Shame is passed down from one generation to the next.
You’ve got this beautiful baby boy or girl, new to the world, with the hope of receiving all things good, but what they receive is SHAME.
Unless it’s dealt with each generation raises their children always feeling a sense of shame. The child feels the shame and they in turn shame other people, not realizing what they are doing.
If a child is constantly told they are wrong about anything, they begin to feel a sense of shame about their existence.
They feel they can never do anything correctly.
A fear grows within them because they are constantly being told they are not “good enough” and they can begin to release their shame on others, either by criticizing or bullying others.
They don’t have a clue about relating to another human being in a positive way and shame is always involved.
Sometimes the shame is subtle and sometimes it isn’t. The subtlety can be when a father says to his son “are you going to have me pay for all of your clothes?” The child is made to feel they are doing something wrong by allowing a parent to take care of them. Out and out shaming is when a parent compares you to another child saying “why can’t you be like him or her?”
There’s never any room for confidence.
The parent or parents are so toxic they never allow the child or children to feel that it’s okay to be taken care of.
The children or child is made to feel he or she is a burden on their parents. As a result when the child grows up they can never truly support themselves or another human being without criticism being involved.
It can happen within rich and poor families.
I had a friend tell me that he was told by his mother at a very young age, to keep scrubbing himself in the shower so his skin would become lighter. How the hell are you going to grow up with any kind of confidence? You are filled with so much shame.
I was constantly told growing up that my sister was smarter than myself, that I should lose weight, and that most people try to make themselves beautiful but not me. I was filled with so much shame about my existence.
How do you change that shaming?
For me it took years: it was loads of therapy, lots of alternative healing, becoming a Buddhist (because of their philosophy of loving kindness and respect), living at a Buddhist Retreat Center for two years understanding mindfulness and right speech and me willing to own my wounds of shame.
What worked for me may not work for others, but one must own their shame in order to heal it and not pass it down to another generation.
One must find their own way and not sweep it under the rug.
Read more of Sherri Rosen here on The Good Men Project!