“Shame hates when we reach out tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it – it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.” – Brene Brown
When I think of shame, I think of:
Shame about being a Birth Mother is an all-encompassing feeling that seeps into every fiber of our being. It controls every thought we have and every decision we make. It’s what keeps us up at night and prevents us from getting out of bed in the morning. Shame thrives in silence and is fueled by our inability to put a voice to our story. It steals our confidence and convinces us that we are not worthy of peace.
For decades, shame about being a Birth Mother has influenced the way society has treated us. It has kept us silent and insecure about who we are and how we heal. It has convinced that us we are not allowed to grieve, that we must live with this pain forever because it’s what we deserve. It makes us believe that we are not deserving of joy because we got ourselves and everyone else into this situation.
No More Shame About Being A Birth Mother Is Our Decision
It is only when we stand up to shame and the control it has over us that it starts to die. We do that by speaking out and facing the secrets that feed it. It cannot survive in the light for the light reveals the lies shame has so carefully entrapped us in.
Finding our voice and accepting that we are deserving of peace is the only way to live a shame-free life. We cannot make room for healing when shame is taking up all the space. When we heal from shame, we learn to trust our emotions and become more in tune with who we are and the love that we have inside.
By letting go of the shame about being a Birth Mother, we open our hearts to stronger connections with our placed children, children we parent, partners, friends, and family. When we face and accept the uncomfortable emotions about our adoption, we are better able to handle our relationship with our children and their adoptive parents. We cannot let our shame project onto our relationships within our adoption, because it can prevent us from accepting truth and can cause us to become defensive. Shame and grace are like oil and water and when we do not give ourselves grace, we struggle to give others the grace they deserve.
Shame does not need to be in the driver’s seat of our adoption. It takes willpower and a lot of grit to rid ourselves of the shame, while having grace that growth takes time and effort.
If I’ve learned anything from this process, it’s that shame is relentless, but it holds no power if we accept who we are and take control of our own narrative. We cannot let society tell us what to think of ourselves. We must dig down deep to fight those thoughts that make us feel less than, the ones that hold us back from a fulfilling life.
While I know it is easier said than done, we cannot find real healing with shame in the way. Our children deserve to see us live a shame-free life. For years, I let shame about being a Birth Mother control my narrative, to my own detriment. Finding peer support is what broke me out of shame’s spell. There isn’t enough talk therapy that could have brought me to the place of peace I have found myself in through peer support. So reach out, talk to a friend, join that support group, attend that virtual group, attend a birth mom retreat. Take a risk on yourself, what else do you have to lose?