The Development of Core Shame
Portrayal – A small baby, looking down-trodden in the world. You can’t really tell where he is exactly but it doesn’t really matter, as, if he did have a home, things wouldn’t be much different. Although there are people all around him, he looks lonely, and as if he spends endless hours each day without any real attention or positive attunement. Something every baby needs in abundance to develop properly.
The world around him seems to be going on just fine with people, likely his caretakers, going about their business and living their lives. He however, is left aside like a nuisance or a problem of some sort. With limited abilities both physically and mentally, he’ll likely sit there and not move much each day. Emotionally he’ll be shut down. That happened long ago, when he expressed his needs by crying and received no or little response in return. The needs and heavy emotions were too much to bear and so he shut down and tuned them out.
Over time his anger turned inward and the only logical conclusion he could make for his being neglected (with no critical thinking skills yet), was that he was somehow inadequate and defective. With those continuous, internalized messages playing in his head repeatedly and unconsciously, he started to cement them into his nervous system and his sense of self had begun to develop with images of him being “ugly” and shameful on the inside.
Once embedded at that young age, it will take a herculean effort in adulthood to try to heal it. That path that he never chose will be his to travel regardless, but at least he’ll be directing it and owning it, with nobody to answer to. An autonomous journey that is fully his.
“What do you regard as most humane? To spare someone shame.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
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