Hurt and shame

Yesterday I started crying in the morning, thinking of- something that happened a year ago. And the inner critic said why are you upset about that, it was ages ago, this wailing is stupid play-acting, don’t be so silly, etc. I heard that inner voice, and I did not accept what it said. I thought, I am still hurt, so I am crying. I will recover, but it is good to accept how hurt I am. I thought, I am upset and it is OK to be upset, or even, I am doing useful work on that particular incident by bringing my upset into consciousness. As I get better at this acceptance, it brings me more joy.

What is the emotion there? Upset is not an emotion, it is a symptom of an emotion, (Thanks Steve) and perhaps it would be good to identify the feeling, but at the moment it feels enough to be upset and not discount that or get angry with myself.

This morning I felt shame, again as great as I felt at the time of the incident, which happened in Summer 2009. I persuaded a client to settle his unfair dismissal case for £250, an insulting go-away settlement, because I did not see how to win his case. He had been sacked for failing to obey an instruction. He argued the instruction was unreasonable for one reason, which I did not think held. After the settlement was signed, I thought of another reason why the instruction was unreasonable. I still feel such shame that I did not see it before. I think I was taking more responsibility on myself than was appropriate. I was upset at the time not because the clients lost out but because I did not live up to my particular standards.

My weeping yesterday was sweet, my shame this morning painful. I have thought, before, that I did not see the argument earlier because I am not perfect, and hindsight is always better than foresight, and even I have nothing to be ashamed of, and I feel that shame which is possibly one reason why I am retreated from the world for over a year. I do not know what to do with it. When I think of the incident, the pain of the shame I feel is undimmed. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.
I need certainty. I need to know other people’s character and motivations, and what will happen. What ought to happen, well, ought to happen. Because I fail at this- useless fuckwit that the inner critic tells me I am- I am hiding away. Or, something. Perhaps my pattern-forming aspect finds a solution where none is. Acceptance is the thing. What ought to happen gets in the way of perceiving and accepting what does. Self-acceptance leads to self-valuing.

I am healing.
I am sure I am healing.
I am really sure that I am healing.


Er, um. If you are desperate to call me a “man”, go ahead. That is quite all right by me, as long as you do not make a scene when I go into the loos. If I fit your definition of “man”, well, OK. Just do not call me “unnatural” or “deluded” or “immoral” or “an inadequate/ lesser/ inferior man”. Just because I fit part of your definition of “man”- having a Y chromosome, perhaps- do not demand that I fit all of it, especially requirements about how a “man” should behave.

I am not unnatural, or deluded, or immoral, or inadequate, or inferior. I am Different. Difference and diversity is beautiful and enriching.

I should not have to tiptoe around anyone, fearing that they will judge me as Wrong for using a female name, etc. If they do, it is OK for me to feel anger and resentment, because they are Wrong to respond to me in that way.

I am still absorbing that, and putting it into words for myself. Then I get, er, “upset” is as close as I can get to it, often- and the emotion floods through me, and I weep, and then I can again make a declaration like this one, and pass through the cycle again. And this is where my needs to control and be perfect comes from, and as I self-accept they grow less.

8 thoughts on “Hurt and shame

  1. Diversity and difference are indeed enriching. When we cry we feel our hurt and wash it away with tears. We feel better afterword.
    Take Care,


  2. Crying is healthier than bottling up those emotions, denying them. While we are “upset” we are giving validity to our feelings and that is the road to healing. I say, cry away!!


  3. Clare, you are all Clare and I am so very glad that you are….I am struggling with the values associated with gender roles and I am angry about it; my struggle is different and it feels unfair that we are so limited and the values affect us so wrongly/strongly…I feel better when I read your writings and know that there are others that strive to simply be human without constraint.


    • I am certain that being who I am is good for me and good for the whole of society, and being how I have been moulded is insane and wrong. As I struggle I get better at it. And- on that path, I am not in the fluid beingness I might wish- yet. Gender roles are absolutely fine, but they do not fit everyone. We have so many ways that we are, and so few ways that we are allowed to be!


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