• HalloHappiness

Self worth and shame!

In your 40’s if you acknowledge shame and do not have high self worth, life can be very unforgiving. The gentleman in question accepted that it was a tough decision for him to ask for help at this stage in his life and chose a platform like Hallohappiness being unsure of actually going through the process. Two reasons he could do it was his ability to control the situation and disconnect the call at any stage of conversation and not having to disclose his identity.

As a young child at the most impressionable age, he went through the trauma of his father’s disapproval of everything he did. Since he was eager to please his father the disapproval had a cascading effect on him and not only did his grades go down in the 10th & 12th standard he could not even excel in sports where he was a natural. His heart wrenching remark ‘ I have proved my father right coming to seek help as I am not able to take control of my own life and consequently my family has also suffered a lot due to me’ resonates in my mind. He had failed as his father always predicted.

For the last 20 years he had worked hard had a good job, a happy, happening life with family by all socially acceptable yardsticks. Natural progression of large to larger homes, bigger cars, family vacations, they were all in place. But one solo incident of losing his job in the times of economic recession sent the ball rolling back to his childhood memories and low self esteem. He could only identify with failure now would even take his life if it didn’t lead to further stigma for his family. He repeatedly quoted sentences from his father every time he was not up to the mark. “Boys like you never make it in life” when he was playing soccer for school in 5th grade, “If you can’t even score in math’s what else can you score in” when he scored 40% in math’s in 7th standard, “mark my words you will never make it in life and be a total failure” when he got 50% in the 10th standard

Shame as an emotion can have different expression in acute cases leading to depression and even life threatening situation. Man thinks of himself as a provider and is invariably incapable to handle a situation when he is unable to do so. Whereas women sense failure when they have not been able to adapt to life & situation whatever it may be. In difficult situation within the family they unconsciously adopt the role of peacekeeper and keep everything intact.

It took a while and number of positive enforcements for him to establish his self worth and realize his abilities. With some motivation he was also able to explore his close relationship and new avenues of making money till he got a job. Self worth is the first step of any ladder in life and if not entrenched at an early age can be a lifelong trauma, specially in close relationships.