Women, shame and Aspergers

Eva Angvert Harren
Eva Angvert Harren

My feeling of being waste material stuck to my soul early in life, and it’s been my biggest challenge to release that sense of worthlessness.

By Eva Angvert Harren

What is it about relationships that’s so hard to get?

I know that “everybody” has challenges with relationships, however when you are on the Spectrum, and socially blind, the odds against you are so much greater.

How can we keep friendships going without losing ourselves? Losing ourselves by people pleasing, or allowing behaviors that do not feel good to us?

How can we learn to put our Self first, our sense of self, our feelings of integrity and truth for us? How can we feel intact in who we want to be, and still have room for a friend or two? How do we do that?

I was overwhelmed with fear and shame, unable to see how that effected my behaviors. That debilitating feeling of fear … hundreds of forms of fear. And when I take a look at them, and follow the thread to the root cause, it always boils down to two things. Like they say in the twelve-step programs: I am either afraid of not getting what I want, or I am afraid of losing what I have. Bottom line!

Afraid of not getting love, approval, protection, respect and such. Or, afraid I will lose love, approval, protection, respect, or maybe a loved one, a job, a business opportunity, or the likes.

How can we learn to feel good enough about ourselves that we do not need to run on fear and shame as our fuel? How can we learn to develop self-love and use that as fuel for how we show up in the world? I have learned to respect my Self through a lot of coaching and spiritual mentoring. It didn’t come easy for me.

My feeling of being waste material stuck to my soul early in life, and it’s been my biggest challenge to release that sense of worthlessness. And from that sense steamed my behaviors. It has been a struggle to somehow crawl out of the emotional gutter of shame, guilt, and fear, and recognize that I’ve used those feelings as my identity – for years!

I have used them to the point where I didn’t even recognize that I was so comfortable being wrong, guilty, and worthless, it was just who I was. There is something weird comforting in sitting in the warm, icky, but familiar, fuzzy feeling of “I’m not worth it, that’s not for me, I just don’t matter.”

If you relate to these sentences, get out of it!

In my last training with the awesome Dr. Peter Levine I was fortunate to receive a session. My issue was shame. In the session I said things like “I don’t deserve that,” as if that was true.

Dr. Levine pointed it out and told me to say, “I have a thought that says, I don’t deserve that.”

Oh wow, this little shift in perspective gave me a space between me and the feeling of “I don’t deserve that.” I could find the neutral space inside where I could recognize that it was a thought, that was all it was – a thought!

Now, how old am I? 58 years of age. And I have worked on my Self for 26+ years. I know this stuff; I tell my clients this stuff. However, when I say that I feel like I don’t deserve that, I feeeeeel it personally and it becomes true, then my behaviors will ripple out from that standpoint of “I don’t deserve.”

When I feel the feeling now – remember it’s just a feeling – “I don’t deserve that,” I can say “I have a thought that says that I don’t deserve that.” However, it’s just a thought. This gives me enough space between me and the statement (feeling) that I can allow the old feeling to surface and dissipate while I hold the thought in the distance. I look at it and think, “wow, there it is again, that thought.” I feel the sensations that bubble up, old, nasty tasting tension. Sometimes it feels like throwing up a hairball. Still, just let it surface, let it go.

Shame used to feel like it had a taste and smell to it, “You’re not worth it,” smelled like a skunk was living inside my house, and just spraying me daily. I couldn’t even breathe without getting that nasty taste in my mouth, “you’re not worth it.”

Other people’s looks felt like they could “smell” me.

Now, after many sessions and exercises later, my experience is more like: I know there was a skunk living here, I remember the taste, smell, and feeling. And once in a while I get a woof of that smell, that thought, that feeling. Then I can say, “I have a thought __________,”

And, I’m free! I’m free to be . . . me!


For over 25 years, Eva Angvert Harren, has masterfully developed and taught her BEAM LiFE step-by-step body-centered awareness approach to people who wanted to move beyond their limiting beliefs about themselves and their possibilities. Eva Angvert Harren specializes in a Body Centered approach to Healing and Complete Wellness. She helps you “Reclaim, Restore, and Recover” your body-mind to Be Reaction Free!

Eva is a Certified Integral Coach, www.newventureswest.com, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) www.traumahealing.com, and a Certified TIPI Specialist, www.emotionregulationtipi.com.

For more information about Eva, go to www.BeamLifeCoaching.com or call: 510-825-7574.


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4 replies on “Women, shame and Aspergers”
  1. Brava!
    It’s recently become clear to me that because my baseline was always of being “different” and therefor “wrong” I don’t feel entitled to the same basic rights as others…This from a 47-year-old with a doctorate, so, you know…Good work here!
    Thanks and love,
    Full Spectrum Mama

  2. This feels so familiar to me. I often wondered how other people seemed to be so casual about anger and rejection and other unpleasant feelings that come up in relations. That “space” is the most wonderful discovery of my second half of life. I cultivate that space in meditation. I know that space inside is as vast as the cosmos, and I want to explore it – hold all my beliefs, fears, shames, prides to one side. So peaceful! This makes me feel so clear. Thank you for articulating this very important awakening.

  3. says: Helen

    Thank you for this article. I needed to read this today. I sometimes have feelings of shame when I perceive I have behaved inappropriately (maybe I showed off too much, told a joke that wasn’t funny, made a comment that I later repeat to myself to decipher whether or not it sounded ridiculous). Thank you again.

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