At first there will be ignorance of the deep cause of pain that has been so carefully hidden and denied and one will only see the symptoms.
They won't seek help until the pain becomes unbearable.
Like a cancer growing at one's core, the cause of the shame must be found and removed. The symptoms must be taken seriously.
Getting to the secret and letting it come out without shame is a key to recovery. The truth lies in a totally different interpretation of those experiences that formed their shame.
The truth is that the shame was never theirs to own.
Recovery depends upon becoming aware of the pain that has been kept buried so long.
Upon recognition of pain and a determination to alleviate it, one can move toward learning the cause of the symptoms. Insight is gained and a willingness to see oneself, one's history, one's relationships, and circumstances begins.
After recognizing old patterns that arose to survive abuse and pain, one must relearn new and healthy was of relating. At first acting in a new way will seem contrived and abnormal. As one learns and develops strengths, skills, and resources then change will truly take place. A new image will be gained and need to be maintained.
Turn shame over to God To be in touch with God's truth is to be in touch with reality, and to live in accord with that reality makes for a better life (Cloud, Townsend, Boundaries)(Ps. 119:2, 45). As they learn the truth and trust God, He will reveal the past causes of their shame and open their eyes to the lies they learned that wreak such havoc in their lives today. As they pray, He will bring new, truthful meanings and new self-talk to replace old misbeliefs.
He will require courageous truthfulness to see and deal with the distortions and pain and their responses to them. He will restore peace as He untwists the branches of pain entwined in their lives.
Because of who He is and who they are in Him they can learn new truths to tell themselves.
Telling yourself the truth I am a worthwhile person. A healthy self-concept is the recognition of one's value and worth: the understanding that as a unique human being, one has certain gifts and abilities unlike anyone else, and can contribute to the world in a special way. God gave us a sense of purpose. That purpose is not to live up to the standards of others.
It is not to seek to be accepted by adopting the values, ideas, opinions and behaviors others dictate to us. That purpose is to love God with the entirety of our being, grow to look like His Son, obey His commands, and glorify Him forever.
He gives us our worth, it is not in the power of another to decide it for us. .
For those who believe, Scripture tells us that we are children of God and that we belong to Him (John 1:12; 1 Peter 2:9). Our physical parents may have abused, devalued, and shamed us but our heavenly Father will never do so.
Knowing that one is chosen by God (Ep. 1:4) is a truth that can dispel the belief of worthlessness. Knowing that nothing can separate one from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39) is a truth that can alleviate the fear of abandonment and rejection.
I deserve to be treated with respect. God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, chosen us, declared us holy and blameless, adopted us, redeemed us, forgiven us, made known to us the mystery of His will, and sealed us in the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. We deserve respect because we are made in the image of God and because of what He has done for us.
God's love and valuing of us is unconditional (2 Cor 5:16-17; Rom 10:17; Col 3:17; Mt. 25:37-40; Is 40:1,2; 2 Co 1:3-5).
The truth will set you free. There can be an end to the cycle. Just as families can become more dysfunctional through many generations, families can also become healthier. The essential ingredient is truth. The truth sets us free, sets our children free. The truth frees us from the lies of abuse, from the bondage of shame, and the terror of exposure.
The truth is that those born of God are not condemned regardless of what they have been brought up to believe. (Ro. 8:1).
They are at peace with the greatest authority figure through Jesus Christ (Ro. 5:1). They have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of God's Son (Col. 1:13). There is no need to live in further bondage.
They have been forgiven for their sinful responses and continued dysfunction and they can learn to let go of them (Col. 2:13-14). They are free to stand without blame, without shame before God and He wants and desires them to do so (Ep. 2:18, 3:12).