Humiliation can be joyous. It is the moment when my understanding of the world and myself meets reality, and reality wins. With new understanding of the world, I function better, and with new understanding of myself cognitive dissonance and all-pervading dissatisfaction are resolved.
Of course it can break a spirit. The humiliation of torture is designed to break spirits. Punishment including imprisonment was designed to break spirits and prevent resistance or non-compliance. Some authorities attempt to mitigate punishment with rehabilitation, as it is better to persuade a person to comply, or heal their hurt and anger so that they are motivated to comply, but spirits are still broken in the prison system. Or torture can fail, and invigorate resistance with a sense of burning injustice. Seeing others tortured, some are frightened and some are empowered.
The good humiliation frees you from oppressive lies. The lie is that a human being should be a particular way, enforced by false pride in being that way, and terrible fear in case my pretense to being that way is found out. I invest all my sense of self, self-respect and belief in my safety in protecting the lie, so am oppressed and distorted, miserable and ineffectual. In humiliation, the lie explodes. It stands revealed- not a framework and firm footing, but a cage. Then comes freedom. I can see myself and other people. I can see what needs to be done, what is good and beautiful and to be desired, and my own reality and worthiness.
I flee in terror from what would liberate me.
Pride is necessary for human functioning. Self-respect motivates us to take care of our appearance, to appreciate the good we deserve and to seek it. Without pride existence becomes mere struggle for survival. Yet it has to be pride in matters worthy of pride: in real things, not illusions, in beauty and community and togetherness not isolation.
I transitioned because I wanted to fit in. My sexual desires humiliated me, so I acted to cut them off. I lacked the courage and faith to face the humiliation, and pass through it into joy.
It is not too late. I want things which are meaningless and worthless, to hide away, to not stand out or be noticed, to find a set of rules for living and fit them and know I am a good person because I fit them; and I want one good thing, which is my own survival. If I stopped fighting for these illusions which I can never gain, and which would never satisfy, what might I want instead? I self-punish, harshly judging myself: could I turn that aptitude to cleansing myself of the ties that bind me?
I wish I could embrace humiliation. I’m doing well at embracing shame, and I’ve faced plenty of self-delusions. You are very brave.
I am not sure I have embraced humiliation. I am not sure I can- I might draw the wrong lesson from it as a defence against its hurt, rather than embracing it. But I see it could be worthwhile.
I think that ones pride can be brought down through humiliation, but, if one is prideful – as in hubris, attempts at humiliation could have little or no effect. I don’t know that a sociopath is necessarily happier than am I because of her condition, however. On the other hand, pride that is tempered by humility, while it may be more susceptible to acts of humiliation, puts one in a much healthier state. Humiliation and humility may sound as though they should be similar, but they are not. While humiliation may attack my pride, it is my humility that fights back, As they relate to my gender identity, then, I have found more personal growth and acceptance through my humility than my pride.
I would say, humility cannot be humiliated, because it does not assert itself. I find trans women often quite humble.