dealing with unhealthy/toxic shame (contd.)

As I examine these it strikes me that step 5 was the most powerful one in my combat with my shame. I got my wife and my children to write about how I had wronged and shamed them. What they wrote was each sealed in a separate envelope. I gave the envelopes to my therapist, and each week he opened one, and I read aloud what had been written. My family are very honest and very challenging, and they did not flinch from the task.  I did not know beforehand what had been written, and I can say that, apart from the death of my child, it was the most painful experience of my life. But it certainly cured my shame, and it was most healing for them.   I’m not sure that I’d recommend this to every person who is battling with shame, because it is traumatic. It certainly should not be attempted except in a safe place, such as the room of a therapist.

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