shame, hurt, depression,Therapy

The Shame That Holds us Hostage

Shame Begins In Childhood

Where does shame begin?  It begins in childhood, the first time we are told that there is something wrong with us.  Who do we look to as a child to mirror ourselves? We turn to our parents.  They are the experts, we need love, admiration, attachment, acknowlegement, acceptance and positive attention.

This is the child who was told he was bad and punished by being sent to his room by himself.  If he were told that he made a mistake, rather then he is a mistake, he/she would grow up with a sense, that he/she/they are FINE, their actions are not.  Love should never be conditional, love for our children is unconditional, their actions may upset us.  He/She/They may have consequences but they are clearly  set in advance. For example, ” If you cross the street without an adult, you will need to stay at home for a day”.


The first sense of attachment begins in our mother’s womb.  We can feel the excitement that a mother has awaiting our birth.  We can also feel the upset that a mother feels.  If our mother does not want us, we know.  If we are adopted, due to know fault of anyone, most children know that they were not wanted by their birth mother.

When we are  born, the first person we make contact with is our mother.  A mother holds us with love in her eyes.  We feel her love, it flows through our whole body, we have heard her voice all through her pregnancy, we hear and see her and experience her love as we stare into her eyes for the first time.

Then we are passed to our father, who we see for the first time.  We may know his voice. As he  looks at us, eyes full of wonder,  excitement, warmth and love.  We begin to attach.

We begin our journey of attaching to our parents.

What if that doesn’t happen?  The child knows and feels abandoned.  This experience stays the brain for the rest of our lives.


We need lots’  of attention, we need to be fed, bathed, held, comforted and admired.  This is a full time for our parents.  They give us lots of attention and love.  It is impossible for a parent to accomplish; it becomes more important to give our children positive attention when we can.

Acknowledgement, Acceptance and Admiration

As we grow up we look to our parents to continue to love us.  We need our parent’s acceptance to know that we are all right.  Admiration allows us to continue to grow, explore and feel special.

What if we get an angry parent who yells at us and points our deficiencies.  We feel shame.  What if we are not admired and acknowledged?  We feel that there is something wrong with us and we feel shame.

What if we don’t get acknowledged, we feel abandoned and we feel ashamed.



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