The Shame Exercise: Trigger Warning

1865 - Who's Bit My Apple_4857258310_lThis one is harder for me than most because I have had too much shaming in my life. Being a fat, nerdy, relatively poor kid will do that.

There isn’t just an “I felt shamed when.” It was a constant state of shame – shame for wanting to go trick-or-treating as a fat kid, shame for showing up in public, shame for eating at family gatherings – and equal shame if I tried to refuse to eat because of emotional tension, illness, or too much verbal abuse from my mother and sister around the dinner table. I wasn’t allowed anything but emotional eating, and the people around me were fully conscious and proud of what they did to me. That’s just who they are – awful.

So when I find myself shaming someone, it’s almost 100% me trying to correct some evil I see in the world. Shaming the guy who objectifies and plows through women. Shaming people that are violent. Shaming people that vote for religion to infiltrate schools, spreading the evil of ignorance that they are convinced is good. It doesn’t matter if I am right, or at least convinced I am right. It isn’t effective, but somehow I still feel pushed to do it sometimes.

I won’t shame people about their bodies, about their sexual preferences, about their genders, and certainly not about their art, no matter how awful I think it might be. I just don’t do that.