Tuesday, April 22, 2014

As If There Was Never Any Other Way

I was so close. I was so close. And yet, here I am, flooded with shame yet again.

I spent almost all of last week cajoling, expressing, processing, reflecting upon, accepting my shame. I got tired of it, wanted it gone, saw no reason for it. I affirmed myself, explored where it comes from, looked at myself and accepted myself. And after a week of work, I found myself Sunday feeling anxious but without shame. Feeling that I was not a bad person, that I could connect with others, that I could conceivably be loved.

And then today, I made a misstep which was only significant in my own mind, which was painful but a learning opportunity. And I saw myself have the opportunity to say "We all make mistakes, and I made one, but I learned from it and won't make it again."

But like watching myself in slow motion, I felt the desire to feel ashamed. I so strongly felt the pull towards this mistake meaning that I was a bad person. To believe that everyone around me is better, is good, and I alone am uniquely terrible. I didn't immediately fall into it, which is a kind of progress I guess, for such an attribution is usually so fast as to be automatic. But even though I saw it happening, even though I reached out to others, even though I engaged in positive self-talk and affirmations and reminders that shame is intrapsychic violence, that shame doesn't help me connect to others, that I can learn without it, that it is just not necessary or what I want, it only delayed. And now, again, that harsh metal is inside me, cutting cutting cutting me, telling me I am toxic, I am poison, and that I need to protect everyone from my corruption lest they too be defiled.

I just feel so sad. It was so nice to be without shame. So nice to go a few days without hating myself. Without punishing myself. Without believing the world would be such a better place without me in it. It was nice. And I watched myself succumb to it. As if there was never any other way.

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