Friday, November 15, 2013

"Shame Does Not Serve Me"

"Where would we be without our painful childhoods."  
                        Dr Finch in the movie "Running With Scissors"

Never let anyone shame you.

It does not matter what kind of  drama you have created. Regardless of what others think. Even if you are to blame for some terrible situation. F*#@ shame! Put those embarrassing events behind you at once! Learn your lesson the first time so your mind's self shaming will not show up for another uninvited visit. As corny as the saying may sound, tomorrow is a brand new day. Do not waste a moment wallowing in defeat.
8th grade yearbook photo for Kathleen Burke
Kennedy Junior High...Farrah Fawcett
eat your heart out!

When we humans do something wrong morally, physically or ethically  - most of us become disgusted by our own behavior. Our bodies shout at us with anxiety. Skin suddenly flashes hot with hues of red. Digestive tracts quiver in an unsettling fashion. Nervousness pounds through flesh.  "Fight or Flight" instinct over loads our circuits in the brain.

While these physical and mental manifestations are helpful to aid us from repeating words or actions that brought on "shame" - it does nothing to ward off OTHERS who want to shame us. We all know someone who loves to wags his or her finger in our face. Speaking to us like an unwanted child. Talking AT us like we are beneath them in life's grand order. Feeling superior in their actions when compared to our own. So they shame, hitting us square in the jaw with their words or in tiny wordless ways in their treatment of us.

Here is what you need to say to yourself when these situations present themselves:
Living the dream in 1980, my first year of Junior High. Hair
is feathered and sprayed, no warm hat for me!
Bet you North Tahoe Locals can figure out
what chair lift / Resort this is?

F*#@ them and their shaming of you! Tell that person to go shove their shame up their bum! Even if deep down you believe some of what they are telling you is true. Shaming is in no way a proper method to teach anyone anything. Remove anyone who thinks they are" helping" you with shame.

Puberty is never kind to anyone.

Back in my first year of junior high I was a mental mess who acted out in every typical bad girl behavior.  My hormones, coupled with attachment disorders I did not know I had at the time, plus low self opinion/self esteem made for one super rough ride. I never did anything right as far as I - or anyone else was concerned.

Boys and drinking came in handy for lots of shame of myself. Here is one example of my stupidity:

Cutting last period. Go willingly to a stoner boy classmate's house while his mom was at work. Taking little sips off every bottle in their liquor cabinet (don't want to get caught taking too much from one bottle). Getting so drunk that I threw up all over the boys bedroom when he tried to make his pubescent sexual move on me. Ha! With the boy just wanting me out of his house before his mother arrived home, I proceeded to puke, stumble and wobble the 6 blocks home.

Beat my adoptive parents home from their evening commute by shear dumb luck. Managed to get in the cool, dark house, falling into my stuffed animal covered waterbed. As my brain spun sickening circles,  my guts churning a vicious stew - I threw up off the side of my waterbed. Suddenly my Mother is barging through the locked door, very enraged. Calling me all kinds of names, anger flaring her nostrils. Shaming me for drinking alcohol with a boy! Such stupid, slutty actions! (This all the while the ice tinkles in her after work cocktail ). Never once asking me or herself "WHY" would I put myself in such a terrible situation. All that my mothers 1950's values considered was "What will others think of my daughters shenanigans ?!?"

In those moments of clarity after I took huge personal risks way beyond my maturity level, like drinking with boys, I didn't have a clue why I would act out in these dangerous ways. In my brain I knew drinking with a boy I did not even really like was a bad idea all the way around. My inner voices screamed WTF are you doing right now?!" Yet I was compelled by strange needs that had no voice I could understand. I wanted to be liked, to be wanted, so badly that I constantly put myself in very bad situations. Nothing mattered except making myself feel better for a moment or two. To trick my self hate into submission for a few moments of forbidden fun.

Many adults surrounding me who claimed they cared for my well being, thought that calling me names like tramp, slut, whore, etc would shame me into change. Including my adoptive family. They punished me with groundings, taking away possessions, no t v for a week. Typical carrot and stick discipline of the time. None of this was effective in any way. I manipulated and lied my way around these punishments. They had already told me I was a slut. As far as I was concerned , I had been called the worst thing you can call a young woman. Who cares what else they may have to say about me? Their lectures about my slutty actions only backed up how I already felt about myself......SHAMEFUL.

All the verbal shaming never did me a lick of good. The issues were much larger and deeper than these people could imagine.

As I grew into legal adulthood, I no longer was drawn to bad situations with bad boys in the same way. I mentally outgrew the actions that use to make me feel good for a few moments. MY insight into myself grew tremendously. I read every book I could find on adoption, self improvement, etc. I dumped so called friends/users out of my life. Began making friendships with men and woman who did not just want to party and live in a soap opera. I began to actually like myself.

All that SHAME myself and others tried to drown my soul in was washed away with coming to know myself better. Learning new ways to think. That awful shame never serving any purpose - except me knowing in my heart I needed no more of it.

So tell shame to take a hike from your life today. Not a moment longer shall you wallow in any of it! Get up and get going on changing for the better. NOW!