Saturday, July 09, 2011

Healing (8) Shame

The greatest burden carried by womb twin survivors is survivor guilt. You can notice this by the fact that you try to live two lives at once, squeezing two jobs or maybe more, plus a variety of interests and projects, into every week. If there are not enough hours in the day to do anything properly, then nothing gets finished properly. Everything is rushed and done at the last minute. There is little satisfaction in that. The result is that you focus your entire life on other people and your main source of satisfaction is that they are happy.
A few moments of reflection may show you what is being recycled here: Your guilt is such that you give your life away to others. By living two lives at once you end up with no real satisfaction in life at all except what you have done for others.


Under achievement
It is likely that your survivor guilt shows itself best when you do not allow yourself to fulfill your potential. You may keep your gifts hidden; you may not use them wisely or at all; you may sabotage yourself so that you never know true satisfaction. You may make a good start with various projects but tail off quickly, lose interest and move on.
You may show great promise as a child but somehow this remains unexpressed as you grow older. You may manage despite survivor guilt to be quite successful, but you are left with a feeling of unrealised potential somewhere inside you. Some wombtwin survivors are very creative, successful people but carry within them a paradoxical sense of sorrow and guilt at having so much success.
A “shame trip”
Those who invent things to be ashamed about hold themselves in a perpetual cycle of remorse, regret and sorrow that they are only too willing to express at the slightest provocation. This is the “shame trip.” Invented shame keeps you stuck in a loop of compulsive activities of which you are ashamed.
You can spot a compulsive activity by asking yourself when you get into one of your compulsions: "Why did I do that?" If there is no sensible answer, then you are dealing with a "shame trip".
Addiction
The addict feels powerless to change. He feels that his cravings run his life. When placed in the same room as the fix of his choice he becomes a craven wretch. Hunger, selfishness, greed, envy, avarice and self-hate drive every addict down the same path. He may hide his habit for some time but gradually he sinks more and more into the pit of addiction until he comes to the notice of his family or the authorities. Throughout, he remains the helpless victim of his cravings.
Addicts use up huge amounts of public money and effort. They may stop using for a while but stay addicted. The addict is an object of shame in most societies. Food addiction and eating disorders express the shame trip even more precisely: the addict takes too much food and then feels excessive amounts of shame at having eaten it.
It is already known that eating disorders are linked to the "vanishing twin" syndrome. I believe that it is through the mechanism of the shame trip that the connection can be made.
Womb twin survivors are afraid of their ability to overpower and exploit everything in their immediate environment. After all, that is what once did happen. They took all the energy, oxygen and space and the other one got nothing and died. Addiction repeats the Dream of the womb almost exactly, for in extreme cases addiction ends in death. These tragic wombtwin survivors literally die of survivor guilt.
Healing the shame
As a wombtwin survivor in search of healing, the way towards truth for you is to unravel the knot of your invented shame and rediscover the real, original experience. Then you can understand, accept and forgive those deeply-held feelings of helplessness and emotional need.



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