I am studying the work on Daniel Seigel on interpersonal neurobiology. He talks a lot about attachmen and how insecure attachments can have shame. That shame is a developmental response to caregivers not being reliable. If we were to believe our caregivers not reliable as infants, we would go insane, so instead we believe we are defective – that causes shame. I think I sometimes feel shame, although I’m not sure I always identify it as such, or I don’t often identify it in the day to day concerns and bothersome thoughts that come up but maybe if I am looking at bigger things I tell myself about myself and my life, I do have the thought, “I’m defective.”
T: I am defective
F: I would have said anxious here, but I’ll put shame
A: try to learn, improve self, figure out what is wrong with me, understand what is wrong with me and why, try to take some action to improve self (but I think while still thinking I am defective, which then leads to feeling of self-doubt, uncertainty, confusion over right direction, etc….)
R: lot of research and a lot of small actions, but lack of belief in self for bigger things, and not so many bigger things…
I know that “Confusion” is not a popular or acceptable term, I’m just describing what it feels like – maybe uncertainty is better.
So, isn’t the way to get big things by doing little things? But I guess little things in a particular way, right?
I guess I am working through: How do I get rid of shame and the belief I am defective.
It seems very deep. It’s not on the surface or a thought that often shows up on a thought download. When I review this, I know that I have this belief deep down. I’m wondering if you would suggest ladder thoughts, or actions that contradict that belief/build belief in self.
Right now I feel I’m transitioning from lots of active, on the surface, self doubt, to less self-doubt in the day to day. So that my day to day thoughts land me with feelings of more confidence, and also my actions result in thoughts that I am making better choices. Many of these action options I learned as a result of trying to learn.
Still deep down, I think I do believe I am defective in some way. For example, I have two children (both from IVF) and part of me still believes in some way my body is defective and almost doesn’t accept that I produced two more-or-less normal human beings (albeit with IFV and late in life).
Even as I am thinking I am defective now, my mind is trying to remember all the proof for this thought. All my deficiencies and it finds them.
If my belief is so deep, that even the production of children from a body that seems somehow defective. It’s as if I believe I am defective in some unseen way.
So Siegel would say this is because my parent (mom in my case) did not provide me with being seen, soothed, safe, secure – so I had to believe that I am defective, to not believe she was/is defective.
In some areas this underlying belief helps me. I learn, try hard, try to be thoughtful, empathetic, considerate, I hustle. I have a decent job and a number of friends.
In intimate relationships, I think it hurts me – I think I don’t allow other people to get too close, or I just assume they won’t REALLY like me, because of course I am defective.
Other than trying out alternative thoughts/intentional models such as (which are not totally convincing):
T: what if I am not defective?
T: I am human
What else could I do?