December 2017
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31


relearning vulnerability: uncomfortable sharing about internal and external shame


So I've been practicing openness and honesty for about 10 years now and for a while I thought I was done growing in that area. Becoming close with Topaz taught me that no, actually there are plenty of things I don't share. Mostly because I am worried they will upset someone. It's swung like a pendulum -- I pushed very hard toward complete naked truth, then swung back to learn care and kindness, and now I'm stuck in a place I don't really want to be, leaning more toward editing for the sake of protecting people. It is good to be kind but it is wrong (within my own ethic) to put that above being honest.

And there's the things I still feel weird shame about, like the fact that my bioparent M spanked me when I was 'bad' until I was 17 years old. After puberty I didn't have to pull my pants down when I was on my period, which I eventually just said was happening every time (I didn't get punished much because I was very obedient). I knew I was too old after I started feeling shamed and creeped out, but I didn't say anything for at least three years because when M spanked me, he forgave me afterwards, and if he didn't, he radiated the nastiest anger at me all day long. I could easily deal with a little physical pain but the emotional stress was horrible. I felt shame about not speaking up when it got creepy; still feel some shame about it but the more I talk about it the more I realize it was the right choice for me. People radiating anger at me is something I can't deal with, it feels so much worse than anything else (calling names, hitting, breaking my things, taking from me). It feels like I'm being poisoned spiritually.

Then there are the things I feel fine about but am sure that other people will judge me deeply for. Recently I realized one of them -- I not only voted for Bush twice, but I also voted against legalizing gay marriage in Georgia. (not because I thought it was wrong but because I thought all marriage should be a-legal and hadn't thought through the effects my choice would have) People who know me now would doubtless be shocked and appalled by this, but I don't feel ashamed. I would make very different choices now because I have so much more knowledge now. I really didn't understand much before I found livejournal, and through it feminism and social justice and the urge to self-educate.

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Comments
ashmedai ══╣╠══
I try to find a middle ground, a way to be honest without being...well, unkind (not saying you are, but some things I've thought when dealing with people, I couldn't find a way to put kindly. And I found usually they don't even want to hear it). Unless someone seriously ticks me off, then I can get pretty brutally up-front.

I want to tell you not to be ashamed, you were a victim as I see it. But I know that's easier said than done. I think people who are treated like that often feel shame because we think we should have defended ourselves, but sometimes we're either physically or psychologically not in the right place to do so. That's not our fault, but that has to sink in.

Hey, I don't judge you for anything. If I listed all the choices I made in the past that I'd do differently now, I don't even know how long that list would be. LJ and talking to people with varied perspectives changed a lot about how I think about many things as well, and it helped me understand a lot more about people's lives and how they see things. I'm glad for that, and I'm still learning.
digital_jay ══╣Spectrum╠══
I believe that we all have the freedom of choice and why we decide things shouldn't affect how we relate to one another. It just shouldn't matter.

Truth and honesty are very difficult roads to travel, if we are too honest then it can be offensive to the ones we are being honest with. If we are asked for truth and we are to truthful then it can hurt those who asked.

There is no easy answer to how to be truthful and how to be honest as to choose this road can have very painful consequences for everyone. Navigate them with your heart and your instincts, learn from the experiences and in time you will find what is just right for the people who ask.

A journey like yours is one of the soul, and one of love. The benefits are both healing and a feeling that has no words other than knowing it is right. Livejournal is your space to share and explore this journey, it should always feel like a safe space, your space to be you.
planetgeorge ══╣╠══
I've never been a huge fan of spanking. My parents spanked me until I was maybe 12 and I don't spank my daughter. But spanking all the way up to age 17 IMO is abuse. I would go as far to say it's perverted.

I actually voted for Bush in 2000. I was registered Republican from when I first registered to vote at 18 until about 2004 when I registered Libertarian. I'm not against gay marriage. But I will say I'm against the government sanctioning ANY marriage. Marriage should strictly be a religious sacrament regulated by the churches, not the government.
suesniffsglue ══╣╠══
I can really relate to this. I voted for Bush the first time I could legally vote, and I have a really difficult time reconciling with that sometimes.
leviadamstoday ══╣face╠══
I think it's one of the helpful things about keeping a blog like this that you get to practice explaining the things about yourself and your life that you usually keep quiet about. Feeling shame about something doesn't mean it has to become a deep, dark secret.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.