Healing Toxic Shame

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
A blogsite based on John Bradshaw's Healing the Shame That Binds You.


This one has to do with intimacy and trust.


This one addresses the subject of shame. What it is. What purpose it serves. How it is set up in us.


This one addresses eight types of mothering.


Dealing with the shame of betrayal.


A discussion of toxic shame based on Brene Brown's work on shame and specific to daughters and fathers.


This one approaches the etiology of shame and intimacy, in the sense of the certainty of condemnation in revealing the self.


This one explores shame once we discover its impact in our lives.


This one walks us through etiology of shame without blaming the parent so much as understanding they too had been hurt.


THIS MAY BE THE MOST RELEVANT TO US. It talks about the manner through which the abused child comes to see him or herself as whatever it is the abuser needs to see in them.

https://books.google.com/books?id=H...v=onepage&q=self betrayal toxic shame&f=false

Please add sites each of you feels will be helpful to us. Copa and Serenity of course, but each of you reading here with us.



Well-Known Member
This book and Healing The Shame Within were the two Bibles in my CODA 12 step group (Codependency), I've read both books many times,. Thanks,

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
From the first blogsite listed:

When you are a shame-based person, you are so ashamed of who you are, so humiliated and hateful of everything about yourself, that all your actions become oriented towards a few all-consuming goals: trying not to feel shame (impossible); and trying to hide the shame you feel, both from the world and from your own conscious mind.


Major toxic shame is caused by abusive childhoods. This can be sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or abuse at the hands of an addicted, psychologically damaged, or neglecting parent. Most often, it happens when the child’s guardian is a shame-based person passing his own shame along unknowingly to his child.


As toxic shame internalizes, comments by non-shaming people will begin to make you feel shame as well. You have learned that it’s not okay to be human, to be you, to be imperfect. Once that is internalized, innocuous comments like, “Oh, I would have thought to go with the red shoes with that outfit,” can make you burn with shame. Your mind has learned that there is something wrong with you, and that mistakes are not okay. It has developed a fear that others will see that truth too, and your private humiliation will become public. An inner monologue develops to respond to these shaming incidents, and keep you in line. “You should have worn the red shoes, you idiot. God, you can’t even dress yourself,” the voice says. The voice assumes at all times that you are wrong or not good enough. Eventually, you will not even need the innocuous comments of outsiders to make you feel shame. This voice will do it for you, criticizing each thing you do until there is no action you can take that won’t make you feel shame.


Instead, the child’s mind does the only thing it can: it protects its Self against the damage, locking it away safely. In shame-based people, the Self is unreachable, protected by a fortress that cuts it out of contact. This means it is impossible to realize your gift as long as you carry shame, but it’s also a massive, incredible blessing, because it means that your Self has not been reached by the shaming voice. Carrying toxic shame does not mean you have lost the opportunity to bless the world with your gift, or to be a happy, healthy, productive person. All that is still in you, locked away and protected. Your job is to clear out the toxic shame in your mind until it’s safe for the True Self to come back out.


He describes it in Healing the Shame that Binds You (from which nearly all the information in this series comes): “To be shame-bound means that whenever you feel any feeling, need or drive, you immediately feel ashamed.” What you feel ashamed about is not something you’ve done, but who you are.


As I mentioned in the previous article, toxic shame likes to hide in the subconscious. Once internalized there, the hate and scorn one feels for oneself causes ruptures to occur within the self; parts of the personality are rejected or cut off.


I am reluctant to continue quoting this excellent site without permission from the author. Her descriptions are clear, and heartbreakingly real.

I believe that, for each of us determined to address and heal the shame we carry, this writer's blog will be an excellent resource.


Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
From the second site listed:

The Truth is that the ways that our parents treated us in childhood did not have anything to do with who we are - was not really personal. They were incapable of seeing themselves clearly. They certainly could not see us clearly - could not see our unique individuality from a perspective that allowed them to honor and respect us as beings separate from them. Their perspective of us was filtered through a prism of their own shame and woundedness. They projected their hopes and dreams, their fears and insecurities onto us. They saw us as the fix for their feelings of unworthiness, an extension of them that gave their life meaning - or perhaps they saw us as an inconvenience and a burden holding them back, preventing them from making their dreams come true. For some of us, a parent(s) was so caught up in their alcoholism or survival drama or career that most of the time they didn't see us at all.


Here is a link the the site the above material was copied from.


Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Brene Brown, who researches shame and recovery from it:

First, shame is the fear of disconnection. We are psychologically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually hardwired for connection, love, and belonging. Connection, along with love and belonging (two expressions of connection), is why we are here, and it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. Shame is the fear of disconnection—it’s the fear that something we’ve done or failed to do, an ideal that we’ve not lived up to, or a goal that we’ve not accomplished makes us unworthy of connection. …I’m unlovable. I don’t belong. Here’s the definition of shame that emerged from my research:

Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. (p. 69)



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Cedar, we had some great workshops on John Bradshaw in my CODA Group. It helped. I wasn't quite ready to stop blaming little SWOT for how her mother behaved or how her siblings treated her, but it was a start. You should go on YouTube and listen to Bradshaw. He is the best in this department.

Cedar, we are doing so well, aren't we? :)

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
You are right, Serenity. I read his book Family Secrets so many years ago. It was great. I hadn't known he had written Healing the Shame That Binds You. I will get that one.

I like Maria Harris' Dance of the Spirit: The Seven Steps of Women's Spirituality
for us, too. This is from "Goodreads":

Each woman has a special spiritual destiny, as unique and inalienable as the rhythms that govern her life. Maria Harris teaches women how to dance to the music of their own souls and discover the spiritual steps that can transform their lives.


Also, two of the sites I was working with today suggested that interacting with our families or origin does make it more difficult for us to heal. Until we are fully recovered it is best for us to do the work we need to do without seeing them.

And, "Pray for their peace and therein, find our own."

So, you were right.

We need this time away from them.



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Cedar, unless I don't see them at all, I don't heal. I get thrown back to emotional flashbacks, also called fleas. I love the word fleas for that...lol. They pull too many triggers.

I'm ashamed to say it is hard to even talk to my dad, although I do, because he reminds me of them, even though he doesn't talk about them.

I do not believe anyone can heal without abandoning those that hurt them. I doubt I can ever see my two leftover foos again without it starting up again. We just take up our old roles again and for me...I'm not going to do it.

I have been very upbeat since deciding no contact/no cheating.

That's one reason I'd like to take this conversation to a private place. If we all posted together where we were 100% shielded from anyone finding us and reading what we write, I would feel safer. I do not believe my sister is strong enough to stop reading my thoughts. My brother, yes. My sister, no.

I would like to feel like my thoughts are protected. I would still post here, on the CD part of the site, but I want to feel that nobody in foo can get to me in any way. They have no right to my thoughts, although I validate that as long as I put them down here...where the public can read...they can see them.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Interesting Fact: Psychotherapy concentrating on clearing guilt goes on for years and years. If we treat shame, whether through psychotherapy or through Twelve Step Groups...we heal.

That is why this is working for us.


John Bradshaw: Session 5 Healing Shame That Binds You (Ten minutes)

John Bradshaw - Healing The Shame That Binds You (Part 5)

John Bradshaw: Session 6 Healing Shame That Binds You (Ten minutes)

John Bradshaw - Healing The Shame That Binds You (Part 6)

Hypnosis / healing Meditation on: Healing Inner Child (1 hour)

Healing Your Inner Child - Free Hypnosis Session

Healing Meditation on Clearing Subconscious Negativity

Hypnosis for Clearing Subconscious Negativity

Subliminal Healing Affirmation (30 minutes)

Extremely Powerful Self Esteem Subliminal Affirmations - Program Your Subconscious Mind


Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability (20 minutes)


Brene Brown: Who NOT to Share Vulnerability With



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Cedar, through our work here, I have almost minimized the shame and I thank you both. At work the other day, I was working in the glass department and I dropped and broke a vase. This happens in glass, but when I am the person who does it, I always used to think, "There you are go again, loser. You can't' do anything right."

This time it started a nd I cut off my mother's voice in my head and said tot myself, "Oh, no, you don't, Mother. Everyone breaks glass while working with it sometimes. I'm actually like like everyone else." Then, without shame, I went to get a broom to sweep it up and kept my chin up.

Nobody cared. And nobody else seems upset with themselves if they break something.