Domestic Abuse – Dealing with Shame

dealing with shame
Domestic Violence Grounds for Divorce
Domestic Abuse – Ending the Paralysis of Shame

You’ve found yourself in a relationship with a partner who began to physically and emotionally hurt you.

Four things I can guarantee you:

1)     It is not your fault

2)    You could not and cannot help the person who did this to you

3)    You feel ASHAMED of being with such a person

4)    You deserve more than this person could ever give you

Recovery from such a physically and emotionally tormenting place is a tough journey I can’t ‘dress that up’.  It can feel harder than surviving the relationship itself.  The reason why is whilst you are in it you can feel hope.  When it has gone beyond hope we are left only with the physical, emotional and consequent psychological injuries.

Finding yourself with a partner who cannot truly cherish you, and has resorted to ridicule, control, and violence, means all your dreams and hopes for the loving relationship you envisaged are gone.

Shame becomes so familiar that we don’t even realise it.  Shame becomes the controller like the perpetrator was.  It keeps us feeling small, powerless and hidden away.

Dealing with Shame
How to go about dealing with shame

This will feel familiar to you I’m sure.  Shame starts in the relationship and goes beyond it too.   It’s comes on the school run, it becomes our bed fellow; it stops us eating or makes us eat too much; it goes to family gatherings with us; it’s with us in the queue of a shop.  This is your reality and due to something that is no fault of your own.

What’s the positive in SHAME?

The positive way of looking at shame is that initially it keeps us safe; it’s keeps our lives small enough for us to even believe we can recover.  We need time to recover from our physical and emotional injuries and we need to become strong enough to combat the shame.

What’s the negative in SHAME?

Shame I’m afraid quickly starts to work against us.  It is the sheer agony of ridicule and public humiliation, and it doesn’t serve us at all.

Shame keeps us small, powerless and in fact only serves the perpetrators of this kind of abuse.  Whilst they deny to themselves and others what they have done, our shame provides the environment for the bully to prosper.

Whilst we feel shame, we are paralysed by it.  We might learn to live with it, carrying it around like a dusty old suitcase; a dirty old secret and whilst no one can see it, it corrodes us, and keeps us small.  We stay unfulfilled even when we have so much to offer the World, and it feels safe there.  It’s not fun; not stimulating; not right but it’s safe.

“I know that you can SAFELY transform shame into an energy that is so personally powerful that you will never be able to be ‘knocked down’ by another person ever again”

We must physically over power shame like once we were over powered; it’s in this shame free place that we can recover, dream again and achieve our dreams.

Anna Pinkerton BA Hons PGDipCAP DipPW TIRCouns AccPT-s HPC MBACP


If you believe you’re in a abusive situation and need help please find below some free services helplines and websites:

  • 24 hr National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247
  • Lesbian and Gay Helpline -0300 330 0630


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