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Oh J.T.,

I feel for you.There are so many false reasons for shame that our abusers piled on us. But an elephant in the room that nobody talks about is how our bodies automatically betray us, and when certain things are done to our bodies they automatically respond in sexual arousal. It's NOT our fault if that happened. Sometimes the abusers do it on purpose, sometimes it's just a byproduct of what they're doing. That is NOT our fault!

Another thing to address is--did you, because of what you went through, become an abuser yourself? -- whether it be sexual or physical? One time, or more? If that's the issue, get help right away. To stop if you're still abusing, and to deal with it if it's over. The God I believe in does forgive His children. You may have a different set of beliefs. But if you did abuse and you no longer do, forgive yourself.

Be well.
Mary et al


Hi JT.,

I think I have lived with underlying shame all my life as a multiple, but in my recovery with the flashbacks it all got worse when I started therapy. I feel abuse causes shame at our core. You feel you must deserve the abuse, but it’s really the abusers shame and belongs to them. I still have a problem looking people in the eyes when I talk to them, especially when I’m talking about the past. Someday I sure would like to live without that.

The thing that has helped me to enjoy my life more as I have lived alone for three years now is I don’t have shame most of the time like I used to. I have recovered a lot more and done a lot of forgiving lately, especially of myself.. I used to feel so much shame when I would think of the terrible decsions I have made that were so bad for me and my kids in the past. I so wish I could have been a better mom, but I was so sick until this last year.

I would cry and feel like crap thinking about all my mistakes until I finally realized that God has not imputed one of my sins to me. I believe He has forgiven me of every sin I would ever commit in my life,as a born again Christian. This truth really helps me when I blow it now. When I blow it now I usually just thank God he has already forgiven it and just move with on my life.. I’ve been a Christian since I was 23 and now I am 58 and it took me a long time to receive this truth from the bible. I love Romans 4:5-8.

I started thinking here this year how if Jesus carried my iniquities, griefs ,sorrows and sicknesses why should I? I had to stop going to church 3 years ago The pastor seemed to believe I was going to hell and he didn’t help me at all.

There is only one Pastor I trust and after much study of the the bible for myself he is the most honest. This pastor gave me my life back after my last church 3 years ago convinced me I was going to hell for my sins. I was devastated for two weeks until I heard this pastor. What a lie. Talk about shame ! Jesus never forsakes us, ever. Jesus is my best friend and then there’s my 6 lb. poodle,Stanley and my pure white kitty,Shiloh, and they all love me madly. I treasure their love which has healed me of much shame .
I finally learned a truth I believe and trust in, and it has made me free.

Some so-called religious people can be the meanest people in the world. Jesus was always gentle and kind. He came for the sick and oppressed people and I believe he has a special place in his heart for every Multiple Personality. We are all miracles of God and how he made the human mind.

Anyway, this has been my experience when it comes to shame. It will get better J.T..

Judy H.


Dear JT,

Everyone feels shame at some time. It's when we feel we didn’t meet expectations. This can occur even when the expectations were really not right. You should talk of your shame with your therapist. Its like acknowledging the elephant in the room. It will help deflate it into a manageable thing. One of my alters was a 10 year old whose main issue was shame over something that she should never have felt she was suppose to achieve. Once discussed several times, she happily merged with another alter who was a little older. That 10 year old grew up and was fine! Let go and speak.

Nancy S.


Hi JT,
You're certainly right, shame can be a HORRIBLE feeling to deal with...but probably even more horrible is not dealing with it until it gets to the point where it is negatively affecting your life. I struggled with shame for many years, long before I even knew I had been abused. More often than not, whenever I'd try to talk to someone, even about something as simple as the weather, my face would turn red, I'd break out in a sweat and felt like I was going to cry. I knew what I was feeling was shame but had no idea where it was coming from. It got to where I had to avoid people, my intense "shame reaction" adding even more shame to what I was already feeling. It was a vicious cycle which made me feel trapped. While I never really focused specifically on shame in my therapy, it certainly did come up a lot when talking about the horrible ways I was abused and how that abuse affected my self image and sexuality. I also continue to do a lot of work in this area on my own, through journaling and speaking out about what happened to me. No, it isn't easy but I rarely if ever struggle with my face turning red when I talk to people since working through a lot of the energy behind this difficult emotion. I wish you all the best in reclaiming your feelings of wholeness.


Hi JT,

Shame is indeed an awful feeling when we have it and we have not have done anything wrong. Even though it is a very hard I encourage you to be brave and ask your T to help you with it. I found out ignoring it doesn’t help in the long run. It will always be a monster in a closet. But when shame is in its proper place there is no more monster in the closet. At least that is the way it is for us. We hope the best for you. And like Lynn said there are lots of books to read about it.



Dear JT,

Shame is a major problem for a great many abuse survivors, so please don't think you're alone in dealing with it. There's a lot of info about identifying and recovering from feelings of shame. Many writers have addressed the concept of toxic shame. John Bradshaw has a new expanded edition of his classic book, "Healing the Shame that Binds You." Google it. You may find it helpful. & Good Luck!

Lynn W.