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  • Fiona Feeley

Shame, anger and the inner child

So many of our subconscious behaviours are driven by an unprocessed sense of deep shame and/or anger. Shame is a far too frequent aftertaste of a childhood where needs were unmet, abuse or neglect occurred, or where a child felt emotionally unnourished, ridiculed or invalidated . Children, unable to conceptualise the fallibility of parents or make sense of what they experience, and instead, end up internalising a sense of not being good enough to deserve the most basic of acceptance and acknowledgement. An insidious loss of self-worth occurs and is carried into adulthood. The emptiness and self-loathing that accompany shame or repressed anger are the result of emotions that a child never felt safe enough to express. They magnify and extrapolate onto our intepreation of ourselves and the world around us in adulthood. The world becomes a confusing and threatening place to be, relationships become a place of conflict instead of refuge. Coping mechanisms from childhood transfer into pathological issues. Mental health issues, dysregulation and dysfunction become a way of avoiding having to tolerate the burning feelings that have been repressed for a lifetime. Shame is extremely difficult to experience and consequently the feelings are denied, projected and avoided, wreaking havoc on a person’s ability to live an authentic, fulfilling life. However, there is hope. Working through toxic shame and anger by accessing the inner child and releasing the trapped emotions is difficult work. It takes massive compassion, tolerance, patience, humility and courage. However, the alternative is spending a life carrying the weight of what doesn’t belong to you and never experiencing the freedom of peace in your heart.


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