Hey everyone, thank you for being here, and for being you. <3 I wouldn’t be able to do this anywhere else. This community is very special to me.
You’re under no obligation to read or reply to this at all. Personally I’m doing just fine, I’m due to have a session with a professional and I intend to commit fully to the process. I’d just like to share some of the repetitive negative thoughts that have stuck with me, in the hope that bringing them to light might reframe my relationship with them in a more positive way. Well, I wouldn’t like to, I want nothing more than to continue keeping everyone at arms’ length, but it’s time for me to practice what I preach. I can’t exactly let the shame win now, can I?
Maybe that’s a good place to start. If I had to point the finger, I’d point it at shame. It’s largely the root cause of these repetitive thoughts, but also it feels like it’s the foundation for a large chunk of my interactions with people. Good people, people that I’d love to get to know, but people that I can’t reach through this ever-present barrier I hold between myself and them. In my worst moments, I’ve felt like I wasn’t there at all, only it was, along with whatever masks it employed to keep me concealed.
I think that the basis of this shame is that I feel inherently incapable of meeting anybody’s expectations, and that once that’s come to light, all love, affection, and care for me will be irremediably revoked, leading me to be in physical danger. I don’t really want to dig into my history today, but it’s a familiar story. Childhood trauma, excessive parental expectations, lack of support when I needed it, blame for my inability to cope. Rationally I know that all of this is absurd, that they had no right to put so much pressure on a child and that their punishments and continued blame are indicators of their sickness more than mine. That’s not reflected in my conduct, however, and some would say that my actions are better indicators of my true beliefs than my rational thoughts. I think that might be true, but not absolutely. I don’t think anyone’s stuck exactly where they are. Everything is intermediary in some sense.
There are very few people I can relax around enough to be sincere, and there is nobody who has ever seen me relax all the way. I just need that to change. I cannot lie to myself and pretend that that’s okay, while I let the best parts of life slip by because I’m too afraid. But I can’t exactly be sincere with people while I’m labouring to conceal dark secrets either, so this post is a positive step.
So, here it is. This may be triggering, so please read at your discretion.
I feel grossly insufficient in every possible way. I feel pathetic and worthless and innately revolting. I feel like an empty, soulless freak. I feel like these emotions are my fault, and that they’re deserved. I don’t always feel these ways, but even a little is enough. I get these thoughts constantly throughout the day, repeating these and other things like them to me. I say that I ‘get them’ because they come to me like a reflex, like they have for years. For the most part I just carry on through them, they’re something like an ache in my side or a mild toothache, and they just take up mental space. There have been times, when I’m at my worst, when they’ve come at me unrelentingly and been the only thing that I can think, the only thing I can feel. I’ve gotten much better at interrupting them. I’m trending upwards by all accounts, but I’m still held back by this reticence to speak honestly and openly about who I actually am. I’m messy and imperfect. I hope that’s okay.
I’m sure it’s common for shame to live in a recursive, self-multiplying relationship with itself, and mine isn’t an exception. I’m ashamed to admit that I am so ashamed of myself. It feels like a personal failure, but it also feels dangerous. Divulging the extent of my shame is something like an ultimate admittance of my vulnerability, and I’ve unfortunately had damaging, backwards lessons about vulnerability carved into me in my formative years. So here I am, unlearning them by trying to be powerfully vulnerable.
I’m so grateful for this space, and for you. This first step has already proven to be healing for me. Thank you for being part of it, and I hope you’re having a wonderful day/night/anomalous moment in time.