I am dealing with shame right now, in my self therapy. It’s a very painful subject to dissect. Perhaps it is the core of the darkness I’ve been carrying with me for almost all my life. Shame is something very private – and the most fascinating thing about it, is that we don’t feel shame in front of ourselves – it is always in front of other people. We are OK with our own flaws and ‘abnormalities’ when we are alone – but when we are confronted with them around other people – we want to escape them or hide them to whatever cost, because somewhere along our journey, other people pointed them out as flaws – and shamed us for it. We were taught to hate those sides of ourselves and the sad thing is that it’s the flaws that makes us unique and beautiful. Whatever makes us stand out is not a flaw or a weakness, it’s a definition of what makes us magical individuals. In the game of Tetris – the rule is ‘if you fit in you disappear’, think about that for a moment. Now that is a shame.
I am examining the shame I feel about my own flaws and ‘abnormalities, to be able to make peace or to remove the shame associated with them. It is difficult though, because the shame is a very powerful and overwhelming feeling and the easiest way would be to just to hold on to the shame and continue to escape and hide the source from myself. But I’m not gonna do that. And what the hell is “normal” anyway? Perfection? Conformity? Is it always the opposite of how we perceive ourselves, like an impossible illusion? Is it just an idea without a clear definition – an idea that works like a mirror with a blurred image of something that always feels out of reach?
Normal is whatever is natural for us to feel, to be. To deny what is a natural part of us creates a little black hole inside. A void. And we spend our whole life trying to fill that void with external things. But we can’t fill the void unless we search for whatever that was abandoned in ourselves and shamed by others – and set it free.
I hope I can do this. It is really, really difficult.
6 thoughts on “Shame”
You are right, shame is existent in front of other people. My sister used to criticise my body a lot and because of that I feel ashamed in front of my family – I don’t feel good when I am spending time with them anymore as they are always judging on me. But when I am on my own or with my boyfriend, I feel okay and I don’t worry about this issue at all.
Exactly. We are taught to hate things about ourselves, it’s not real. And those who teased us, bullied or abused us – all have their own shame to struggle with. It’s such a destructive and negative chain reaction…
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My sister for example gains power and self confidence because she compares her body to mine and she thinks down on me. I don’t think so that is so nice…
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Yes, but I’m sure she feels shame and guilt about something else in her life, …something deep that makes her blame it on you. My brother hates me and I don’t think it’s because he loves himself and hates me, I think he hates himself and projects it on me because I am a close person.
i first felt shame from my own parents when i was a child they never showed affection or caring of any kind no hugs no Christmas or birthday presents just coldness so i blamed myself maybe i was not good enougth or i was not wanted so my early life was a one of silence emotion with thoughts of i will not be this way with other people and to this day this is how i live my life if you need a shoulder to cry on or somebody to talk to i will be there even if i don’t know you …………..it was not until i grew up and moved away that one day i got into a conservation with a old man as i worked at his house and finding out he knew my father that i started to understand why i was in such a cold emotional family as a child he was treated exactly the same and he projected his shame onto me so i went to his grave and told him i understood and hoped he understood why i had not seen him in all them years gone by Stevie
Dear Stevie, I am sorry to hear about what you had to live through a little boy. Thank you for sharing your story and feelings with me/us..it’s beautiful when people open up to each other and dare to be vulnerable and strong at the same by being honest and real.
And yes..what you are saying is so true and it’s both sad and comforting at the same time… We can let go of the shame when we learn about our abusers own shame and pain because it’s not our fault but at the same time it’s sad that it is still going on, that the chain has been going on for a long time…
Hate produces more hate
Love is the answer