Shame and Respect

There are times when I think things, or even just remember things that I used to think of which I am ashamed.

(As I reread that sentence my mind instantly jumped to something sexual, because I was brought up in a sexually deprived environment, in which sex or desire was something always to be ashamed of, but I assure you, these thoughts do not concern that. Modern television and the secular world have brought me up to speed on my guilt complex with sex.)

There are other things that I have chosen or been trained to think that such modernities have not reformed. These thoughts, when allowed, consume me. Most of them I’ve not yet made enough peace with enough to share publicly, though for the hand full of people I know who read this, I would be willing to tell in person. Writing it down, in whatever form, however, seems to make it more concrete, unforgettable, and undeniable; I feel compelled to share one, if nothing other than to air my neurosis.  

I have worked hard to overcome my own personal battles and demons, and I’ve done a damn fine job of it to be quite frank. Sometimes though, they sneak up on me and creep into my head and won’t let me go. 

On Christmas Eve, while preparing for the family gathering and prepping a soup I was helping make, I took a pot from the cold outside, and without proper temperature adjustment time, put it on the stove. The pot then cracked due to rapid temperature change, butter in the pan and all. I lost it, though I didn’t have a screaming fit of curses (though some may doubt that). What I lost in that moment was years of self-improvement, actualization, and acceptance. I instantly flew into self-deprecation mode…and not the funny, out loud, break the tension kind…the cruel, unforgiving, loathing kind that consumed me for most of the 90’s. Where one misstep can turn the soup making process into a trudging march through everything you did wrong in your entire life that lead to this moment where you yet again failed. 

Luckily, I have worked hard to train myself to not let doubt and obsession rule my thoughts. I was able to recognize what was happening and to stop that line of thinking, though my chest heaved with guilt for much of the rest of the evening. Even after I ended that self-abusive thought pattern, I became quite sad that I given in to that debase thinking. Yet again, however, I was somewhat impressed with myself as I haven’t felt that emotion in many years. If you’ve never experienced such a line of thinking, it will hardly make as much sense, but it’s almost as if I forgot that I was capable of treating myself in such a shameful way.

I respect this in myself…a lot. I respect that not only have I grown so much as to not experience this shameful line of self-deprecation often, but that I also recognize that it is in fact that, and I respect myself enough to stop it.

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