Only more awareness can help break the pattern of shame from emotional neglect and abuse!

by | May 14, 2014


Breaking the Pattern of Shame…

“This Tangled Web…” and Shame…  Quote from this website article…


The bitter fruits of shame…


“Shame is one of the most unhelpful emotions you can experience. To live in shame is to live in a world of destructive internal dialogue and to perceive that others think this negatively about you too. It can also mean you are extremely self conscious, and this negative self awareness fills your thoughts and actions. You may feel there is something intrinsically wrong with you, and that other people will also find you somewhat unattractive and undesirable. These powerful feelings can spill into many different areas of your life.”


My own family dynamics, as a military child growing up in a post WWII and Korean War home, was centered in shame…”shame on you and shame on me!”  My parents built a complete culture of control and abuse around making us siblings feel shame.  The Catholic Church at the time made it easier for our parents to reinforce the shame we felt all the time.  We went to confession every Saturday and then communion on Sunday to rid our minds of all the shameful things we did.  We were commanded to seek forgiveness or live with mortal sin and the prospect of going straight to hell.

All the shame never left my soul completely, but after leaving home at age 17 to join the US Navy, I started to learn about breaking away from shame.  I found out about typical and normal human behavior by engaging with others outside of my home as an adult.  I discovered a more healthy perspective about religion, including the Catholic Church, and actually started liking myself.  It was very difficult to trust others at first, until it was proven without a doubt that I was really an okay dude.  I was afraid of young women for the most part until finding girlfriends along the way that treated me with respect and built trusting friendships.  I found male companionship and mentorship through my work in the Navy, and in surfing with my buddies.  I learned about trust for the first time in my life.  This was the beginning of a very long work in progress and ultimately finding my voice and self-confidence by trusting and engaging with others. Although it was not an easy road with personal challenges, I managed to carve out a very successful and rewarding professional career.  It was not until the prime age of 64 and in retirement that my journey of healing finally took hold when researching and writing my book along with starting this blog.

These days the persistent “destructive self dialogue” is no longer in control.  Sure, there are triggers and flashbacks that put me back in the “shame box” briefly, but I now know how to break away.  The solution and treatment that works best for me is writing this blog, speaking about my book, and participating in appropriate forums that go a long way to keep the pain of shame and guilt at a safe distance most of the time.  The hard work of recovery pays off in the end when as survivors of an abusive childhood and traumatic life experiences, we begin to thrive again living a life of joy and happiness with yourself and those around you…  It is never too late to start the journey of healing from invisible wounds…

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story… 

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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