Three Truths: 3 Things I have Felt Intense Shame About
This article feels quite vulnerable, perhaps too vulnerable, I don't know. Trigger warning - feelings of shame, insecurity, issues in relationships, desire for love
Hopefully, it will make people more aware of what can be going on inside a person without you knowing (depression, self - loathing)
1. ‘Please go! No, don’t Leave Me!’
(It’s easy to push people away during a pandemic but this is not what I’m referring to.)
It’s important to have people around you who lift you up and accept you fully as you are, but also, perhaps that’s too much to expect of another person and positive influence cut - out friends are, maybe, asking too much? You cannot rely on someone else to lift you, but people that are supportive and ‘on your side’ to encourage what you are already doing internally, is a more accurate definition of what I mean! I have met awesome people and then felt hurt or let down in some way, distancing myself due to my fear. Sensitive to criticism and an overthinker, I usually don’t know whether I am misjudging a situation or not – when I feel hurt I may not communicate this, but also I feel my hurt is ‘not valid’ and that I should just forget it.
Over the years my intense,
(Leave / Stay - I don't know what I want)
sometimes unconscious, desire to keep people at arm’s length, has confused, hurt …..and shamed me. Maybe I look for any excuse to not get close? Then, as a person who has always prided herself on loving and accepting imperfections, am I just being judgemental? On intimate relationships, when I was younger, I stated ‘imperfections are sexy’, not in any extreme sense, but I felt that the quirks, nuances and individuality that makes someone who they are were beautiful.
Not only were these things that I would be privileged to experience from someone else in a close relationship, but I appreciated people who were authentically themselves (even if I wouldn’t have described it in that way). They didn’t feel pressure to be one of the crowd.
I am sometimes bad at knowing who is right for me. My Instinct has, on a few occasions, told me something that I dismissed and didn’t want to know. Later, of course, I realise my gut would have been a good compass – if I had listened to it!
The general feeling that I am being unreasonable in any relationships if I want, hope or need anything, has deeply shamed me. As has the fear of abandonment and of anybody seeing who I really am then, naturally, regretting me being in their life / regretting talking to me /hating me.
Shame is deeper than guilt. It’s knowing, without words, that I am just wrong. How dare I want love?
2. That leads on nicely to another one for the history books...
Shame over desiring any, particularly maternal - feeling, love and care, from people in my life that I wasn’t close to.
As a child, I despised myself for being an ‘attention seeker’ – that’s how I viewed it. I would be at an event or around an older female (usually) and would want them to look at me fondly, warmly, for just a split second. I felt unreasonable for wanting this - and afraid if it ever happened.
Feeling, metaphorically, like a child with it's hand up constantly in class - saying
'love me, love me'
Even as someone who was seven, eight, nine I made myself ‘conscious’ , if you like, of these awful attention seeking and ‘hidden’ feelings. Why did I want this? It was incredibly selfish to want someone to praise or notice me – I’m speaking about people outside my household or people on the periphery.
All these feelings are natural.
3. My childhood being a blur because I, at the very least (despite a, b, c), felt alone.
I have continued to feel shame over any emotional needs.
There are lots of amazing things that make me feel joy. I wanted to finish with a few of those…
sunrises, sunsets, being outside amongst nature, TV shows and films that make me laugh, that I connect with or that touch me, friendships, lovely surprise messages that make me feel special