Shame, Self-Hate and Shadow Boxing

How is everyone? Summer going okay? Did you guys like the story I posted in the last blog? Well things for me haven’t been boring, I’ll just say that. I’ve been thinking and analyzing more than the average person should be allowed. I’m zoning out when I’m with other people, everything. That’s how inside my head I’ve been. I suppose I should have written my thoughts down before this, having so many of them and all. But I couldn’t organize them, couldn’t see the forest. Too many trees. Anyway… I’m ready now. You guys ready? Here we go.

So… interesting news: This past weekend, I told the man that gave me the butterflies two blogs ago that we should just be friends again. Regular friends. The kind that don’t kiss (insert sighs here). Let me give you guys a little background: he knows my family. A lot of them. He and my brother are really good friends. So he’s always at family events and hanging out with us. Now, most of them know I’ve been crushing on him a while. I’m piss poor at hiding my emotions. But not too many of them know he likes me back (he’s a Jedi master at hiding his). So there’s that. I haven’t been telling anyone anything about us because there was nothing official to tell. We just hang out more than we used to. Anyway…

There was a situation, I got possessive, it didn’t go well. Short version: when I’m in town and we’re visiting with each other, he puts the rest of his dating life on hold. That’s what we agreed. That when I was there, I’d get all his attention. And vice versa. Anyway, he’s friends with my brothers and cousins and he’s been connected to my family for a long time. So a cousin of mine (female) calls him. He answers. They talk. All very innocent I guess. But it made me uneasy. Because I know my cousin. So, in front of other people I asked him what she wanted. Why she called. He didn’t answer. Later, in the car with yet another cousin, I asked again. He said she called just to shoot the breeze. I was jealous. I admitted to being jealous. I got frustrated. My cousin starts to defend me. He starts to defend himself. At this point, I dead the conversation. I didn’t want to argue. He promised we’d talk about it later. Later, the two of us are alone and he assures me that I don’t have any reason to be jealous of her. He implies that it’s amusing that I am jealous of her, of all people. I’ve got my emotions under control (at least I think I do) so I’m good after his reassurance. But then… it got real. We started having a conversation about me putting him on the spot in front of other people. How he doesn’t like everybody in his business. How he’s a private person. I took that in stride. I apologized. Because I really was sorry. I let my emotions spill over and I shouldn’t have. But there was a pain in my chest. And I was on the verge of crying with no idea why. I wanted a hug, but knew if I got one I would burst into tears. I felt like a crazy person. I could feel my emotions on the brink. And I think he could see it on my face. Because he kissed me, gently, over and over until I was calm. And then we went our separate ways. But when I woke up the next day… my thoughts were everywhere. But the resounding theme was shame. His words about being a private person and him not wanting people in his business kept spinning in my head like a trash ass rap song, making me sick. And I could feel my shame, reaching in. So I typed a note (because I articulate much better when I write), went to see him and read it. I told him that I was not what he needed because he needs someone who can hide the way they feel. Who WANTS to. Who can see you at a cookout and compartmentalize and pretend like she didn’t have wet panties because of you the night before. And I’m not her. So now we’re regular friends again. Sigh some more.

Now, back to my shame. It was the words that set it off. “I’m a private person,” “I don’t like other people in my business,” “I don’t want people gossiping about me.” After a lot of thinking, I realized that the reason THOSE words struck such a chord is because I’ve heard them. I heard them when I was messing with a guy that had a girlfriend, and when I was messing with the guys that didn’t want anyone to know they were dating a fat girl. I heard them when there was shame connected to being with me. And they made me ashamed of myself. You guys know I struggle with confidence. I struggle with feeling good. Some days I don’t look in the mirror. I struggle on those days. I hide myself, because some days I’m ashamed. Of how much weight I’ve gained. Of facial blemishes. Of skin conditions. Because I have ALL of that. I struggle enough with my own psychosis. Dear Lord, I don’t want anyone else’s. But it’s there. Now I’m not saying he’s hiding a girlfriend, or is ashamed to be with me. I’m not saying that HE used those words to imply shame (even though maybe he did). But other people have. And my heart cracked a little when he said those words because of the other circumstances where I’ve heard them. And I realized that I couldn’t handle him ever saying those words to me again. I couldn’t handle being reprimanded for not being able to hide the fact that I like him. I couldn’t handle being ashamed of how good he makes me feel. And I couldn’t handle the possibility of him being ashamed of it too. I beat myself up a lot. Even he says this. Tells me to give myself a break. Tells me I’m too hard on myself. I know… I am. But it’s because I’m the only person I can control. When I like someone, I’m excited about it. I love the feeling. I smile, I laugh, I drift off into happy thoughts of kissing. And I’m tactile. So I like to touch. Hold your hand. Lean on your shoulder. Feel your hand in the small of my back. My ex wasn’t physically affectionate at all. That was a huge disconnect between us. And the idea that I can’t lean on your shoulder when we’re around my family because you “don’t want people in your business,” and I can’t sit next to you and put my hand on your leg at a cookout because you’re a “private person,” puts me on an emotional train ride, when I thought I’d gotten off at the wellness station years ago. Ugh. Spend years trying to put it away, only to have five minutes bring it back.

So here I am again, trying to stomp out the demons. But I did the right thing backing off. Because I want to be in the light, whether it’s lust or like or love. I want to be in the sun. No more hiding. No more guys I have to keep a secret; no more guys that have to keep me a secret. I have to beat back this negativity so I can look in the mirror EVERYDAY. I want to. So the butterflies I have for him are dissipating, but it’s for the best. And I have every confidence I’ll have them again. I’m not afraid to try, at least.

Back to shadowboxing…

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8 thoughts on “Shame, Self-Hate and Shadow Boxing

  1. Sometimes we don’t know what triggers us and our emotions but it sounds like you are self-reflective enough to know what you need. That’s already puts you way ahead of a lot of women in regards to relationships.

    I will say that that it sounds like you two were in a gray area relationship where neither of you were claiming the other. That gray area is a doozy because you have feelings but not formal status and when we get in our feelings…whew. Maybe its best for ya’ll to take this break and give your friend time to heal after his last relationship and for both of you to gain clarity on what you want from the other.

  2. Yeah, that gray area can kick your butt. It was fine at first… but things tend to escalate when you least expect it. I think I did the right thing stepping back. It works better for him and me. Thank you so much for reading.

  3. I know exactly what you mean. I think exes tend to teach you at least about what you don’t want. For me, I wasted most of my LU years with a dude that made me feel like I entered a competition or something, fighting for the number one spot. And so I kept ending up in situations like that and compounding the pain associated with that. I ultimately realized that before I got intimate with anyone, I had to set the tone because for me and I think most women, you lose your logic and clear head once intimacy gets involved. Try to hold off on that intimacy by any means necessary until you know for sure dude is not taking you down that old familiar road you already know leads to pain. Dangonit… at least let it be a new road to learn new lessons from!

  4. Exactly. I’m right with you. That’s why I stepped away. I have to set the tone. So I don’t end up in the same situation because I didn’t bother to learn what the universe was trying to teach me. Thanks so much for reading. You’re awesome.

  5. Okay so I’m binge reading your last few posts. I have a general comment and a specific one. General: I love how transparent you are in these posts. I’ve been accused of being too personal in my posts. I totally understand what you mean when you say you are more articulate when you write…that’s pretty much how I am too.

    Specific: When I was reading this post, I was thinking wait, “did she steal this from my journal, lol?” because I’ve been in the place with a man that you describe in this post. When I sat back to psycho-analyze myself the way I do everyone else around me, I realized the person I was really pissed at and hurt by the most was ultimately me. When I took a hard look at the situation the only thing I could hear was Dr Phil and he was screaming “you teach people how to treat you”.

    Keep on shadowboxing homie…

  6. Monica– thanks for reading! You, my friend, are my kindred spirit in more ways than one. I try to be as honest as possible. I figure there’s no point in writing this if I’m not opening myself up and being truthful with my audience. If I’m putting up a front, someone will be able to tell.

    But yeah, that was a tough one. That’s why I had to step away, gain some perspective. I didn’t want to fall into the same trap of allowing something that proved to be so damaging.

    Thanks for the encouragement, homie. And thanks for reading.

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