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#424400 - 02/05/13 06:32 PM Put the Blame on Shame
1lifenow Offline

Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 437
Loc: west coast

This Canadian study just linked shame and shame demonstrating body language as the biggest predictor of a relapse for alcohol abuse!!

I found the sense of shame and guilt the hugest hurdle in my recovery process. I would "act out" with men at the end of my marriage and in the instant the orgasm was over, the shame would swallow me up. It lead to me drinking more and dissociating more from my wife, family, friends and job. Then when my kids would say " thanks , you're a great dad " the shame would build even more cuz I knew what I was doing was not what a great dad does.

I also think that's what I hated about the 12 step programs I went to. Both A.A. and S.A.A had at their core a very what I felt was a shame based system. I felt like it was a giant shame-fest. If it work(s) for you great, but the long term success rate is only about 5% so not much more than nothing. When people ask me what did you get most from the WoR I answer that it was being able to start shedding some of the shame I carried my entire life.

So I know we can't exactly extrapolate the study to all addictions/compulsions but I think working on the shame is a huge factor in recovery for CSA survivors. We all carry the shame of the event(s) itself plus the psychological fall out that caused so much collateral damage in our lives. But if we can find a way and get help to see that we don't have to carry that whole load , then our slumped shoulders, caved chests, and averted gazes can begin the process of healing.

Maybe that's why I am able to see the difference in my life now. I jettisoned the bullshit therapies that made things worse like one of the S.A.A. Nurses I saw, man she made me feel like I was 2 inches tall, and embraced those things that helped me see I was not alone, not permanently damaged and not unworthy as I had felt all my life.

I know it's a long journey. But thanks to this site leading me to CSA group in my city, WoR and understanding what T works for me and what doesn't, I have been able to find a huge amount of peace. Sunday night I was at my ex wife's place making dinner for her , my son's and their girlfriends with my boyfriend of 3 months helping me. It was an amazing evening that 3 years ago , I couldn't have dreamed of in my wildness imagination. I was ready to die back then.

I am off to a new T today to help with some of my ADHD issues, the journey continues.
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

#424405 - 02/05/13 06:54 PM Re: Put the Blame on Shame [Re: 1lifenow]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: 1lifenow
I found the sense of shame and guilt the hugest hurdle in my recovery process.

Hi 1Life,

You statement above is very true. Shame is one of the signature outcomes of CSA and its been hard to shed. I had to hear "it wasn't your fault" about 100 times before I could even begin to buy in to it. And facing the damage I have done to others in my life continues to be a source of shame for me.

I do take issue with your assessment of AA though. I have 16 years of sobriety through AA and it has definitely worked for me. The program as I understand it does not emphasize shame, it emphasizes complete honesty about your shortcomings and failures, and responsibility for your actions and choices. Identifying yourself as an alcoholic in front of others is an exercise in honesty, and is an opportunity to overcome shame.

Not all AA groups practice the same and I'd suggest you consider trying a few different groups to find one that doesn't trigger your sense of shame so much.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan


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