I’ve been thinking a bit about shame. Mostly because I’ve been thinking a lot about self-worth, and it kind of feels like shame is the antithesis of self-worth.
“Antithesis” is a fun word to say.
I’ve been trying to be a bit more open about telling my story, but there are parts of it I’m really ashamed of. I shouldn’t be, I know that, and people much cleverer than me tell me not to be ashamed, and I’m working on it – but a big part of me is ashamed of what happened to me, of what the last ten years have been. Each time I hear myself telling the story, I hear how sordid it is; and I hear my own shame in my voice.
I’ve got to get out from under that. There’s a shame monster in all of us, which lurks quietly behind our thoughts and keeps us from valuing ourselves. I can’t really imagine what he looks like. I think he looks like a rumour; he looks like a whisper; he looks like suspicion and innuendo. He is quiet, and clever, and almost invisible, unless you know how to find him. We’ve all got one – and my shame monster has grown healthy and strong on a diet of abuse and undermining and blaming.
He’s starting to get a bit peckish, though. It’s been a while since anyone other than the shame monster himself called me horrible names, or threatened me, or told me that I’m useless. Eventually, at some stage, it will come to a battle between me and the shame monster – and I’m starting to think that odds are that it just might be a fair(ish) fight.