“It was about a deep identity crisis and shame that I didn’t even realize was lurking in my soul. I was still afraid to completely own who God created me to be.” ~Ashley Jameson
One of the foundational reasons those of us who have experienced any type of sexual trauma, including betrayal trauma, find it challenging to use our voices confidently is because of carried shame. Whether from childhood or in unhealthy relationships, we have yielded to the belief that we should be seen and not heard, to stay in our corner and remain small. Sadly, some of these painful and untruthful messages have come from the people we should have been able to trust the most.
Have you heard the term “carried shame”? In essence, carried shame is a belief we adopt due to something that has happened to us. Carried shame causes us to feel less valuable than others and diminishes our sense of self-worth. This type of shame could result from having childhood caregivers who didn’t lovingly attune to us and gaslighting from our toxic adult relationships. For those who have experienced betrayal trauma, carrying shame feels like being covered up with a thick blanket in the heat of summer.
Losing your voice is deeply regrettable. I want you to believe the truth God says about you. I want you to stop listening to the voices that don’t define you—even if that voice is your own. Feeling unseen or small is never God’s desire for you, his beloved daughter. He sees you. He hears you.
We all make mistakes as we navigate our healing process. Apologize if you cause hurt or harm, then try again. And please, be kind to yourself and give yourself grace. Finding your voice can feel like a pendulum swing in the opposite direction. Hang in there, you will find your balance.
You become stronger as you heal from trauma and betrayal, and your voice rises to the top. It wasn’t lost, my friend. It was there all along!
You are worth being heard. Use your voice.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. Psalm 18:6 NIV