On (a)shamed

Still Sisyphus-ing.

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.

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12 thoughts on “On (a)shamed

  1. I can understand the dilemma here, the push-pull that goes on whenever we deal with shit that gets in our way. Especially when we have ideas that we want to pursue but they become blocked. As always you state your case so well here, yet I have no idea what solution is out there for you now. I just know that I hope, I hope there is one that gets you back on track doing what you want to do again.

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    1. I know that my exposing my vulnerabilities may sound like I need solutions, but I assure you, the fact that I’m out here, using my voice, however incongruous it may sound, is in itself the solution!

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      1. Oh I get that. You know you are kind of too damned good at this that there is almost no need for a reply back choice for you! I get the frustration. I never thought of the way you described the Vimeo situation but it really is true. Those dirty glasses with the smudge that always seems to be there. But you know what? Maybe you don’t need the ‘glasses’ at all! I know that probably sounds trite but you mention shedding and laying things bare. And maybe thats an idea to consider if you haven’t already.

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      2. Nah, nothing really sounds trite to me (unless it’s a robot talking). I’m at a point where every alive perspective is enriching, because allowing everyone to be themselves is how I remember to allow myself to be myself.

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  2. Shame is the most insidious of emotions – the adrenaline of the negative voice in my head. Its poison is procrastination and avoidance. When shame is present there is no praise, acknowledgement of effort or success, no gratitude, only admonition and recrimination. Shame is the vinegar in the cream, the worm in the apple, the serpent in the mind. Shame is the pathway to self annihilation; nothing short of suicide could satisfy its demands.
    Fortunately, shame cannot stand the sustained practice of meditation – the silent mind sees thoughts and emotions for what they are……
    You are too beautiful for shame, gorgeous Rain.

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    1. Well, yes, I see you are familiar with shame too. I don’t know that beauty can be much of a defense for shame, unless the motivation is to protect the beauty from the destructive force of shame….

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  3. Beauty comes from an inner place. Shame kills off beauty. If you had truly been devastated by shame, your writing and videos would not transmit the beauty it currently does. You have an innate respect for others, you also possess a wisdom far beyond your years – if shame had prevailed such qualities, which are components of beauty, would be absent. You are not a victim, you are an artist whose art reflects her life. You have integrity and that is the most important quality of all. Fuck being ashamed…

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    1. You’re right, shame has not completely devastated me. It just still bosses me around once in a while, when I forget to look at myself from the inside instead of from the outside. And thank you for your comment on my integrity, which really is something that I seek in everything.

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  4. It is that integrity combined with your inner and outer beauty which makes your videos and writing so strong. The Rain who emerges through the bliss and tears of being on Post Orgasm Emotions (around 3.11) is essentially you – conscious of but separate, in a marvellous moment of amusement, from the pain and pleasure of being human. Only a person with courage and integrity could make such a video. Your body and your mind reveal the warmest source of nourishment and safety. And, honestly, I am more than half in love with the person you depict – the freedom you command makes my heart ache with admiration and longing. Who could not love such a person? What man, seeing such intimacy, would not wish to reveal his humanity, to surrender and sink into the ecstasy of you? To touch, to smell, to taste…. I mean, why bother with shame when you are such an extraordinary person?

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    1. I can’t keep myself from holding on to the word extraordinary like it’s a tank of oxygen… I don’t know what it means that your words make me so happy, but they do. Thank you for being so generous with me.

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  5. It is mutual, then… Your words and videos fill me with gratitude that I can appreciate and enjoy the freedom you represent and transmit. The longing your expression generates in me is, as Kahlil Gibran wrote, “life’s longing for itself”. It is that simple and that complicated, beautiful Rain. I am not being generous, I am only trying to in some small way honour your honesty.

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