web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Children of Shame


Herskowitz-Moishe

Share Button
Children who grew up feeling shameful for the most part will have also grown up without someone to talk to about how it made them feel.
Shame is one of the most destructive feelings there is. It is a feeling that something is wrong within us and has a negative affect on a child’s self-development.
These children have had no voice with which to express themselves, and even if they did there was no one who would listen. So, as a survival strategy, they learned at a very young age to disconnect their anger, hurt, fear and pain.  They learned how to build walls around themselves so they can feel safe. These survival strategies are a good thing – in fact they are brilliant! Without them these children would not be able to function developmentally as children or as adults.   This wall gives them hope – hope that one day in the future – they will marry and find some one who will listen and connect with them. Logically this sounds great.  However, there is a problem.  These children have programmed their brains to disconnect.
Symptomatically similar to someone who is going through Post Traumatic Stress, the brain of a child who feels shame will temporary disconnect the pain until a later date, when it feels safe. When the connection with another person is made and he or she does feel safe, sadly the pain, anger and hurt will return. These children, when they become adults, have been disconnected for a very long time.  In fact, they have forgotten how to feel safe and how to let their walls come down. Shame involves a fear of being exposed, and if these walls come down, that’s what would happen – they and their feelings would be exposed.  It is at this point that their unconscious mind will go on Red Alert, shouting Danger! Danger! You’re getting much too close, shut down now and please evacuate immediately!
This is why couples often tell me that, “The closer we get the more we fight.” These adults are emotionally trapped and angry because these walls are no longer working for them and they don’t know how to cope.  What is happening is that they end up pushing away and hurting the very people they are trying to connect with – those they love.  This causes them intense pain – and there is nowhere to hide from it.
Many adults in this situation find themselves at a crossroads in their relationships – between staying and leaving.  When we are dealing with a married couple, for the most part, they don’t want to end the marriage, just the pain. However, because they perceive the connection as a threat, some will choose divorce as a means to an end.
 Such was the case for Yoni and Shifra, a young newlywed couple.  Her husband recalls that, “soon after the wedding she started to withdraw. The closer I got the more she would distance herself. It’s the strangest thing, when we dated there were not enough hours in a day to be with each other. Now she finds fault with everything I do.  She will find all kinds of excuses to leave the house and if I confront her with it she wants to end the relationship.”
When couples arrive at my office they wonder if they will ever feel safe with each other. They often say, “lets cut our losses and get divorced”, but that’s not the answer.  The answer is that if the brain had been programmed to disconnect, it can be programmed to reconnect. Hashem created human beings to be dependant on each other and with that dependency comes the process of healing and love. In fact pain and conflict arise not out of lack of love for our partners, but from a misunderstanding of what a true love relationship is all about.
When a person learns how to love their partner the way they want to be loved, they begin to feel more connected and understood. They find that issues and problems they once argued about seem to resolve themselves.

 

Moishe Herskowitz, MS., LCSW, developed the T.E.A.M. (Torah Education & Awareness for a better Marriage) approach based on 20 successful years of counseling couples – helping them to communicate effectively and fully appreciate each other. As a licensed clinical social worker and renowned family therapist, he developed this breakthrough seminar to guide new couples through easy-to-accomplish steps towards a happy, healthy marriage. Moishe Herskowitz is a Graduate School Professor at the Touro College Mental Health Program. To discuss topics from an article, or ask questions, he can be contacted at CPCMoishe@aol.com or 718-435-7388.

Share Button

About the Author: Moishe Herskowitz, MS., LCSW, developed the T.E.A.M. (Torah Education & Awareness for a better Marriage). As a licensed clinical social worker and renowned family therapist, he guides new couples through easy-to-accomplish steps towards a happy, healthy marriage. He can be reached at CPCMoishe@aol.com or 718-435-7388.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Children of Shame”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Moishe Herskowitz
Herskowitz-Moishe-NEW

Your husband seems to have experienced what we have described as the Ambivalent Attachment.

Herskowitz-Moishe-NEW

Many times when a couple is arguing they may, unconsciously, trigger childhood anger. So much so, that if we would stop and listen to what they are arguing about, it would sounds like two eight year olds fighting in the back yard.

In my last article I had mentioned that often one of the symptoms of autophobia, a fear of abandonment, is that as adults people suffering with this condition may become extremely sensitive to rejection.

In part one (Family Issues 04-29-2011) we mentioned that often a symptom of the anxiety disorder, the fear of abandonment, is a strong need to be in control. That is because the person suffering from the disorder has lost someone in their past – due to separation, divorce or death – and may unconsciously blame themselves for the desertion.

The fear of abandonment, also known as autophobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by an acute fear of being alone. Often, one of the symptoms of this particular anxiety is a strong need to be in control. This is because one has previously lost someone close through separation, divorce or death and may unconsciously blames his or herself for the event. When this happens, any type of separation may traumatize the person, even the marriage of his or her own child can be viewed as a life-threatening event.

The following was a letter sent as a response to the article, “Children of Shame” (02-04-2011). The article addressed the fact that children learn at a very young age to disconnect their feelings as a mechanism to end their feelings of shame. As these children become adults, they find it difficult to reconnect those out of fear that once again they will feel the pain of shame.

Children who grew up feeling shameful for the most part will have also grown up without someone to talk to about how it made them feel.

Shame is one of the most destructive feelings there is. It is a feeling that something is wrong within us and has a negative affect on a child’s self-development.

Traumatic events are typically unexpected, and uncontrollable. If in the past a person experienced a traumatizing event – even if it’s been long forgotten – the brain will remind them of that time, should something similar take place. Memories to traumatic occurrences lie dormant in the recesses of subconscious memories.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/children-of-shame/2011/02/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: