As I talked with Dan last week about the importance of talking about any issue that I felt shame over, I realized why it works so well for me. Let me see if I can put it into words.
Any thing that is "not to be talked about" equals shame to me. From time to time I still hear my name stretched out in the surprised whine of my mother's voice when I do something or say something that is "just not done or said." I was taught to handle anything uncomfortable by not discussing it and stuffing it away as if it did not exist. The concept that silence and shame went hand in hand was embedded in my brain in multiple instances I can recall and probably hundreds I do not.
Now when shame surfaces, I find myself wanting to hide it away, but find myself also incapable of doing so any longer. Sooner or later I must take it out and look at it and speak it. In sharing it, I am declaring my struggling belief that it is not shameful. As I speak it, I am defending that child within that was herself hidden in shame and declaring she is not shameful. Finding my voice and my own declaration, I break the binds of the past's power over me. Shame crumbles.
I used to need to talk a lot, and always. I often emotionally exposed myself to others seeking out their approval because the shame inside was so non-approving. I began this blog at a time that I desperately needed to share my story - no longer for any one else's approval but to declare my own approval of who I am and what I have experienced. To hide it equalled shame; to share it means I am free from shame. I needed a place where I could declare what I was determined to deeply believe - that I am not shame-filled and the path I have walked is not reason to feel shame.
As time has passed, I am no longer driven to type and declare. Sometimes I write out of committment and belief that there is purpose in this. Sometimes I don't write at all because I just don't need to. Sometimes I throw out a little fact like my masturbating at a young age to declare one more thing off the taboo list.
If it can be talked about then it is not shameful. If it is shameful you must not talk about it. It was deeply engrained in me and I now use it to find freedom.