This article is about the many faces of shame.
Shh. Don't tell anyone!
I'm a freelance sex-columnist. I pay my rent each month by writing articles about my love of sucking dick. Sex-writing has changed my life.
It's allowed me to step out of the shadows and express who I really am.
It's allowed me to confront my fierce sexuality after rape.
It's allowed me to explore my illimitable power as a woman.
Writing about 'fucking' has pierced my shell. I feel more prepared than ever to confront anything that bothers me.
I spent a large chunk of my life keeping up appearances. Children from dysfunctional families tend to do this! They mask their true reality whilst presenting a sugary facade to the world. How do I know this? Because I am that child.
My brother Damian struggled with addiction and it eventually killed him. Addiction is like a malignancy, it affects the entire family. We made excuses for Damian, right up until his death. Great love often enables.
I'm a 39 year old woman and to this day, I still run into the bedroom when someone knocks on the front door. This is one of the scars leftover from my childhood. We rarely answered the front door when I was a kid unless we were assured of who it was. What if the stranger were to come into our home and discover our secret? The one we worked tirelessly to contain?
But this is not a pity-party. This is an exploration of that bitch called shame.
We've all heard of the saying "don't air your dirty laundry". I'm sorry but this saying belongs in the dark ages with Marco Polo. It's so obviously designed to shut people down. Let's bring out our laundry-filth and clear out our closets.
I recently posted the quote below to my Facebook business page.
I come from a family of losers, and I've rejected my family as something I don't want to be like.
~ Sting ~
I feel a great connection to this quote in regards to my own siblings and applaud Sting for calling a spade, a spade. Not everyone comes from The Brady Bunch and not everyone has a housekeeper called Alice.
OWN YOUR EXPERIENCE
Five years ago, I felt imprisoned within myself. I had so much I wanted to express but I was shit-scared.
I think many people stay silent about the big issues because they are scared of the ramifications.
Through my writing, I've learnt that nobody can hurt me if I own my life. Shame cannot exist in a place where the truth is openly expressed.
SURPASSING THE LIMITATIONS OF OUR PARENTS
What has the 'limitations of our parents' got to do with shame? Plenty! Hear me out.
I loved my parents. They were heroic to me. But what I've found very difficult since their deaths is finding my own identity.
Who is Vanessa de Largie without the shadow of her parent's beliefs?
It turns out I felt 'shame' about the same things my parents did. I had taken on their beliefs and hangups without question. We are meant to surpass our parents, it's part of evolution.
One would hope we can outgrow their dysfunctional patterns too.