Ashamed of who I am

There are going to be moments when you need to make that one decision. How much do you let someone know about who you are? How vulnerable do you allow yourself to be with a certain person? How much honesty about your internal demons are you ready to express? I have been in those kinds of moments many times in my life, and I always ended up filtering the truth, censoring myself.

You see, everyone is struggling at one point or another during their lifetime, but there is a difference between one rough patch, and chronic mental illness. I don’t want to invalidate anyone’s pain, of course. Loss is hard to deal with, losing a job is terrible and heartbreak is extremely painful! Those kinds of struggles are short-term though and they will eventually pass. So when you are going on a first date, you won’t need much of a filter, you can talk about how work is stressful, how losing your mother three years ago still has you heart-broken. But can you talk about crippling anxiety, flashbacks or manic episodes that push you to ruin your life on a regular basis? Most people would run the other way! Or would they?

I am a wreck, and I hate that I am a wreck. Every day of my life is a constant struggle. My physical health is just as worrying as my mental health these days, but it is definitely my mental health that is making everything a million times more difficult. I am more than one person. Most people can not even imagine what that entails. It means that the trauma that I had to live through during my childhood has fractured my mind, I am fragmented, I am parts, not one whole. This can get entirely confusing to me (which me even???), but even more so to the people around me. I have flashbacks every single day. I constantly apologize. I often can’t even take a shower, and spend days in bed. I have crippling health anxiety. I have crippling social anxiety. I go from weeks of depression, to weeks of manic behaviour, to weeks of self-destructive hell. I sometimes don’t leave my house in months. I am not exactly what anyone would consider a catch!

How much is okay to share?

So, when going into any kind of relationship, romantically, D/s or even just play, how much do I actually have to share about myself? I am ashamed of who I am. I know I am not the perfect partner, or the easiest person to be around. I am embarrassed. I hate myself for what I have become. I so wish it would be different, I so wish I could think differently about myself. See, and there isn’t only the mental health issues, I also dislike my body, so most of the time, I am embarrassed to be around people because of how I look. I am worried they’d find me disgusting or unattractive.

How much of my soul can I really share with someone, without them getting scared of and running into the other direction? See, I am an honest person. I also don’t want to become a burden on anyone, nor do I want to make anyone feel worse. It might feel like Pandoras box when telling someone about all that is me. It is frightening and I expect rejection. I rather save myself from future hurt by being honest. In my current relationship, my boyfriend and Master knew and knows about everything. He was my friend and main support before we got together. And when we got more serious in our relationship, I asked him several times if he was aware of what he is getting into. He was and he keeps reassuring me that he doesn’t regret having become more committed to me.

Honesty versus Shame

Still, there is this shame that keeps bugging me. I am ashamed of who I am. I am ashamed of the things that have happened to me. I am embarrassed by not being able to function like a normal person. I need to be taken care of. I need to be pushed. And sometimes I just give up. I can’t. Sometimes, I just can’t. While I usually don’t share much about myself with other people, because I am ashamed and embarrassed about how my life has been and how it is right now, I don’t think it would be fair to hide those things from my partner. Do I still sometimes hide what I am feeling? Yes! Do you always tell him all my thoughts? No!

The communication and foundation that we have in our D/s relationship allows me to be myself. That very much has gotten me to wonder! Maybe the shame I am feeling is a self-shaming, a toxic shame that comes from my trauma issues and my assumptions that everyone would look down on me and would find it way too complicated to be around me. Shouldn’t I at least give people a chance to get to know me and decide for themselves if they find me interesting enough to play with or to be friends with?

I am all for fairness. I am all for being honest. But it depends on the context. Not everyone needs to know about my fuckery. My vulnerability needs to be worth it. Taking the step to let someone get to know the real me is a scary one. So it is a decision I want to make, when I feel that I want to get close to someone, and I feel that full honesty needs to be the foundation of our connection.

The Veil of Shame has been lifted

Being honest about my mental illnesses was the right step to take in my relationship with my Master. I am very much convinced that it is one of the main reasons for our relationship to work so perfectly as it does. I don’t have to put any energy and effort into pretending to be fine. It is okay that I am anxious. It is okay that I can’t always do things that normally functioning people can do. It is okay that my past has been a constant trauma. It is okay that my bipolar episodes make me unable to be consistent. He knew what he was getting into and he still wanted to be with me! Being in a D/s relationship has improved my mental health. He is a caretaker Dom, so he actually likes being able to take care of me, to reassure me, to give me hugs and to sit by my sides when I am struggling. All this has been very confusing for me in the beginning. Same as his total acceptance of my body. He is attracted to me. Our sexlife is absolutely amazing! The BDSM part of our relationship has been healing for me.

I would have never thought it would be okay to be myself, and to not hide. I would have never thought that someone would cherish me for who I am. That someone would not be repelled by what and who I am. I have been ashamed and embarrassed because of my mental health issues all my life. I still am, in most contexts. But I am not ashamed about them in my relationship. I sometimes feel frustrated, I sometimes worry about being a burden. But the veil of shame that had covered my life for decades has been lifted, at least in the most important area of my life. May this be a beginning to a better acceptance of myself, and a reminder of that I am more than my mental health, that I have something to offer too. At least it never gets boring with me. There is always that.

(Picture from Google)

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12 Responses

  1. jupitergrant says:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal and intimate post. I can only empathise; I have not shared your particular traumas and experiences. I can, though, relate to the worry that your mental health issues will be too much for others to cope with, so instead you hide. I have clinical depression and anxiety disorder, and a recent history of self-harm. I am embarrassed by my scars. I have to keep my arms covered all the time now, which is torturous in summer. So what you’ve said about shame and embarrassment really hit home. Thank you.
    When you talk about having multiple selves/ personalities, that is, as you have already identified here, the result of the psyche splitting up in order to deal with the trauma of abuse. Therefore, this is the result of something that was done to you. You’re not responsible for that, and though I know it isn’t my place to say, I am sorry that you had to deal with that, and endure the after effects. It isn’t fair at all.
    I think it’s wonderful that you have a trusting and honest relationship with your Master, and that your D/s experiences have helped you to work through a lot of difficult and painful shit ☺ I wish the people who look down on D/s, kink, fetish etc could understand how positive and beneficial it can be when practiced sensibly, with open communication and genuine trust. And hear hear to finding a new mental and physical positivity and openness. I think you are marvellous; kind, clever, talented, beautiful, sexy. Don’t ever let your mind make you think otherwise! (Minds can be nasty bloody tricksters!!!) ??????

    • Gosh, darling, thank you so much for this incredibly kind and personal comment! Struggling with menta, health is such a difficult thing to have to do, because there is so much stigma around it! With self-harm, the pain is so very much more tangible and for others to see, too! I have self-harmed in the past myself (haven’t in a few weeks though!) and I have scars on my arms, some of them still fire-red. I never go out without my arms being covered, and you will never see me post a picture with my naked lower arms. I can very much relate to the frustration of having to cover up old scars and fresher wounds during hot summer drays. Or the impossibility of actually going to a beach or a pool when other people are around. I just don’t want to deal with the looks or maybe even rude or pitying comments!

      I appreciate your kind words. It is hard to not find the blame in oneself when so many bad things have happened. It is the easiest explanation at times. And there is maybe also an unwillingness to accept that I am mentally broken. It would be easier if I were just weak, that would be fixable!

      Thank you so much for the kind words, I so very much appreciate it <3

      • jupitergrant says:

        You’re welcome. And thank you for expressing so eloquently your experiences and insights. You frequently find the most powerful and evocative words for such complex and difficult feelings. It’s beautiful. ?

  2. J. Lynn says:

    My heart goes out to you. Like Jupiter has said, I can only empathize as I have not experienced your trauma. I do understand the anxiety and self deprecation. Last week was a very hard week and I was on the line of deleting everything! I go through periods of feeling invisible. Being forgotten, talked over, left out. I realize it is not the same but maybe with us being more honest with each other it will help us be honest with ourselves.
    Even though we are all online and don’t really know all of the ins and outs of each other’s lives, please know that we are here. This is a wonderful community to be a part of.

    • Thank you so much for your kind and empathetic reply! I can so relate to the whole deleting everything-part! I want to delete my blog every other day because I don’t think that it would even make a difference to anyone if I wrote more, or my stuff gets read! I very much agree with you, if we are more honest with others, we might also be able to be more realistically honest with ourselves!

  3. I find it wonderful that where we are circumspect, perhaps even furtive in our daily lives dealing with others, that it’s possible to open up online with such a deep searing honesty about ourselves. You let us see a great deal here.

    I do not have your formative and shattering experiences though I do relate to some of what you describe. In particular the “honesty vs shame” and the overwhelming fear of rejection because of my baggage.

    To find someone who can look inside you, see everything you regard as shameful flaws and still accept and love you for everything you are is a fantastic thing. I do still fall in to the trap of asking myself “why ?”, “what do they get out of it ?” and perhaps the hardest thing I’ve had to learn is to simply accept it on faith.

    Really powerful stuff. Thank you for opening up.

    melody x

    • I think one of the reasons why it is easier to open up online is that you can choose your words wisely and you don’t see another person’s initial reaction. That decreases the fear of judgment.

      I can very much relate to the sentiment of “what do they get out of it?”. It sometimes just doesn’t makes sense why someone would put up with me and my struggles. But I must assume that my partner gets something out of it, or they would have left me eons ago!
      Thank you very much for reading, your kind words and your reflections!

  4. moxiedavid says:

    All i can say is ” thank you.” I appreciate your sharing so deeply—your pain, your learnings, your struggles, and your hopes. I marvel at your making such sense of your journey out from a painful cauldron. Alchemist comes to my mind as my naming your power. I feel humble. Moxiedavid

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