Gentle Recovery

Healing From Child Abuse & Rape

Healing Journey

Secrets and Shame

Posted by gentlerecovery on February 16, 2010 at 6:42 AM

"We are only as sick as our secrets." John Bradshaw

For years I kept the secrets....the secrets of everything that had happened. I thought it was my fault. I thought there was something wrong with me...that in some crazy way....I had caused it. Keeping the secrets left me covered in a blanket of shame. That shame coloured the way I saw things and forced me to move in the world as if I had no right to be part of it.

Shame nags inside serving as a daily reminder that something is inherently wrong with who you are as a human being...a belief that is ingrained so tight telling you.....that in some way you’re different, wrong, damaged and unacceptable.

Secrets and shame feed into the each other.  Holding onto secrets...holds onto shame.

It took me along time to tell what happened....I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want to know. I had convinced myself it didn’t happen or it wasn’t so bad and somedays I even thought I had made it up.

When I began to tell.... the shame forced me to hide even more....I thought I wouldn’t be able to hold it together....that I would fall apart...but I didn’t. People were kind.....offering support...encouragement....gentleness. And something interesting started to walls began coming down. I didn’t feel so distant and far away from myself. I felt more connected to me....and to others. And my fight to always be on guard began to relax.

I've learned how important it is to tell and keep on telling...for no other reason than our own freedom...our own inner peace.


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Reply Donna Dawson
9:26 AM on February 16, 2010 
Nikki you are such a blessing!
Reply Valerie Lynn
10:13 AM on February 16, 2010 
Holding on to hurt, pain and shame and guilt suffocates the spirit which lives inside of you. Once you let go it allows the spirit to breathe and come alive once again. You are a light which was once dim but now is shining bright. Keep shining my friend. I love you and thank God for you. God bless.
Reply Cheri
12:07 PM on February 16, 2010 

This is a wonderfully wise post. Would you mind if I repost it on my blog at some point?


PS - We could use it as a book promo...
Reply Lisa Bull
4:07 PM on February 16, 2010 
You are so brave i am so proud to know you are my friend. Thank you for sharing
your difficult journey with me. I don't feel so alone in my work as it is comming
forward. I know it is for the best i can be. Your doll is on it way. Watch your mail i
sent it off today. It was difficult to make due to my pain levels it took longer to make
it just right. For you my dear friend. I cherish you always.
Blessings with Love & Light,
Lisa Bull
Reply Jan C
5:08 PM on March 3, 2010 
That is a marvelous way to explain the thoughts that go on inside us. Have you heard the song called "In the Light".? You can see it at
Reply Karen
9:17 PM on March 13, 2010 
I agree with Cheri...this is a wise post...when we share our burdens with others....we open up the door for the Lord to comfort and strengthen us through others...I went for years and didn't tell anyone but the immediate family about the drug abuse of my wanderer....when I finally started sharing with was like a floodgate of emotions flowing out....when I was emptied of all those secret thoughts and feelings....there was finally room for God's grace to come rushing in....

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