Confusion……

5 Jul

‘The ability of a child to understand their feelings is limited.  Confusion can easily arise, especially between shame and guilt.  If it persists into later life it can become extremely counterproductive……’

Confusion……

Confusion is nothing new to me.  At six years old sexuality wasn’t something I understood.  I was different and, it was made abundantly clear by those surrounding me, intentionally or not, that it was wrong and shame was something I did understand so I kept quiet, terrified of being ‘found out’.  There was a simple solution to this dilemma; be someone else, which is what I spent my childhood doing.  Soul destroying though it was I needed something to hide behind for fear of the consequences of the truth becoming known and with it, the shame……

Guilt or Shame……

Substantive, tangible guilt is easilly dealt with.  I’m talking about doing something definitively wrong, like theft or vandalism.  You can admit or deny them, but once dealt with any guilt can be let go.  Shame, on the other hand is less easy to reconcile and can become guilt in ones own mind.  It’s the perceived, self-imposed guilt that isn’t so easy to draw a line under.  It has a tendency to to have a cumulative effect over time.  Even things about which you should feel no guilt whatsoever somehow end up in your bag.  I think it’s because guilt and shame are easily exchanged for one and other, to the point where you can feel shame for actions taken against you due to other people’s predudices……

Twisted Reasoning……

I was abused when I was a child.  Not by anyone in my family, but once again shame was at the forefront of my thoughts.  My immature reasoning and fear of shame stopped me from speaking out so it carried on, and worsened.  I had convinced myself that I had been ‘chosen’ because my abuser had worked out what I was and knew that coming forward would ‘out’ me and shame would keep me quiet.  He programmed me to that end.  Yet again guilt and shame became interwoven.  This should never happen to anyone and shame, guilt, embarrassment and fear should not stop you shouting it from the rooftops to make it stop……

A Sad Irony……

Having kept my secret for years, at the age of 21 I finally found the courage to tell my Mother.  Although now I would have done it face to face, I revealed all on the phone.  She was kind of sympathetic but being from a different generation was about to drive in a nail which hurt more than anything I had experienced before.  As if to reinforce the confusing emotions.  This secret could not be revealed to my Father as she was convinced he’d disown me.  To this day, 20 years later, friends and neighbors could not find out for fear of the shame it would bring.  In one telephone call which had taken me 21 years to make, and which could have reconciled the confusing emotional turmoil I had suffered for years, had the opposite effect, making me feel everything I had thought was indeed ‘normal’.

Maybe it’s me, maybe there are others who feel the same but I’m uncomfortable with my sexuality.  This might come as a surprise to anyone who knows me.  Although, it isn’t so much that I’m uncomfortable with who I am, rather, I’m uncomfortable with the ‘scene’ that somebody of my orientation is supposed to inhabit.  Maybe it’s all the guilt and shame bestowed upon me that makes me feel that way.  Either way it has made it very difficult for me to sustain any kind of long term relationship.  I feel like an alien that has no place in this world……

Epilogue……

In yet another twist of irony which I blame on my life experiences, but in reality are the result of my own bad choices, I have more guilt and shame over some of the things I have done.  Although, anybody carrying so much emotional confusion would likely have made similar bad choices; choices that have only added to my feelings of guilt, especially towards the people closest to me, who are affected by the fallout.  I have on many occasions considered putting an end to everything, only to be stopped by the powerful feelings of guilt that are inherent in such a definitive action, but I would know nothing about and be unable to feel by virtue of not being around; yet it still has the power to control……

So, guilt and shame have made me who I am, ruined my childhood, strained family relationships, been at least in part responsible for bad choices and, ultimately, prevented me from taking definitive steps to end my suffering.  And all they are just transient feelings that will end when I am gone……

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2 Responses to “Confusion……”

  1. callmedaydreamer July 5, 2017 at 10:06 am #

    The feelings can also end if you show a little courage to live a little more and be ashamed a little less. It’s not unusual to feel ashamed, everything is as normal as you want it to be. Have a nice day. 🙂

    • Steve Walker July 5, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

      I believe speaking out is courageous but it cannot undo the damage that was done. As I’m sure you are aware, many victims of sexual & psychological abuse spiral into addiction, crime &, in some cases, suicide. Unfortunately, without the right help, which is hard to find, one cannot simply wish it away. But thank you for your feedback……

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