shame places

This morning I realized that it hurt so much because we touched each other’s shame places.  Rejection is hard.  But it hurt more than it needed to.

What are your shame places?  Some people feel terrible for previous bad behavior.  Some are shamed by culture for

  • body type
  • disability
  • poverty
  • race and ethnicity
  • gender
  • queerness
  • addiction
  • homelessness
  • criminal history
  • having kids or not having kids

Wow!  So many things to get shamed about.  All the horrific pains can be held in the shame places and get amplified.

content warning: sexual violence against kid

I was shamed really hard as a kid for how I was sexually violenced.  I was shamed by the caretakers who harmed me, and shamed by other caretakers who were hurt by the fact that I was chosen for sexual contact and they were not.

Sorry if that’s too horrifying to talk about.  Say there’s a married couple, and the husband molests a little child.   The wife knows about it and is angry at the child for being chosen over her.  It doesn’t really get more fucked up than that, right?  The poor kid got molested, through no fault of her own, then gets hated on on top of that, by a person who might have been able to protect her.

The kid who got molested being hated on is a common thing, actually.  If the kid speaks up later, we’re bad for speaking ill of a relative.  We may be told we made it up.  If we fail to speak up, we can be bad then too–for example, if other kids get hurt.  Sharing the truth in a wrong way or at the wrong time can get us in trouble.

Culture didn’t hand me the handbook: How to respond when you’re molested in your family.  I was molested before I could read, even if I had received the handbook.  Certainly I didn’t know the rules to follow in that situation.  It’s a difficult place to go rogue.

Being violenced by caregivers is very confusing.  It involves the gaslighting  of “nothing significant happened here.”  That deep invalidation is one of the worst feelings I know.  No, I’m not making a big deal out of nothing.


A large part of the shame can be in sort of liking the violation.  If there was even a twinge of pleasure, from the attention beforehand, the pleasure of being touched, or sexual pleasure as a physical response, it gets more complicated, and the shame can be deeper.

All this to say, shame is very near me, and has been as long as I remember–since I was two years old.  Non-coincidentally, that’s how long I remember hearing voices also.  Being shamed for my sexuality as a little child, an older child, a teenager, a young adult–all that got woven in me.  I was shamed for being violated, then shamed for wanting anything sexually.  Then I was shamed by partners and would-be partners for having feelings and needing anything.


To be told afterward on the porch by an angry person stronger than me, that I had made up our shared tenderness–wow, that’s one of the worst feelings in the world.  Their “You misunderstood–I’m polite to everyone,” is one of the biggest loads of shit I recall.  The ways we touched each other were not polite.  And that’s not how they touch with everyone.

You can lie however you want to yourself and believe your own lies.  Denial seems to be most people’s bread and butter.

But you lose me, when you expect me to go along with your fiction.  That gaslighting is part of a larger problem.  That’s fine if you’re not like me, wanting to give and receive care along with touch.  But please admit we’re different, and that’s neutral.

Don’t shame me for wanting to love and be loved.  I don’t need to be bad, so you’re good.  We can both be ok, and leave each other alone.

the other’s shame places

The part I realized this morning is that I touched their shame place also, with my negative feedback.  Of course I’m not the first person to notice and comment on their lack of care.  Even though I tried to be kind and fair when I suggested that they might consider a better choice, I must have touched their shame too.

My response when my shame places are touched is to recoil, hide, cry, and slip back into self-loathing.  I used to live in a constant state of self-loathing, and it’s easy for me to return.

Their response to shame seems to be overwhelm, anger, and to shut the other person down.  That’s the last thing I need in my life.

I show up for love in some weird places, I must admit.  I’m sorry I made a mistake to adore this person.  I swim as hard as I can toward the appropriate.


Yes–I am so fucking appropriate.  I’ll do whatever to act how I’m supposed to.  The disconnect between what I’m allowed to say and the actual truth is my personal hell.  I spare everyone the discomfort of seeing the gaslit crazy woman howl with pain.

I hide out as far as possible, and my silence does not protect me.  But my words don’t either.  So it’s a give up situation.

Conclusion: Yes, I am very upset.  No one understands how being told that intimacy didn’t happen fucks with my head.  When I was two years old, or when I was a grown ass lady on the porch ten days ago.

This recent example is one more on the pile.  It’s not going to kill me.  But I have this huge fear in my body that no one understands.  That wild fear puts me at a disadvantage in too many ways.  That’s why I’m freaked out.

By Nest

Curious, disabled Earth Goddess, telling the truth.

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