Shame sits on the bookshelf between the Spanish dictionary I thought I would master in college before my confidence shattered the summer before my junior year, and Catcher in the Rye–I don’t know if I belong here either, Holden. Ever-present shame repels any positive attributes that may exist. Shame pulls me away from what is real (what is real?) and blinds me from the life preservers surrounding me.
Shame is heated, burning from the inside out, and it is quick to grow, expanding so fast I can’t contain it. Shame multiplies, intensifies, magnifies. It grabs me when I’m on my way down and makes sure it’s difficult to get up.
Sometimes I begin to believe I am better than shame–I begin to consider things aren’t my fault, to trust others’ kindness, to realize my value–but it continues to find me. It continues to break open every wound and leave salt for good measure.
Shame lets darkness suffocate me.