One key purpose of the Facebook groups I’ve set up (‘Bad Parents of The World, Unite!’, ‘Sanctuary For Terror’, ‘Being With My Rage’) is to de-stigmatise the shame of the raw, edgy, culturally-pushed-away sides of our lives and experiences. The ‘shame’ or ‘resistance’ people feel to share their most vulnerable experiences is one of the great diseases of our culture. We’ve all supported the wrong idea that it’s not ok to be simply yourself having the challenging experiences you’re having and be seen in it. This hiding, this ‘I couldn’t let anyone know the truth’ belief is a core reason our culture is so screwed up, fake, and shame-ridden. It’s the opposite of the intimate life we all really want. It’s collective loneliness and the hiding and shame has the ripple effect of less and less people feeling safe, feeling met, feeling part of the human race, deserving of love and support.
When we speak freely about the parts of ourselves that usually get skipped or hidden, we become walking permission slips for everyone else to come out of their painful, lonely hiding and join in. The stigma and this unhealthy, un-self-loving practice of hiding and faking begins to dissolve. But only by EXAMPLE.
My groups are there to offer a ‘no big deal’ attitude to the fear and drama of ‘if anyone knew the truth about me then…..’. There are many other closed groups available for those who want that perceived safety – but my ones are exploring something which is, to me, more to the core of what’s needed for all of us and I support and welcome and am grateful to all those who join me on this visible journey, bravely being the first to be seen in all their mess, so that others can have more comfort with theirs. In the 70s it was a taboo to get divorced and sharing experiences of unhappy marriages was a taboo too – it would only have happened in closed groups. Now, these days it’s no longer a taboo and people are getting the support they need. But it took brave people earlier on, to be seen, that gave everyone else the comfort. Let’s be braver and participate in the un-stigmatising of our basic truths and needs.
Please be a walking permission slip with me – lots of people need the example of your permission to dare to be free themselves and receive the support they need.