What Shame Looks Like

originally written August 2012

Shame can disguise itself as ungratefulness, an attitude of superiority,  a know it all attitude, or a form of pride.
Shame is one of the most common feelings of former orphans.
Many of our children believe they do not deserve to have a family, happiness, material gifts or love.
Sometimes they will try to sabotage that love by speaking out against it!
They may seem ungrateful, hateful, angry, showing no remorse, and not wanting to connect….
BE PATIENT and KIND… understand where these behaviors come from… they come from a DEEP SENSE of undeserving shame.
LOVE ON and ENCOURAGE  THEM even when they have discouraging behaviors.

Several years ago, when Miss Sweetie 1 was 5 years old, we took her to a very big party. She was SOOO excited to go!  She had a wonderful time, yet on the way home, she kicked the seats and screamed all the way home…. “I had a terrible time, I hated all those people, I didn’t like it!”
It was very clear to me that she DID have a good time, but somehow didn’t think she deserved it.

Our response to her was:  “We know you had a wonderful time. You DESERVED to have a good time! It is ok to have fun…. We love you!  I rocked her and during our rocking time she broke into sobs….. “I really DID have  fun! I really DID like it!”

I know sweetie… I know you did.   It is ok.  And we repeated….” It is ok to have fun. You deserve to have fun!”
It took several years for her to realize this….. But she DID!  And now, she is just fine with parties. 🙂
She knows that it is OK to like them, and she deserves to have them and enjoy them. 🙂
I just love our Sweetie 1. 🙂  She is 13 now!  Thank you for teaching us so VERY much!

Comments warmly welcomed!


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