I change it – unshame – and how might that look?

I saw toxic shame as a default setting and that perhaps I’d be years, another lifetime, in the unwiring, un-writing.

It’s part of me, I said, it’s in my blood. Yeah, you’ve got your, A positive, your type O, your AB negative, and for me your super-negative, your toxic shame blood.

It’s in my fingerprints, I’ve been saying. There’ll be no escaping that lot.

Last night in the shower, where I do my best thinking and turn off the taps as clean as a whistle in more ways that one, I understood toxic shame is not in my fingerprints. There’s nothing in my fingerprints but identification,whorls, swirls, a tracery of dents and scratches. That is all. My fingerprints are not full of toxic shame.

It was quite a step. Hot water, soft soap and liberation.

The brain is plastic.

You can make the change.

But don’t be in a freaking hurry.

Still, positive and lasting change won’t take as long as forty years of erosion. I know it. It’s already begun.

And besides, the things that shape us can be both bad and good.Child abuse left its mark. But so did good relationships, good education, open-mindedness, and resilience. Gratefulness and pride; they are there for the having.

My fingerprints are only fingerprints. My hands are clean.


clean as a new leaf 

4 thoughts on “toxic shame is not in my blood

  1. WOW just wow! Those words speak to me so much…. do you mind if I share your post. You have no idea how much that blog has helped….thank you and hugs

  2. I can identify with this, it;s like I can see what the shame is doing to me very clearly now, but I still can’t stop it.

    • sorry, i should have replied to this bloody ages ago. it has taken several years of hard therapy for me to get there and though my mind doesn’t take that road as often my habits have been harder to shed. still, i keep going. you keep going too, okay.

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