Shame and Vulnerability…thoughts

The topic of shame has been popping up repeatedly in my life lately.  It makes me wonder if the universe is sending me some sort of signal to look at the pattern of shame in my life and try to understand why it is that I need to reflect on this right now.

I know that I have been a bit hard on myself recently about this move and how screwed up it feels like it has been.  It’s very hard for me to ask for help with anything and I have been forced to do that – not even so much for myself as for my dogs who depend upon me for that roof and food supply.  I would have lived in my truck had it not been for having to take care of them, before I would have asked for help with a place to stay.  Fortunately my cousin, bless her soul, offered me a place before I even had to ask, but still it’s hard to accept help…why is this?

I think it goes back to childhood and my attempts to please my parents – particularly my father.  I would be ashamed if I did not please him, which was most of the time. Plus I had shame in my sexuality, not understanding fully but knowing I was different and it was not “okay” at that time.  I was always ashamed when I would have to ask for help with anything, which I think is just the pride of wanting to do things myself.

I’ve seen a couple of bloggers write about this, and I’ve been redirected to Brene’ Brown’s work on shame, vulnerability and the power of being “enough”.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I was “enough” for most of my life.  I always felt that I lacked something, intelligence, strength, stability, and other things.  I was never enough of a “girl” and sometimes I feel ike I am not enough of a Butch.  I used to have shame in my identity of being Butch, even though I did not deny it, it brought me shame because others influenced me with their words.  “Don’t be so rough” “Try to tone it down a bit” and “You are a girl, act like one.”  That last one I heard during my growing up as well as up to just recently.

I tend to keep to myself, and I’ve felt some shame in that at times.  People will tell me to get out and live a little.  They don’t realize that I feel socially inept and very self conscious. People think I am this overly confident Butch that nothing bothers, when that is not the case, many things bother me and I often have a lot of things on my mind. My life is not all roses and perfection at all, my troubles seem to haunt me on a regular basis.  Lately more than usual, and I feel very vulnerable because of this.  I feel vulnerable emotionally like I can’t trust anyone to get too close to me anymore.  I allowed it and it bit me in the ass big time.  Now I am very very wary of allowing it to happen again anytime soon. Somehow I need to overcome this intense feeling of vulnerability and become more confident again.  I need to process things differently and find a way to trust again.   Thinking about taking that risk again just makes me feel vulnerable.

I’ve spent today reading and watching videos on these subject of shame and vulnerability.  It’s been insightful and reflective.   It’s been a rather quiet day, as my cousin isn’t feeling well, thus she’s stayed in bed all day and Otis is outside working with his Case 530 and the log splitter loading wood for the wood stove into the basement.  He’s an interesting guy, he always seems to find something to do around here.  It is a pretty big piece of property and does require a bit of upkeep, and he’s right into doing it all.  Can’t wait til I have that problem again here soon!  I miss puttering around the house finding projects that need attention. I am just so bored right now it’s stupid.  I have been helping out around the house, but trying to also stay out of the way too.

That’s it for today’s thoughts, and post.  I hope everyone is having a stellar weekend and staying warm!  ~Peace!    MB

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5 Replies to “Shame and Vulnerability…thoughts”

  1. It’s been coming up a lot for me too lately. I guess that’s part of the reason I’ve gotten so into learning about it. Good luck with your move and trip through learning about your shame. Everyone has it to some degree but it doesn’t need to control your life. I totally understand that vulnerability piece too. I’ve been struggling with that a lot as well lately. It’s all connected in our heads.

  2. Shame and vulnerability, ouch words for me. They belong in my past with all the other garbage I heaped on myself back then. I no longer find the need to prove anything to anyone, what a relief. Ang live for now, dont allow those dark periods of your life define who you are now. I was constantly told “no man is going to want you” I was tall, big boned and plain. But what they didn’t understand is that I didn’t want any man near me. So what did I do, worked in the beauty industry where I was surrounded by men who taught me to be a lady lol thus began a few years of dating gay men (do you see a pattern here?) My point to all this rambling is simply don’t waste your life beating yourself up. In the end you are left with you and whatever happens in your life will only happen if you allow it. Placing restrictions on yourself is like wearing a binder, once you remove it you feel alive, free. Allow yourself the right to love, yeah you suffer through some bad choiçes, but you might find that person who will share life with you.
    Bert

  3. It’s hard for people to see underneath that leather sometimes. I know you have always reserved that place for special relationships. I’m glad to see you pointing yourself in this direction. We lack vulnerability because of being hurt, that tough skin comes with a price, it takes work and complete trust to regain it. Allowing our heart to be open isn’t easy once you’ve gotten to the point of protecting yourself, but it also causes problems when someone is approaching you fully expecting a response and it’s not there. I’ve seen so much growth within you these past couple of years, and have watched you break apart, we all allow the past in and we all come to terms with it, it’s simple to remedy, to let it go, but it’s complicated figuring out just how to do that. As far as being confident, I think you’ve rolled over some pretty steep mountains and conquered many things that had held you in check for a while. When I think of you, I don’t think of shame, but more often than not, I think lessons and growing and the changes that come with the challenges you’ve faced and are facing. I think you’re more in your thoughts and feelings and are maturing, We can’t change who we were, or who we are, or who we’ll become without passion. I love your passion and the way you’ve held your head high through some tough situations…keep pushing, ‘everything you want is on the other side of fear’ ❤

  4. Shame, vulnerability, trust … All powerful words of a journey that is not only internally challenging but continuing to place you in positions to look at these themes for yourself …
    Opportunities (or threats) depending on how one views them, can be liberating even though they may be tainted with reprisals and disappointments from others – but what is the greater battle here – the criticisms we offer ourselves or the critique of others ? Just an invitation to ponder (as if you’ve not been doing enough thinking already!!! 😉)

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