September 30th, 2013


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.