I didn’t realize that sharing my story about pulling out my brows and lashes was choosing courage over comfort. I didn’t know that we all have shame, and the less we talk about it the the deeper it grows and paralyzes every part of our being. I now understand that shame is the birthplace of perfectionism and if we don’t claim shame it claims us. Attaining worthiness, the belief that “I am good enough”, requires vulnerability, uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.
When I exposed my secret of living with a bfrb and started to own the parts of me that wanted to be seen as perfect the wall around me crumbled to the ground. People could now see the real me. I was terrified. I had no more secrets. And everything I thought I had control over felt completely out of my control. But there I was, still standing and breathing. That choice was a gift. Digging deep and being deliberate was the vehicle out of the armor I wore to protect my heart. It was too heavy to carry anymore and it was holding me back from my truth. Just like you, and everyone else in our lives, we are imperfect. The opposite of shame is worthiness. Belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are it requires us to be who we are.
A letter to my clients
I understand the shame associated with not wanting anyone to know my truth, my secret, that I am different from you. Shame grows with secrecy, silence and judgement. My disorder arrived in a different package. Maybe yours is visible in how you look, act or behave or maybe you have anxiety, or compartmentalize secrets that have manifested more deeply and it is harder for me to see your struggle.
We are all afraid to share the truth when we feel different, because we are afraid that if we expose our imperfections we might not be loved and accepted. How do we learn to show up, be seen for who we truly are regardless of the outcome. Not allowing ourselves to be defined by the approval of what other people think. It is about being brave and afraid at the same time.
Note for my BFRB clients: This can be even more challenging and frustrating if OCD, ADD or ADHD, Tourette’s, Body Dysmorphia or any other issues are in the mix.
Thoughts for Parents
Are you the adult you want your child to be?
- Love is not something we give or get. It is something we nurture and grow.
- Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.
- Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing it’s about courage in a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature. Vulnerability is subversive, uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. BB
- Fitting in: Is one of the greatest barriers to “belonging” which is becoming who others need you to be to be accepted.
- Belonging: Doesn’t require us to change who we are, it requires us to be who we are.
- Trich is a neurobiological behavior with a genetic component, it’s self-soothing in nature.