Episode 19 - Shame (II) - Shame caused by the reactions of others

Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about Shame again, this time we go a bit deeper - shame about how people reacted.
After we talked last episode about the shame of your current situation or telling it anyone, we talk about shame caused by the reaction from others.
Once again, before we start this episode I want to say that no one deserves to be humiliated and shamed… especially if they confess something that is a deep wound to them.

Like many other things, shame has its uses. It is an important tool for us as society to tell a member of it, that it's behaving wrong. Children learn this way how to behave… as do adults.
Though like everything we have, do and use, it can be twisted into something harmful. It can be used to silence victims and critical voices, one doesn’t like. It is very effective.
So we first talk about shame caused by the reaction of others, the caring and uncaring ones and what we can do about them and why it is so effective on us.

Shame caused by the reaction from others - Caring people
So let us get into feeling shame based on the reaction from others.
If you feel shame because of how they reacted rather disturbed or looking to the ground or so, it might be wise to remember, that for many this information will come out of nowhere.
They often never have heard about it before, nor were they aware, so now you hit them with this information and they don’t even know what to do. Some might even laugh… some deny any of what you said.
Laughing can be a sign of embarrassment, or an attempt to cover it up and distract from it. That is also why some people laugh on funerals. The brain is trying to handle the situation.
In this situation it might be better to take a few steps back (for your own wellbeing) and then write to them (or whatever way fits you best) and calmly explain the situation.
This will give them the opportunity to give a thought out answer and they don’t feel pressed on the spot to react in a certain way, while they try to figure out what is going on.
Most likely they don’t know what that means, what it all includes and the implications. Maybe you still don’t know yourself, which makes it even more confusing.
Best is to take a few steps back. Breathe. And inform them and yourself if needed. If someone has good intentions regarding you, then they are definitely worth fighting for.

Shame caused by the reaction from others - Non caring people
But on the other hand - if the reaction is genuinely negative, shame on them. If you genuinely care about someone, you try to comfort them. You care about their well being.
Making you feel silly, stupid, overreacting, overemotional, unworthy and the like, is not okay. Not in any way, shape or form. You by no means deserve to be treated this way.
But even with logic by our side, it is hard not to fall to the feeling of being ashamed. What good is the truth, when you sit alone in your room? Being right and getting right are separated phrases for good reason.
And the pain and the hurt and maybe a feeling of betrayal aren’t lessened by it either. So one thing ahead, it will suck and it will hurt. Why? Because you are mourning the loss of that relationship.
You might bargain with yourself, that the relationship you have with them is better than having none at all, but deep down you know that that is not true. But many fear being alone in this world.
Additionally is PTSD often causing to act in a self harming way. We seek the punishment, we think we deserve. Subconsciously. Which reaffirms the believes we get from PTSD… and the circle continues.

Shame caused by the reaction from others - Non caring people - What to do?
So how do we break it? Best course of action would be of course, to cut all those connections and to look for new ones. This should - after a time of mourning - increase your happiness and stability greatly.
But sadly most of the time, you are most likely in a too unstable position to pull it off. So we are doing it step by step. First we need an alternative stabilizing social network. I recommend the web for 2 reasons:
First you don’t need to go anywhere and can reach anyone all the time. While connected around the world no one is wondering why you are awake at this hour.
Secondly it is easy to get distance if needed. The social network online is becoming too much for you? Just turn it off then. There doesn’t need to be a confrontation if you don’t want to.
The third reason I can only recommend for a specific group: So you can keep it secret. Sadly getting in contact with abusing/toxic people is pretty standard for people suffering from PTSD.
Those people can spot us easily and know how easily we are controlled… Because deep down we think we deserve to get treated this way. Which is of course wrong, but it sadly still happens.
Those people would never let you have any alternative friends or contacts, because they could give you the self confidence that they are so actively sabotaging.
So it is best to keep it a secret… if you can’t cut them out of your life right away. It might not feel like this at the start, but you will feel so much better without them in your life.
Because in the end of the day, the fault lies with them and not with you. They are acting shameful, for not looking out and caring for their friend. Especially in this time of dire need.
If you have trouble determining which those people are - imagine the world is ending in 6 hours. Who would you want to spend these last hours with? Like they are, not the way you wish they were.
Who is it? In the presence of who do you feel save, comfort, happy (or least happier) and want to stay with? If there is no one immediately coming to your mind, then I think it is time for new people in your life.

Shame caused by the reaction from others - Why is it so effective?
With all that in mind, you might ask yourself, why is all of this so effective on me? Even when I know better, I find it very hard to go against it? Well, there is a good reason why it is such a useful tool.
As a person suffering from PTSD you are close to being an outcast. It means usually you are not able to work, your health isn’t the best and you often can’t stand on your own.
You have now more or less the status of a handicapped person. Similar to a sudden accident, where you get handicapped, you will most likely have lost a lot of people and are met often with a lack of understanding.
With that comes your place at the corner of society, where being friends with you has no real benefit. You have no power in this position and no longer are good for networking. Friends often will leave you.
This is often referred to as fair weather friends, I call them hillies. Running to the hill by the first sight of trouble. I know that it is extremely painful, but their behavior is wrong… and you know it.
It doesn’t matter if you are actively aware of it, but most likely you are aware of it. That is why you feel under such stress, you can feel you are on the corner and scared to fall off the border.
And that is why the vultures and toxic people are circling you. They know you are pretty cornered and therefor can be easily controlled. Because you can barely move and evade their attacks.
You are at your most vulnerable, which makes the negative reaction by those around you SO powerful. It is hard to take a hit for something, if you already on the edge. You should tread carefully.
But even if you are on the border of society, it does not mean you are worth any less, and if some people think that, they are wrong and you should consider how much you want them in your life.

Private Words
I should have known what knocked me out so badly. Every time there is flu season I get it, most of the times even before most other do. This time it is no different. But luckily it is leaving me.
We have a saying: The flu comes a week and it leaves a week. So far I can only confirm that. Besides being a walking zombie, it was harmless and I am REALLY grateful for that. I hope it isn’t too audible in my voice.
But I can’t wait to be better and make a pumpkin-potato soup. Best thing about late autumn… Oh and of course the sweet chestnuts. And a few other things. I do enjoy cooking a lot.
Sadly if you cook by yourself the more extravagant dishes are too much for one person - oh well. I am still looking forward to a lot of great food.

That was it for todays episode - next week we get into the most twisted ways people use shame. As I said we only going to go deeper into this topic.
I hope you liked this episode, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at contactme@johannadraconis.com.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.

The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD ~ Episode 19- Shame (II) Shame caused by the reactions of others
Ep19 - Shame (II) Shame caused by the re
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