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I was shamed constantly by my parents & siblings since childhood.

Still as an adult, I feel difficult when others shame me. How have you coped with shaming from others?

Sadly it seems you have been used as a scapegoat, your parents were divisive and your siblings followed your parents narcissistic behaviour towards you. As adults some of your siblings may have been programmed to become narcissistic in behaviour or coercive controllers themselves.

This behaviour towards you as a child would have been very confusing and you may have thought you were the cause of everyone's bad behaviour. YOU WERE NOT. You would have felt undeserved shame about this which would have interfered with your love of self, this would have caused you shame when you had nothing to feel ashamed about. So you were carrying your own shame and that which others dumped on you. How hard. It would be difficult to love yourself while carrying so much shame. The little child inside you is still carrying all of this shame today.

To answer your question I coped with the same issue by working on my codependency. I.e. looking for external validation for my sense of self. I learned to love myself by parenting my inner child in a way I wished I had been parented and in the way I parented my own children. So much so I learned to spot and avoid toxic shaming people who would try to dump their shame on me. I would walk away leaving their shame square on their shoulders. You sound to me like a good person that has been given a raw deal in life by your significant caregivers, its time to set boundaries and parent yourself as you would someone kind that you love. I suggest you go to ACOA meetings on line or face to face, get a good therapist who understands narcissistic abuse, get the book codependent no more by melody Beattie and stay away from toxic people. Literally go no contact if you are not being respected. Now that you are an adult you have choices. Be assertive, respectively express how you feel when required from an ‘I’ place I.e. (I feel uncomfortable with) with boundaries in place change will happen. Sending you my best wishes moving forward.

For more information about the subjects covered in this blog, contact Margaret Parkes - phone: 086 832 0422 email:

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