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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Dimitrion, LCSW, CST

Shame: The Parasite and its Antidote

The origins of shame are always externally born and cast down by society, cultures, and generations. Like a parasite, shame burrows into the sense of self of its host, systemically effecting how they think, feel, and behave. No longer is the host free to organically go about the world with the pure essence of authentic beingness that is their birthright. Instead, they are possessed by the hissing voices of those who infected them, forcing upon them nonconsensual conformity. If left untreated, shame multiplies, infesting the host until they are nothing but a hollow shell of the person they once were. In an attempt to preserve any bit of the host’s authenticity, the Core Self becomes self-encapsulated; surrounded by a thick wall of protectors to ward off further harm. What's left is a human who is just surviving. On the outside they may look like everybody else, but the spark of life that is unique to them is nothing but a dim lit flame on the cusp of being extinguished.

Thankfully there is an antidote that is powerful enough to rid the infection. Its healing properties are found in the consensual connection of the infected host and a safe, compassionate other. Shame can only flourish in dark places and silent spaces. The acknowledgement of its very existence combined with the fiercely empathic stance of the safe other strengthens the encapsulated Core Self, releasing it from its protective covering. Taking its rightful place, the Core Self purges the parasite from within, reigniting the spark of life with a flame that burns brighter than ever. With a renewed sense of agency, the host—the person—reclaims their individuality, again navigating the world with unapologetic authenticity.

Every so often however, shame tries to make a comeback when oppressive forces from the outside attempt to revive it. What's different today is that you know the signs and forever have the antidote to keep it away

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