Why does shame ‘stick like glue’ for decades after the trauma?
Shame can be harder to shake than fear because we attach meaning to shame. Our bodies use shame as a survival response by keeping us from acting in ways that would alienate us from others or get us exiled from the group.
But in the process, it can also evoke other powerful feelings and responses, such as:
Feeling shame about experiencing physical responses, which creates a 'vicious circle' of shame
Judging ourselves for these experiences, asking, "What does this say about me?"
Reinforcing other trauma-related schemas such as, "It's not safe to succeed...to be self-assertive...to have needs...to be happy."