What is it really like to be so shamed and codependent that you lose your identity completely and fully? What could have happened to such a person that put them in this state?
In therapy circles these days, the topics surrounding shame and codependency are coming more and more to the fore. That said, the effects are mostly hidden in our attempts to block the effects of a dysfunctional past growing up with dysregulated people. Not bad people mostly but ones who carry their own issues in a generational process that guarantees these issue roll through the years like an avalanche. One of the key aspects of therapy is to examine and heal this.
One search on the internet will reveal many sad stories of shame and codependency. I see them every day in my work and it always amazes me how some people are able to carry on with their lives.
So we come to William (not his real name), who is not in therapy but has been sharing his life story with me for many years in an formal way. He has agreed to me putting it down here in a series of posts so that others might be helped by some of the things he has done and experienced. I personally believe he is indicative of a personality who has experienced so much that shame has dictated his life to the extent that he is still searching for who he truly is.
Here is the first installment:
I have nearly reached the point in my life that my parents didn’t. They both died early in their lives through terrible illnesses that I am convinced came from the life they led together. It is so long ago that I don’t remember their faces well or what is was like to be around them…