Tag Archives | shame

What a Shame

derived from <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/leshaines123/8066229321">Reivers Cursing Stone Carlise</a> by Les Haines/flickr, used under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">creative commons by 2.0</a>

I have cursed myself, as a matter of survival. As a child, walking past a table of classmates in the cafeteria, and hearing their mocking laughter, I avoided emotional collapse only by — paradoxically — supporting the claims of my tormentors. I distracted myself from their words by doubling down with internal, vile self-indictment. Somehow my uncontrollable mind screams was able to mask the external cruelty. Stumbling in the din, I scarcely felt the chairs or people I stumbled into, as I sought escape.

This was typical. To recover from any childhood social ineptitude, from bungled interactions, from awkward moments of clear otherness, I would repeat a self-abusive phrase so foul, even as an adult I have not dared reveal it. I lived my youth with this brutal, effective and uncontrollable method to cut out the rest of the world and distract myself from the shame-filled pain of social ignorance.

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