My brain injury shames me and if I get into a social situation where I feel self-conscious I will break my contact with those people. If I cannot break the confusion and emotional vulnerability I will not allow myself to return to these people. In fact, I will withdraw to lick my wounds and take everything personally. Another part about my shame is being a bed-wetter for 39 years. (This stopped on my honeymoon when I wet the bed and my wife accepted me in it). I have let go, for the most part, of this crushing negative self-consciousness and feeling utterly hopeless, yet this shame around my brain is something I have not let go of.
For some reason my brain shames me to feeling worthless and my shame makes me cynical about relationships. My shame within my brain, on a social level, makes it so I cannot identify with anyone or anything. When I cannot identify with anyone or anything I become irrational, I make extremely poor judgment, and I make poor choices about which actions to take. If I feel I cannot make contact with the environment and fearing I have reached some dead end in my life the shame of nothingness will make me seethe. I will sink into this physical shame from bed-wetting, which communicates insecurity and powerlessness, then the rage just explodes.
There is something about my shame that is perverse and dark. At times I can feel a terrifying attraction to the darkness, as the shame becomes this obsession. This shame/rage is communicating that I have to relentlessly repulse the world and other human beings. In many ways, shame is built into my fleeting human contact and it fills my mind with hatred. Also I have learned to defy guilt feelings for shame and rage, so I do not have to modify my behavior. My dilemma is I become more self-conscious and more paranoid about being stupid.
I will admit I am proud of my combativeness and yet it seems this pride I have used as denial can no longer work. I even actually feel ashamed writing this, because being a failure makes me not want to get involved with anything. Instead it feels like my shame, within my rage, is just an addiction. I am addicted to my internal violence because my pride is crushed and rage is my power overcome my being nothing. I then feel this shame is blocking any possibility of identification with anyone else. Getting involved with others always goes into these dead end streets, I then become self-conscious and naturally social life becomes a burden.
I realize there is something very human about shame and I just feel now there is nowhere to hide. I am also tired of being “told” who I am not by others and by life. I want to ask a couple questions because my shame will not allow me to be present as an individual and I need to acquire a new depth. How can we filter this raw material of shame/rage and paradoxically create a shameless being within a brain injury? Is there a consciousness of self-respect and enormous dignity that allows one to be aware of our true worth without the faintest whiff of pride or self-congratulation?
Thank you for allowing this to be a place to begin.