S is for Shame

May 1, 2020 , In: Expat Mommy , With: One Comment

Shame is an interesting feeling.The more we ignore it, the bigger it gets. I have written many things about very shameful subjects. The best part of these pieces is that many people contact me and say, “Me too, Pauline,” thanking me for speaking up. And then, there is the close family members who tell me to stop writing about shameful things, that I should not broadcast them, and I should be ashamed of them.

Shame is like guilt: we should talk about it, speak up, and give the beast a place in our home. Like happiness, joy, and anger, feelings of guilt need to be felt. We should not be ashamed of them and make other people feel ashamed about them. I have some shame confessions right here for you to enjoy.

I am ashamed to tell you that I love watching the Real Housewives of Dallas. I am ashamed to admit that this is beautiful television and it brings me deep joy. I did not know I was streaming this show on a paid app and my husband cancelled it. I am deeply ashamed to admit that I actually cried about this. We are cutting back on our spending and it just seemed logical to cut out these extra few pounds a month in favor of buying groceries instead. Sometimes I feel ashamed for missing my Dallas Housewives.

I feel loads of shame admitting that in the last six weeks, I have thought about many ways to punish both my husband and daughter for annoying me. Leaving the cupboard open in the kitchen could be rewarded with a punch in the face. A jacket on the floor instead of the hanger would be punished with a plate thrown at one of them. Instead of using my words, I would resort to violence. I mean, I love them, but seriously they should be ashamed for not getting these simple tasks under control.

I feel a deep shame for my Instagram envy; I was following all these really popular accounts and they made me regrettably very jealous. These popular accounts are just people like you or me but have many followers. They get book deals and endorsement and are sharing their lives with us. They are influencers and I was shamefully jealous and green with envy. What a horrible way to feel when this app could bring me so much joy. I had to unfollow many popular accounts just because I wanted this app to work for me and not against me. I don’t have time to get jealous of other adults; we have enough grief in the world as it is. I am the curator of my own feed and can keep what I like and toss what I don’t like. We can’t do that in real life but we can on the internet.

These are just little tidbits of shame, just some pieces of the biggest fucking bucket of shame I keep in my mind. Most of the shame is related to mental health, and there is so much shame surrounding death wishes and pain in our minds. We need to give shame a piece of the cake, shame is allowed to be with us just as much as joy and happiness. What are you ashamed of?

  1. Reply

    Hi Pauline,
    I think what you are feeling is guilt, not shame.
    I read one philosophical article about shame vs guilt. And, I found his interpretation quite interesting. He said, shame is public, social and external feeling. Like, you are made of ashamed of something. Whereas, guilt is internal. It’s just you and the feeling.
    Anyway, great article. Keep writing and please don’t stop when you reach Z!

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