The thing about what happens when you’re growing up is that subject and object cannot be separated. What happens to you gets processed as who you are. Being shamed becomes being ashamed. It becomes a matrix that rules over how you see everything, trickling down into your behavior, so you can keep proving to yourself that this is the reality. This is how early circumstances become conditioning. This is how we don’t leave the room, even after the doors have been unlocked.
My shame matrix is multi-layered. Like a wall with coat of paint over coat of paint. I work on freeing myself from it, each round feeling like I’m taking off another pair of stained glasses. Life looks brighter for a while, until something else happens and I get triggered. Becoming aware again of the feeling of weight on my nose. I thought I was seeing only through my own eyes, but no, there’s another pair of glasses on there, distorting what I see, what I feel like I can do, or can’t do. So it’s back to the shedding work, the remembering, the crying, the trying, the yearning, the waiting. Then one day I notice I don’t react quite the same, I feel lighter. And I realize I’ve taken off yet another pair of glasses.
I’m still thinking about how much my Vimeo account saga acted as a trigger playground. The first time, positively, because I fought for myself and won. That’s such a rare experience for me. That’s what gave me bounds of fresh energy. A feeling of earned freedom, like I was jailbreaking straight out of the shame room. This is how I was able to work on my project the way I did, in such a driven and direct way. Then the second time, negatively, because I tried but it didn’t work. The fact that Vimeo shut me down so completely made me feel like I couldn’t be heard anymore. It made me feel like I was back in the locked hospital room, back in my childhood bedroom, back in the shame room. Back where you truly belong, whispers the distortion venom in my ear… I know that’s just another pair of fucking glasses, but now I’m back in the matrix, ruled again by the old conditioning. And the thing is, it may not be, but it feels real. It feels like the doors really are locked.
I believe that everything exists for a reason, but that without balance, proportions go out of whack and you end up with corrupted files. Shame exists for a reason. It can be an appropriate adaptive behavior. But living your life inside the shame matrix, living your life as an ashamed person, that’s a fucked up proportion. It’s like chronic inflammation. It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for anyone.
Being ashamed really is like being in locked room. It keeps me isolated even in the middle of a crowd, even in front of someone who loves me. Like I’m locked away in a box inside my head. It keeps me away from what nurtures me. Making my videos freed me, and I made them because I felt free, but I feel so out of step from that loop now. Vicious cycle versus virtuous cycle. It’s pretty clear how Vimeo restoring my account the first time acted like a permission slip for me. But now I don’t have the luxury of an outside party giving me what I want. I can’t make Vimeo embrace me again. But honestly, that would be a shortcut anyway, and it would rob me of what I really need. I need to learn to empower myself. No outside permission necessary. It sounds so easy written down. I wish it was as easy to get to.
So I’m back to the shedding process. Being aware that I’ve got a big pair of stained glasses on my nose. That that’s why I wake up in the middle of the night like my head is on fire, feeling like anything I do is wrong, because I am wrong. Knowing that it’s not real even though it feels like it. Knowing that it’s ok, because I’ve taken the red pill, and I’m on track to take off yet another layer, yet another filter, so that life can be that much brighter again.