I’ve been living with such a deep seeded feeling of shame for such a long time. Its pervasive and soul destroying. A constant battle with the feeling of not being enough. People have reinforced this parasitic idea over and over through out my life. That I have no intrinsic value other than what I can be used for by other people. It’s a sentiment that has been reinforced by predatory people looking for the vulnerable. It makes me want to disconnect from everyone.
There are so many labels that weigh on my shoulders like cast iron shackles. From Sexuality. Gender. Trauma. Mental illness. Identity Disorders. Being ‘other’ and ‘different’ in so many ways. I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve suffered at the hands of so many. The truth is that it is my openness and vulnerability that makes it so appealing. In both good and bad ways. There is strength, power and love in it. But it is confronting and it causes people to have one of 3 reactions; embrace, control or destroy. So much of what I’ve experienced has been about people trying to take that power.
I often have to fight to embrace vulnerability and it does take a toll. Things happen that cause me to question it, question myself. If I wasn’t being so open I wouldn’t have been assaulted, abused, manipulated. If I wasn’t this way, or that way. Worn this, said that. Had paid more attention and been less open. If I had only been different. Anything or anyone but me. Those things wouldn’t have happened. The difficulty is that there is an element of truth to it. Vulnerability allows connection; but it is still vulnerability.
I’m so terrified of being myself in the world. Of being rejected, targeted, hurt. I’ve had a life of so much pain and suffering that sometimes it becomes almost unbearable. But the times when I choose to try and protect myself, to limit my vulnerability, it becomes so much worse. It doesn’t stop the suffering, it amplifies it because it isolates me from the connection, empathy and compassion that comes with being open. Not only for myself but for others. It keeps me in a state of hyper-vigilance and builds mile high walls that keep others out and me in a prison. It numbs me to life, love, and everything beautiful about the world. It’s the only thing that stops me from being able to create.
The recent interview where we opened up about our struggle to live as a DiD system was confronting and brought up a lot of fears, anxiety and unknowns for me. It was diving feet first into the dark waters of public openness and, while it felt like the right thing to do, it opened up a pandora’s box similar to past times of being open about other very personal experiences in the world and the reality I live.
I make music and draw pictures to be able to get the emotion out and be honest with myself about what I’m truly feeling. To understand it. I share it as a way to connect. To force myself to face those feelings that shame wants me to numb myself to. I open myself up to the world because its the one thing I will always have the power to choose to do. Sometimes I need to write something like this to create some order to the spiraling chaos that thoughts can be and reconnect with myself. Sharing it is like a public form of accountability.
The anxiety; the fear; those things never leave. But at least this is another Little step in the direction of who I aspire to be. A slightly better me.
Relentless Forward Progress