Welcome...This Just Might Change Your Life!

Shame might be the most important topic we can discuss that is not discussed!
It is deep and heavy and overwhelming once you get in touch with it, so I have tried
to break it down into smaller chunks to grasp. It might be the best investment of time you've made to yourself! 

Since I created this website I have had many conversations about the subject of shame.  Here is a typical response..."Yeah, shame is something we all deal with."  When I probe further, shame is lumped into the conversation like anger or a bad habit.  THIS is the great challenge with shame.  Everyone THINKS they understand.  That is why I call it the master emotion hidden or embedded deeply within.  This is also why something so significant, like that huge elephant in the room is ignored.  It partly answers the mystery of WHY when a tragedy happens and people cry out, "Why didn't we see this before..."  It is a very difficult subject because it is not about intelligence, it is about emotions and pain and hurts and hits so close to the heart which is why most people won't deal with shame until they hit bottom or worse.

I just read several books on Johnny Carson host of The Tonight Show.  Another classic study on shame.  By all reports, Carson’s mother was never impressed by him and showed him no affection. “Ruth Carson soured her son to the point where it was damn near impossible for him to be happy with any woman for any extended period of time — or with people in general, for that matter.”

Carson never stopped trying to please her. As a great success in Hollywood he invited his parents to a star-filled party and later asked how she’d liked it. “I guess parties are the same all over the country,” she answered. He sent his parents on a round-the-world cruise, equipping them with credit cards to buy anything they wanted. “I’m glad to be home,” was all Ruth said when she returned. When he sent her a mink coat she sent it back: “Too fancy for Nebraska.” Carson claimed that he had no heart at all. “My mother made sure of that.” When she died he said, “The wicked witch is dead.” He didn’t go to her funeral.

The woman who controlled him through childhood and adolescence somehow extended her influence over the remaining half a century of his life. Free will didn’t enter into it. He couldn’t stop being a jerk, a tyrant, an evil drunk and a train wreck of a husband. Or perhaps Ruth was an excuse for whatever he felt like doing. (What made Ruth the way she was is never explored or mentioned.)
The man who millions loved died alone!  This is the tragic story of multi-generational shame!


Watch Mr. RobotAnother classic tale of how intense loneliness, inability to connect with others, and addiction all has its root in toxic shame.  This show has some amazing therapeutic insights between Elliot and his therapist.  Shame and loneliness go hand in hand.  Toxic loneliness is a killer when you can't be alone and can't be with people. 

Better Call Saul is another great example of how shame impacts siblings.  Season 2, episode 7 is a great example of going back in time to see the roots of shame.  In the opening scene of this episode we see young Jimmy witnessing once again his naive father give money to another "grifter" seeking cash handouts with a hard luck story.  Jimmy, around age 10, witnesses this and warns his father.  It is here we see Jimmy acting like the adult and feeling the shame of his father being naive about those taking advantage of him.
Go HERE for the screenshots brilliantly acted with commentary.
I just made a video clip of this powerful scene HERE

Great movie that has an undertone of three brothers all moving in different directions.  One is a "fixer"--out of box attorney with a gambling addiction, the other a NY Cop and the other an addict.  This fits the shame paradigm of siblings all coming from the same root moving in different directions with one, usually the more sensitive sibling being seen as the "weaker one" who is an addict.  Shame and addiction go hand-in-hand!

There is a pivotal scene where Michael (George Clooney)  pulls over driving with his young son after seeing his younger brother who is an addict in recovery struggling.  He tells the next generation (his son) that he will never be like his brother, he is stronger as a boy than his brother was on his best day!  Yet, his fear about his son reflects his own fear, that he is himself a man whose life is out of control--divorced, in debt, failed attempt at a restaurant business and clinging to his job as a "fixer" wanting to get out.  Great illustration of multi-generational shame patterns.

I have inserted this video because it  illustrates what this site is all about.  Note how many times he uses the word SHAME in his presentation.  If you read this site, his presentation will come alive because shame breaks the early bond of "We" before becoming "I" in the family.  He does not directly tie in shame and if he fully understood shame, I have no doubt he would see the connection of shame and addiction.  When he speaks of bonding and community, just think of family and the consequences of a shame-based family.

I make a few assumptions about life:
1. We all desire unconditional love
2. We all never fully experienced unconditional love (not even close for most of us)
3. We all have deep levels of shame we carry inside.
4. Shame keeps us from intimacy, from giving and receiving the love we desire.
5. We all have questions about God.
6. We all have a part of us that feels unmanageable.
7. We all have chased something to feel whole.
8. If we are really honest, we all have some kind of addiction or addictive behaviors.
9. We all have thoughts and feelings that are troubling to us.
10. We all deny, rationalize, blame, or find another way to deal with our struggles.

A list of disorders most likely fueled by shame:
--sleep disorders
--chronic fatigue syndrome
--controlling behavior
--money and finance
--violence/criminal behavior
--personality disorders
borderline personality
narcissistic personality
paranoid personality
grandiosity personality
sexual addictions/sexual abuse/pornography
alcohol addictions
drug addictions
work addictions
food addictions
--perfectionism, anorexia, BDD
--cognitive dissonance
all or nothing thinking
mental filter (obsessing on the negative and missing the positive)
jumping to conclusions
magnification or minimization
emotional reasoning
should statements
labeling (made a mistake and “I am a jerk”)
personalization and blame