This isn’t going to be a light read.
This isn’t going to be something to “gloss over” or “read at a glance”.
This, sweet girl, may be one of the most important things you ever read.
The letters that spell out Shame and Guilt seem harmless on the page. They carry no sword and no flame. They exist in a flat dimension with little to no real meaning or power. But these words put into action...that’s a completely different story. These words describe millions of people across the planet. In essence, these words do just one thing. They engage one feeling that gnaws at your heart. Shame and Guilt- these words have one goal and one strategy when put to use. And that my friend, is to make you feel
They slowly cause the death of your will and options. You may think I’m over selling their power. Their control. You think I’m trying to scare you or tell you something that “would never happen” to you. But again, sweet girl, these words are indeed from the dark and darkness uses them in subtle ways to control and rule you over time.
I was there once, I thought I was alone. I felt I couldn’t be helped and I would never be rid of their hands. One of the most powerful things I ever learned was how I became trapped in the first place, how I made it worse, and then how to break free. I was a different person when I was controlled by these feelings. I made decisions based in fear and survival. I remember wanting to just end things. Or run away. The weight of those words pressed into me so heavy they were crushing the life from my bones. Shame. Guilt. But I got out from under their foot. I took ownership of my part. I took a chance that I hadn’t burned all my bridges and someone could save me. I hoped that someone could still love me even though I couldn’t love myself anymore. You know who that person was I was looking for? Me. It was me. My mind had fed me lies that I had gone too far, done too much, sold my soul. But that was wrong. I found my confidence and my strength. I realized if I didn’t pull myself out of this pit then no one else would. I pulled myself from the dark and broke free of my emotional chains. I was made to feel unworthy by someone who claimed to love me. I was made to feel isolated because of the place in life I had ended up. I was made to feel guilty for things that weren’t my fault. I carried shame for who I had become and who I gave myself to. All of those feelings did absolutely nothing to get me out of there or to move me forward. Instead, they held me down and weighted me to the life I made for myself and the life I let others dictate. I was manipulated and lied to by my closest person. I was made to feel small. I was told if I just did more, if I just gave more, if I just sold more of myself and my morals to this person than he would love me. Or it would fix things. All I was selling was my self worth and my identity. He became my identity. His love, or lack there of, dictated how I viewed myself because I had let him in so deep. I had extreme guilt to turn him away or to quit or ask for help.
I was in a situation that wasn’t very relatable (so I thought) and it made me isolate myself further. Until, finally, I had been used enough for another persons gains. Until I had the thought. What if I took a chance. What if I decided to love myself and to cut ties with Shame and Guilt? Those words. Those feelings had controlled much of my life. Made me act in foolish ways. I tell you this from experience - if you do not stand up for yourself, if you do not tell people what you’re worth, if you seek the approval and attention of others, if you think you have to sell a part of yourself to get something in return... you will be ruled by other people and the feelings of shame and guilt all of your life. be strong and confident in your worth. You have the power to make yourself happy. If you have to compromise your morals to get love, attention, money, time from someone then it’s not worth it. It may seem a small price to pay now- but that’s the hook. That's how they get you. That’s the little lie that leads you to selling more and more of yourself and not knowing how to get out. Little by little your self esteem fades away and by the end of it all you don’t even think you’re worth being free. That’s the true power of Shame. The truth behind Guilt. They take root and control you. You do things to appease another person and you don’t even reach out to save yourself.
The type of people that prey on young girls and boys use these tactics methodically. They wield them like swords to tame you. At first they praise you and intrigue you with compliments, money, job opportunities. They feed your need for attention and approval. And they offer something hopeful that you bite. As time moves on, they become more controlling and more demanding. But you’ve already taken money from them. Or you’ve already agreed to meet them. Or you’ve already given them your address. This is shame and guilt at work now. Well, they seemed nice but I have a bad feeling. I can’t tell my mom I took their money or gave them my personal information. “I would be in so much trouble”. Shame. You say you aren’t feeling well and don’t want to meet. He begs you. Says more nice things. More promises. You’re blinded by the “nice” and you feel GUILT. So you comply. You go against your gut. You meet him. He puts his hand on your waist when he talks to you. You feel in over your head now. Too engulfed in guilt and shame to call anyone for help. Frozen. Fear. You do as he says because you’re scared. And you’re in so far at this point. You’re alone. No one can help you now, you’re walking to his car. This story could play out in a million ways. This is just an example. Do you see what I mean? Do you see how they use your feelings against you? Did you feel trapped as you read that story? Good. That was the point. This type of situation happens every single day all over the world. These creeps know exactly what they’re doing. They know the tone they need to use. The things they need to say. This is a game to them and they not only know all the rules, they make them. Don’t get caught in another persons game. Don’t let Shame and Guilt keep you from getting help before it’s too late. Don’t let someone make you feel bad or guilty for setting boundaries that protect YOU. Don’t let someone try to manipulate your emotions and get you to do something that goes against your morals or your gut instincts. Do not ever think that Shame and blackmail has to make you continue down a path you don’t want to be on. It’s your life. Who cares what others think about it. Shame is used to control you. It just allows them to continue to take and use you. Don’t think they have to be right next to you to control you.
Young girls every single day fall victim to sending pictures. Fall victim to do things on camera. Fall victim to mistreatment. They know exactly what they’re doing and they use Shame and Guilt to get what they want out of you. Your biggest mistake, sweet girl, is to think you’ve gone too far, so you let guilt and shame keep driving you farther into the dark.
Just like the sun slowly sets and it becomes night, so is the grip of shame and guilt. It slowly gets harder and harder to live freely in the fading light and before you know it, It’s dark. These feelings begin to swallow you up and before you know it, you’re just a puppet in this big world trapped in your own insecurities and fear. I dare you to not seek people’s approval. I dare you to be a role model to yourself. I dare you to love yourself. I dare you to hone your work ethic and not sell any part of yourself to get farther or faster. I dare you to value the praises of your closest relationships over the conversation of strangers luring you to themselves. I dare you to be accountable to someone you trust. I dare you to make yourself mentally strong so you are no longer an “easy target”. I dare you to live safely and intelligently. I dare you to be different and strong and defended. Don’t let them even put in a crack in that armor. Girl, you’ve got this!