Shame

I´m having a moment of self-destructive honesty and for a dead inside, daydream-deluded alleged narcissist I´m having a remarkably honest feeling: Shame.

I don´t normally feel shame. I wouldn´t be surprised if it turned out that my whole personality is based on shame, but normally I do all I can to deny that I feel anything like shame. I am angry instead, and maybe that “instead” explains why I constantly feel like my right to be angry or the authenticity of my anger are being questioned. (Which, of course, leads to even more anger.)

The anger is authentic, though, insofar as I feel like right now I´m selling it out. Betraying it. What for? For some masochistically preachy self-critical reflections on my life? (Yes, that last line was the little punk, spitting out her almost physical embarrassment and discomfort about the humiliating idea of being “self-critical”. “Honest”. “Honest” as in “If you are honest with yourself, you´ll have to admit that…” …whatever. You screwed up in some way.)

The little punk knows that behind her anger she is extremely vulnerable. Even a tiny bit of criticism can upset her a great deal; and she wants to shut that vulnerability down. When she fails she cannot bear it when others are able to see what she actually wanted to do. She does not want anybody to witness her frustration. She cannot even bear having herself as a witness. She even denies in front of herself that she wanted to do what she wanted to do. This is how overwhelming the shame is.

She feels betrayed by the shame, as if the shame was proof for what an invisible, disgustingly triumphant spectator in her head says to her: “See, you cannot do everything!” Like her expectation that she could do whatever she was trying to do had been – arrogant. Ignorant. Ridiculous. Unrealistic.

The voice might torture her further and tell her that in order to accomplish a task like the one she picked, one has to start much earlier than she did, work much harder than she did, be much more dedicated than she is. She is lazy.  Too lazy to work hard on something, and yet arrogant enough to believe she could manage to do it nonetheless. Apparently she feels too good for ordinary methods and paths. Too special. Just one of those days, when she fails for the nth time, she sure has to understand that life makes no exceptions for her? That her attitude won´t do? That she should be more humble?

Even more shame. And the shame seems to be the proof that the voice is right. That she is starting to understand it. Shame means that “deep down she feels her expectations for her ability to succeed effortlessly are wrong”. And then there is desperate rage; a wish to lash out against real or imaginary witnesses, and against all the mean, self-righteous voices which have  been plaguing her for so many years.  A wish to cut open her arms so somebody has mercy and defends her against the voices.

A wish for mercy. Such a tiredness of the constant cruelties. A wish that somebody else could be on her side, because she can´t.

But why a wish for “mercy”? For what is mercy, other than an undeserved kindness?

So does she feel undeserving of kindness? Of anything other than shaming?  Why?

 

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