Maybe you don’t know what a Shame Slam is. If you don’t, I’m very glad to hear that.

Maybe you do, although you’ve maybe not named it that way. Or thought of it that way.

Shame Slam – when I walk away from a conversation or situation – or maybe even nothing – and out of seemingly nowhere self-loathing and revulsion hit me like a tsunami, barreling me over and flooding every part of me.

Perhaps needless to say, it doesn’t feel good.

I’ve been hit with Shame Slams a bunch lately. I’ll be fine, going about my day, and, again, out of seemingly nowhere, there it is. All I can see and feel is disgust for myself. Knowledge that I’m inherently broken and wrong. Certainty that I need to die for who and how I am.

It takes every ounce of every bit of recovery and healing and wholeness I have to not lose my balance and succumb. To not drown in the Shame.

The Shame is so believable. It’s what I know from my childhood, what was intentionally carved into me. It is familiar and echoes and embodies the self-loathing and revulsion I was taught was Truth. The self-loathing and revulsion I had to know as true in order to survive.

But it never was Truth, and it is not true.

Because of my decades of recovery and healing and wholeness – because of my community of Second Gens and other survivors who have also learned to thrive – I can almost always step back from the Shame Slam as it engulfs and overwhelms me. I can almost always see it for what it is, recognize where it comes from, and breathe my way through.

Breathe my way through and turn up the volume on my self-compassion, self-love, and self-adoration. Remind myself of what is true and of all the beauty and love in the world and in me. Put my hand on my heart, remember that I’m okay, and call out that Shame Slam for what it is – something old, something familiar, something false, and something I had to do and believe back then to survive…but I don’t have to do and believe any more.

That is the only way I know to survive a Shame Slam. So far.

How do you survive yours? I would really love to know.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!


If you have been in ANY high control group or religion, share your story with the hashtag #IGotOut. Share on your own platform OR if you need to be anonymous and/or would like support, there are resources at the @igotout_org website.

When you see a survivor share their story, let them know they have been heard. This is such a meaningful part of the movement. We all need to know we’re not alone.

If you know someone who has been harmed by a high demand group, share #igotout posts or stories you think would help them.

Together we can bring awareness to how many of us have been harmed by high control organizations and end the shame or stigma we might feel about our experiences.

Tell your story
Impact lives
Change the world

Find out more at igotout.org

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