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You say you “don’t know how I live with myself”.  Well, that’s a very interesting statement particularly if you actually knew my history.  Past is past and I don’t choose to use that to excuse away anything that’s “wrong” either with me or about me.  I choose responsibility for what I allowed those things to do to me and my life.  However, the truth is that those things have certainly directly influenced my entire life – my personality, my struggles, my fears, my inner demons – all influence the bigger picture of who I am and why.

For the record, I’d like to list all the things I’m ashamed of about myself, so that maybe one day if you ever stumble across this, you’ll know undoubtedly just how difficult it has always been for me to “live with myself”.

ket to my shame

  • I’ve always felt deeply guilty for being born
  • I’ve always been ashamed for having a weak bladder
  • I sometimes feel guilt for eating food and for the eating disorder that created in me
  • I feel guilty when I spend money on myself
  • I feel ashamed that my mother hated me
  • I feel ashamed that I was molested in the 1st grade
  • I feel guilty that my molester went to prison
  • I feel horrifying guilt that my molester’s son hung himself years after his dad molested me
  • I feel guilty that I left your father when you were a baby
  • I feel ashamed that I stayed with you father so long in spite of the things he did to me
  • I feel ashamed that I continued to beg for my mother’s love even after I became an adult and her cruelty toward me never ceased
  • I feel guilty that I finally gave up hope that my mother might some day love me
  • I feel ashamed when I need help
  • I feel guilty for asking for help
  • I feel guilty for accepting help
  • I feel ashamed when I should have admitted and asked for help, but my guilt at burdening others overrode and I did not ask.
  • I feel ashamed that I accepted horrible treatment in many of my personal relationships because I was so desperate to feel loved and prove I was worthy of love
  • I feel ashamed that I often protected my abusers
  • I feel guilt for the times I didn’t do enough to protect my abusers
  • I feel guilty that I couldn’t give you the nuclear home life I’d dreamed of giving my children
  • I feel shame that I was gang raped at 17 and rape at gunpoint at 32
  • I feel ashamed that I’ve accepted abuse and I feel guilt that I’ve stood up for myself against abuse
  • I feel guilty that I had children even though I didn’t feel worthy of love
  • I feel ashamed that sometimes I’ve drank alcohol to bury and numb my fears and self-esteem issues
  • I feel guilty for ending two relationships with very good men early in my life because I couldn’t accept that I was worthy of love that didn’t hurt
  • I felt ashamed when I started my period
  • I felt ashamed for getting pregnant before I was married
  • I feel chronic shame for my skin, my body, and my general appearance
  • I feel ashamed that I had a stroke at 24.
  • I feel guilty for the residual physical and financial effects of my stroke and the ways they added severe struggles to my abilities to be your mom
  • I feel ashamed that I allowed my mother to tell lies about me all my life
  • I feel ashamed that I never stood up to her
  • I feel guilty that I trusted people to love you who had cruelly abused me
  • I feel guilty when I have sex
  • I feel ashamed that I’ve used sex and alcohol to overcome my fears at feeling desperately unlovable and unworthy
  • I feel guilty that we struggled more financially than we should have because I was too afraid of upsetting your dad and demanding child support
  • I feel ashamed that I trusted your dad to have his name on our house, when I should have known better and listened to my dad’s warnings about past things he’d done to prove himself untrustworthy
  • I feel guilty for the depth of your pain when he took our home to punish me for standing up to him
  • I feel ashamed that I’ve allowed so many people in my life to abuse, bully, and manipulate me out of the deep unworthiness I felt
  • I feel guilty that you heard me having sex in the middle of the night back in 2009
  • I feel ashamed  that I kept having sex with a man who was disrespecting and hurting me
  • I feel ashamed that I didn’t stop allowing him to disrespect me until the day you told me it hurt you too
  • I feel ashamed that I only felt righteous and worthy to defend myself when it included protecting you
  • I feel ashamed that I’m not stronger
  • I feel guilty that I’m not healthier
  • I feel ashamed that my life wasn’t more successful
  • I feel ashamed for everything I am
  • I feel guilty for everything I wish I were or could have been
  • I feel ashamed that I spent years believing the one thing in my life I was doing well was loving and raising my children
  • I now feel guilty for even having had children as it’s clear I didn’t deserve them

It is an inescapable chronic hell of shame inside me that my own mother made me feel guilty and ashamed for even being born and then I grew up to put all my love and life and effort into my own children,  who persecute and hate me for living. To have my every lifelong struggle, fear, and shame blasted out in cruel hatred to friends and strangers alike.

It is a sick travesty that the very people who abused me cruelly are the same ones you chose to believe.  I’m ashamed that I was still so desperate for their love and approval that I entrusted them to know you and handed them the power to destroy me once and for all and demolish all I’d struggled to build for myself in spite of the many years I quietly tolerated and accepted  their abuse believing I didn’t deserve to be treated any better.

Yes Lexi, I don’t know how I “live with myself either”.  This list is only the tip of the iceberg of shame and guilt I suffer every minute of every day of my entire life. And, I feel guilty that any of these things I suffer have had any negative influences on your life and the kind of momma and person you now say I was and am.