A little over one year ago, before a workshop, I watched A silent voice. Is there a character that tries to be the good kid, while feeling a burden- shame and has no voice. I liked it in a deep way and felt some anger and a bulimia episode kicking in after, that further on indicated blocked pain and shame as I later learned to recognize. In order to distance myself from anger, frustration, sadness, grief, or moreover shame I used as a coping mechanism from my childhood, both dissociation and comfort food. They both further on, fed in a shame cycle and that is why I avoided speaking about them, as I carried them as a baggage for decades. Accompanied by feeling at times lost, lonely, inauthentic and unhappy even in the moments I looked happy and there for the emotional support of others. Another coping mechanism.
At the second viewing felt compassion and sadness. Saw myself as a silent voice, because dissociation from my feelings, bulimia, comforting and being available for others so they will accept me in moments when damaged me, rendered me silent. A distorted image of self as inherently bad and the cause of some if not all of the chaos and anger and retaliation that my childhood had. Because even intellectually I knew for sometime wasn't my fault, emotionally as a a coping mechanism, I felt still responsible of that. Because couldn't have be my caregivers, it had to be me. Because I was born prematurely and sick, because I was emotional and needy, because I was a child and the list goes on. My family system and my education was rooted in shame. Shame and at points character assassination was seen as a joke and as a valid educational and respectful interaction. Love, shame and outside perfect image blended together. I do both understand and feel that my parents did the best they could and knew and that they learned the same blend that they further on passed. And took decades to see that was a difference between understanding the motivation and validating my hurt. And that they were not bad parents on purpose for being involved in the creation of the coping mechanisms, but that was the reality of our relations. They were not bad, but they did the best they knew.
Staying with different levels of shame was and still is uncomfortable and hard at times. As also staying with my grief and pain. I know now where and how they manifest in the physical body and some of the other reactions that come to it. I don't try to dissociate and my food addiction also does not kick in. So is so much better. And I feel I finally have a truer voice, I still learn how to use it but is there and works. I feel more authentic and happy sometimes. Or in the mist of cleaning some of these blocked emotions, being that old that I have no clue where or how they come to be. And I am learning to say no and please others only when is pleasing me. I am still in the journey and I think it might be a lifelong journey after all. And that might be a blessing I don't see now, because life and our lives are so much bigger than we are. Or we hope or imagine that we are.
This a second answer for another post of mine/ why I felt my life was moving in cycles/ shame and the deep belief that if I failed to make those situations and relationships from my childhood better I could succeed. And be accepted and fine. Not true- nothing I could do then or now can make those situations better. That is the reality of it. And that I am free of trying it once more.