Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

A very powerful poem, about toxic shame from childhood abuse.


I had to share this, as this is one of the most powerful poems, regarding toxic shame I have read.

It is by Leo Booth/John Bradshaw

My Name Is Toxic Shame

I was there at your conception
In the epinephrine of your mother’s shame
You felt me in the fluid of your mother’s womb
I came upon you before you could speak
Before you understood
Before you had any way of knowing
I came upon you when you were learning to walk
When you were unprotected and exposed
When you were vulnerable and needy
Before you had any boundaries

I came upon you when you were magical
Before you could know I was there
I severed your soul
I pierced you to the core
I brought you feelings of being flawed and defective
I brought you feelings of distrust, ugliness, stupidity, doubt
worthlessness, inferiority, and unworthiness
I made you feel different
I told you there was something wrong with you
I soiled your Godlikeness

I existed before conscience
Before guilt
Before morality
I am the master emotion
I am the internal voice that whispers words of condemnation
I am the internal shudder that courses through you without any
mental preparation

I live in secrecy
In the deep moist banks of darkness
depression and despair
Always I sneak up on you I catch you off guard I come through
the back door
Uninvited unwanted
The first to arrive
I was there at the beginning of time
With Father Adam, Mother Eve
Brother Cain
I was at the Tower of Babel the Slaughter of the Innocents

I come from “shameless” caretakers, abandonment, ridicule,
abuse, neglect – perfectionistic systems
I am empowered by the shocking intensity of a parent’s rage
The cruel remarks of siblings
The jeering humiliation of other children
The awkward reflection in the mirrors
The touch that feels icky and frightening
The slap, the pinch, the jerk that ruptures trust
I am intensified by
A racist, sexist culture
The righteous condemnation of religious bigots
The fears and pressures of schooling
The hypocrisy of politicians
The multigenerational shame of dysfunctional
family systems

I can transform a woman person, a Jewish person, a black
person, a gay person, an oriental person, a precious child into
A bitch, a kike, a nigger, a bull dyke, a faggot, a chink, a selfish
little bastard
I bring pain that is chronic
A pain that will not go away
I am the hunter that stalks you night and day
Every day everywhere
I have no boundaries
You try to hide from me
But you cannot
Because I live inside of you
I make you feel hopeless
Like there is no way out

My pain is so unbearable that you must pass me on to others
through control, perfectionism, contempt, criticism, blame,
envy, judgment, power, and rage
My pain is so intense
You must cover me up with addictions, rigid roles, re-enactment,
and unconscious ego defenses.
My pain is so intense
That you must numb out and no longer feel me.
I convinced you that I am gone – that I do not exist –
you experience absence and emptiness.

I am the core of co-dependency
I am spiritual bankruptcy
The logic of absurdity
The repetition compulsion
I am crime, violence, incest, rape
I am the voracious hole that fuels all addictions
I am instability and lust
I am Ahaverus the Wandering Jew, Wagner’s Flying Dutchman,
Dostoyevski’s underground man, Kierkegaard’s seducer,
Goethe’s Faust
I twist who you are into what you do and have
I murder your soul and you pass me on for generations

This is from http://www.goddirect.org/mindemtn/writings/january/toxshame.htm

The antidote to this, is God’s healing. Finding your worth in Jesus Christ. And knowing how to visualise placing the blame, toxic shame and guilt, back with the abusers.

Whether they choose to pick it up and own it, is out of our control.

Breaking those toxic chains that bind us to the past, to the shame, to the abuse, is vital and with God’s healing, this can be done.

Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

6 thoughts on “A very powerful poem, about toxic shame from childhood abuse.

  1. Pingback: A very powerful poem, about toxic shame from childhood abuse. | justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis

  2. I recently wrote a Poem Title Toxic Shame too.
    This is very curious to me. I wrote it out of nowhere.
    I do not know who I wrote for, for sure or why. It just sorta happened.
    I have PTSD, Afghanistan War, 100% disability, I can be a real mess and sometimes I just feel things. Deep things, real things. Trauma changes you.
    Believe I may know somethings that can help others. PTSD is hard.

    Here is What I wrote. For who I do not know for sure…It almost wrote itself…..
    If you decide to post it, post it as anonymous pls.

    Toxic Shame

    Toxic Shame,
    It will drive you insane.
    The Shame, The same old game.
    The choirs singing in your head.
    The same old shit dancing before your eyes.
    Time to wake up and not deny.
    What was, was, what is, is
    And the future will be.

    Life is about choice.
    What you did was wrong.
    It was the wrong song.
    It was Denial, It was shame.
    It was the wrong fucking game.
    You knew it was wrong.
    Yet you did it all along.
    Now I have to take the blame.

    You called out my name.
    I was just a pawn. I did nothing wrong.
    Why am I twisting in a sea of agony.
    Just an innocent, betrayed, left stained.
    You were so wrong,
    So why did I want to die.
    I was innocent and you were broken
    And the acts you did go unspoken.

    I live with this shame
    And to you it’s all the same.
    You do not remember now or care
    What you did, it was just a game.
    You got what you wanted,
    I just wanted to survive. To stay alive.
    You took something away from me
    I want it back my virginity.

    How could you, you terrible beast.
    All you cared about was you,
    Not me.
    I was young, it was wrong, but
    You did it while listening to that song.
    The song that drives me insane.
    To you it was just a game.
    For it me it was my life.
    I was not your wife.

    You got what you wanted.
    You called me a fucking whore,
    Who you did not adore.
    Then you left me to die.
    All crying, stained in satin, crying,
    Dying, denying the crime
    That happened to me.

    I am tried of your old shame.
    I am tried of this same old game.
    I want to be free.
    Let me be.
    Hear what I have to say.
    I give you back your shame.
    I will never be the same.
    It was never mine. It was never mine
    It was yours All the time.
    I will not play your game.
    I will not hold your shame.

    In my name. I will set me free.
    I will be free, let me be.
    I know who I am and you are not me.
    I am not you and you will let me be.
    You never cared and Jesus Loves me.

    Shame, the shame, the same,
    It will go away. I love myself now.
    More than I love you.
    The Stain will not remain.
    Your Shame will have to find another
    name and another game. I am done with you.
    I am not your victim anymore.
    I am free.
    You will have no part of me.
    I am free.

  3. This poem is powerful and explains shame in a way that I never heard before. However I’m an atheist so the last part would not apply to me, but understanding the origins of shame has certainly made me think deeper and that is a good starting point in releasing my toxic shame. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Most people don’t understand how it affects a person for a lifetime,I started my healing journey 7 years ago,this poem has opened my eyes to a different light,a light that is getting brighter every day ,THX for this poem