Confessions and shame

Today, my day started not too great. I guess it has something to do with …. well, my inabilities with certain things, I guess. Okay. This is a bit hard. But I am going to write about something that I find hard, and that I feel ashamed for. But it is bothering me a bit and there is not really someone I can talk to about these kind of things. But I might remove it again, since I am really ashamed of it and it is really uncomfortable, so please forgive me if I do so.

It is the first time I am going to write about this openly (well, I don’t know if it really is but to me it feels that way). Not even my friends (or what is left from them) know this. Or at least, not how things are really like, maybe some of them (read: one) knows a bit of it very superficially.

There is something going on that is holding me back or blocking me from certain things. Like, I have never really be in a real relationship, I have never really fell in love,  I do not have a desire for sexual things,  I have trouble to involve in physical things with people and I don’t like when people touch me. Maybe a few people are allowed to touch me to a certain level, but it is not something I feel comfortable with. But its not something you can exclude from ‘general life’, because it can look impolite, maybe even rude.  I don’t even like when people want to kiss me on the cheeks for my birthday. I rather avoid my birthday , just to avoid all ‘those’ things.

I must say that I have been in a “relationship” (as far as you can call it that) involving physical things, but as I look back on it it was more ‘because everyone did that and it seemed normal to do” and since things already went different somehow I just did it too because I didn’t want to stand out too much or attract attention. So, yes, I have had sex as well. I can not say I really enjoyed it, remember from a lot of times that it was trouble to me – it just hurted and I had trouble with it. Now I didn’t have too much sex in my life – I am probably far below averages and such, and now it’s probably about 10 years since I last had sex with someone (just 1 person).  I don’t know why I have/had so much trouble with it, but I have trouble with it. I just don’t seem to have this drive. I don’t feel this attraction, not towards anyone or anything. I can easily live without it, I guess.

Today reminded me of that. Something that should be ‘normal’  turned out pretty sucky today. There was an  invitationletter on my desk for months now. A reminder followed. Another reminder followed. I thought, okay, I should get this done now someday. I can not really explain why it took so long that I made the appointment , but it almost took me a year. It was an invitation for a pap- test, the screening test for cervical cancer. It didn’t seem to be a big deal, and I heard and read ‘you don’t feel anything of it’ and it’s done very quickly. Well, okay, I can manage that I guess, I thought, and I think I went there pretty openminded, like okay, this just has to get done. So I went. But when it happened…my goodness…I don’t want to make anyone afraid, and probably many people do not have problems with it, but me? Sheesh. Just before the medical assistant asked me if I was nervous, I said it wasn’t really too bad since everyone I know who had it done is still alive, so nothing to worry right? And all I read was that it was no big deal and such. Well, when they had to get that “thing’ in, that was really, really, REALLY not nice and it took a while before it was like it should be. It hurted and was really an unpleasant feeling. It’s hard to describe exactly but I think it almost didn’t work out. It was already not something I was fancy of doing – I mean, who likes to undress and get examined with things like that … but yeah, if it goes like that…I felt ashamed of myself, that it just went so difficult and that it did hurt and I had so much trouble to undergo it.(And in general, I am not touchy at all – well at least, not on the outside..) . I hope it worked out (because sometimes those tests seem to fail and in that case you have to get it done again – what I REALLY don’t hope). So I walked out of there, feeling ashamed a bit and thought ‘what do those people think of me now’.

As if that wasn’t enough, I almost passed out when I was in the pharmacy to ask something. It was so stupid and made me even feel more ashamed. I went there to check out on some stuff I use for my eyes but they have had so much trouble to order it somehow, and they said they would call me about it but it has been a month or longer and they didn’t call. So I went to ask if they knew anything about it. While I was there, I suddenly had this breakout of a sweat, I felt like I was going to pass out and I couldnt focus properly and my ears felt so weird, like I wasn’t perceiving the noises and things as I should. I never had that so bad (was it a panic attack??). There were like 5 other people around and all I could say to the pharmacist was ‘I don’t feel so well, I might pass out”…. the pharmacist said to me like ‘take it easy, but your arms on the desk and i’ll get you a glass of water. That helped somehow, but I felt even more ashamed when that happened. I didn’t know how quickly to leave that place. Out in the fresh air, things went okay again. I sat for 10 minutes in the car thinking sh*t sh*t sh*t what was that all about, what just happened? And so much shame. Why? I don’t know. I really don’t know. It just wasn’t a good start of the day at all. It was terrible. I still feel very ashamed.

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18 thoughts on “Confessions and shame

  1. That sounds really awful, going through all that. You shouldn’t have to be ashamed of being uncomfortable, though it’s okay if you still feel that way. But here’s the reason I decided to comment:

    You are not alone. What you described — never falling in love, never experiencing sexual attraction — sounds just like the experience of many aromantic asexuals. It may help you to look up more about asexuality and aromanticism (two separate concepts, but it’s possible to be both) and find more people like you. As for asexuality, I’ve got a lot of resources on my blog that could help explain. But even if you decide that neither of those describe you, or that you don’t want to identify that way, I thought you should know — it’s normal and healthy and okay to feel this way, no matter what anyone else might tell you. It’s just another part of human variation.

    • Thank you. Although I know I’m not alone, and know there are somewhere more people out there dealing with these things, it feels lonely because there aren’t people around me like “that” and everything around me keeps focussing so badly on other things and see this as ‘very abnormal/crazy’ and such and there doesn’t seem to be possibility to talk about it freely/openly/without judging and well, many seem to have such strong opinions about the whole thing and undermine/disvalidate it somehow. I will look up those things and read about it, Thanks again, your reply is much appreciated.

  2. You really don’t need to feel ashamed. I don’t mean to scare you… in terms of past-life memory, this is your first time on Earth. No big deal really, it just explains why you feel so different. And what this teaches you is to move at your own pace, have the experience when you’re ready, and not because someone else wants you too. Explore your environment one step at a time.
    My blessings to you…

  3. Hoping that I am not bothering with my comments.
    First of all, I’m really really (and really again) sorry to read what you’re passing. Useless saying I wish your days are better than these.
    About your “problem” I don’t know if it’s a physical issue (for example, hormonal) or just mental.
    I can just say that for several reasons, people HAVE trouble with sex. When you talk with someone, she/he is a master of sex but “in the bed” often the true is different. The problem is that in the last years media bombard us with sex sex and sex again.
    Anyway, could I say you a thing? Your story makes me smile, because my ex-girlfriend has a “problem” similar at yours.
    And in my life often sex and I have been enemies 🙂

    • You are not bothering at all and never wasbefore, no worries. Thank you for replying, I value it, though I maybe not really know how to reply properly on it for now, but it certainly does move something inside my head.

  4. This post has made me feel so sad….not because you are different, but because you are experiencing such shame about things that all of us go through. You are so brave to write down things that are such personal and scary issues for you. Having read lots of posts on here, I think I am on fairly safe ground to suggest that you are not alone, and there is no such thing as normal.
    I can completely relate to your experience of pap smears. These are the curse of all women. Believe me, if men had to go through it on a regular basis, they would have found a much better way to do the test 🙂 You are absolutely right, no one likes having to get undressed and exposing themselves in the way that a pap smear requires. It’s something we have to go through whilst silently clenching our teeth. It sounds like you had an awful experience with yours. The problem is that the more you tense up the worse it becomes. Let’s hope it’s a while until you need another.
    As an aside, I would be interested to know if you are confusing embarrassment with shame? I’m not trying to dispute your experience, but wondered if shame was the right word. This might be saying more about me than you. I would describe both those scenarios as embarrassing, very embarrassing, and I would want to hide myself away, but I am not sure if I would feel ashamed. Like I say, I think this might say more about me but I would like to hear more about your view on it.

    • Thank you very much for replying, it means a lot and it made me feel a bit better about the whole thing.
      Somehow often I have difficulties with’common’ things or that I can not seem to deal with certain things embarrasses/makes me feel ashamed I guess. Like that somehow this whole thing shouldn’t be a big deal, and it happens to more people but they don’t seem to have so much difficulties with it than I seem to have. Of course I can not say that as a general statement because I know there are always people who have problems with it, but somehow I just feel like I can not deal with those things so well like most others can. Things like that (And other examples I could give) make me feel alienated and lonely and more disconnected from life/people etc. Somehow I had these difficulties to ‘connect’ or ‘be part of’ for a long time and somehow it is affecting me, maybe that is a stupid explanation, not sure. About shame/embarrassment; maybe it is a lack of my English language knowledge / translation issues, because English is not a native language for me. So maybe it wasn’t the right word to use in this context, since I surely make mistakes with the language. Now I’m wondering what exactly the difference is between shame and embarrassment – in my native language there is just ‘one’ word for this so I am not sure how to answer properly on this. I thought both words were synonyms. But if I’m wrong in that, I would be glad to learn the difference between them so I can use them in a better way.

      • Bless you, I hadn’t realised that English isn’t your native language. You write very well. For the difference between shame and embarrassment, I have looked it up to find the definitions, and they are very similar. In my mind, shame is more of a lasting feeling and is associated with dishonor, disgrace and regret for doing something. I suppose, if you had said something to someone that had hurt them, you might feel shame for upsetting them. Embarrassment is more about feeling self conscious and flustered by something. Does that help? I see embarrassment as something that you feel ‘in the moment’ and can recover the feelings quite quickly although reliving the situation in your mind can cause the feelings to return. Shame is deeper and you wish you hadn’t said or done something and feel really bad for it. Does that help?
        I can assure that your worries are no different to a lot of people. I worry about crossing the road at traffic lights, do I wait for the green man, or is it OK to wait for a break in the traffic. If there is a break in the traffic and I stand and wait, will people think I am stupid…what about if the green man is flashing..will I have enough time to cross safely. I can’t go to swimming pools as I worry that the water will disappear and I will be stuck in the pool!! This is just two examples from a list. I try to manage these by laughing at myself. The fears are real but laughing takes away the power. They are my ‘quirks’ – a fun peculiarity. Everybody has them, even if they deny it 🙂

      • Thank you again- also for explaining the shame/embarrassment thing. Think I can answer it a bit better now. Still I think shame fits better than embarrassment does here, because it is a longer lasting feeling. It is not really a dishonor thing, but the way I feel it it has to do with disgrace and also regret for doing something, or maybe regret for not doing something (in the blog’s case that would be like in: couldn’t I just deal with that better? I am ashamed I couldn’t handle it better ).
        For sure it is related or maybe could be interpret as embarrasment as well, because it has a temporary thing like you decribe. But the thoughts/feelings last longer. Though I must say, the level of the actual feelings is different, at short-term they are more intense, but in longer term spoken it is not that they are gone and thinking about it or experiencing a similar thing does recall these feelings, maybe less intense, but enough to make feel this embarrassment/shame. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but that is the way I see it now.

        Agreed on that laughing at yourself 🙂 that can be a great way. Often I found (though sometimes sarcastic) that it relieves and help to cope in a certain way and make it bearable. But sometimes, like in this case, there is no way I can make fun of that or laugh about it). But that depends on the subject I think. I’m not sure why this would be less worse or more worse to joke about than something else, maybe because it touches something that is very deep or intense or intimate. Hm, the more I think about it now, the more complicate it seems to become because I am not sure if I can validate that difference between one or the other thing – why the one thing affects you so badly and the other one less bad.

  5. You are not alone in your feeling of not liking to be touched or have contact with others, Many people are similar. Some from a germaphoic OCD point of view, some from negative past experiences, some because they have never experienced it, so please dont feel ashamed.
    I can relate to the feeling of wanting to pass out. I experienced that a lot when i suffered from agoraphobia, whenever i had to go out or even think about going out, i would break out in sweats and feel the same, a kind of panic attack. It was always worse if i was somewhere i couldnt leave without making a scene. So i can sympathise with you. What i found worked for me was i kind of trained myself to have a comforter. When i was happy or feeling good i would reinforce that feeling by squeezing my thumb and index finger of my right hand onto the webby flesh bit of my left hand between thumb and index finger. Then i soon came to recognise that feeling with happiness and relaxation. When i was in stressful situations and feeling like i was going to pass out i took deep breaths and did my comforter. It didnt make it go away, but it distracted my mind enough for me to cope.

    Hope you are well.

      • You are more than welcome. It is a horrible feeling. And although i dont suffer too much with it now, i find myself doing it in times of stress etc (mainly when im at the dentist lol) but it helped. 🙂

      • I’m really glad to hear that you don’t suffer too much with it now anymore. Can I ask, did those situations just pass /got less in the course of time? Or did you do anything particular for learning/trying/dealing with those situations?

      • I didnt have great support around me at the time, i was almost pressured to work through it. I felt “better” going places on my own, to places where it wouldnt matter if i had to leave quickly or suddenly. Then i gradually found that i grew in confidence. The worst thing for me was others telling me that i was being silly etc. It mainly was psychosomatic but people telling me it was in my head didnt help. Just made me feel worse. So i did my best to slowly work through it. Set my self tasks. I would go for short walks, gradually getting longer then try and mix in going to places where i would have to queue like the shops etc.

        Mine was more an agoraphobia inspired anxiety from one point that i can identify. Once i started growing in confidence, i felt more comfortable and accepting.

        Im sorry i cant offer you a “cure” but little steps is what it took for me, slowly desensitise myself. I used to worry at the thought of going out, then panic when i was out. Due to IBS and cramps and vomiting i didnt like being far from a bathroom. So that was my trigger, so i would start going further afield and each time i did it was another victory.

        So my advice would be just do what you feel comfortable, then go a step further. Stay at that until you feel comfortable, then go an extra step.

        Like exercise, if you can do 10 press ups, go for 15 until you can do them easily, then for 20 etc. It is disheartening and detrimental to aim for 100 straight away.

        Hope this can be of some help.

      • Thanks, for sure it is of some help! Also, I don’t expect anyone to have a ‘cure’ , because I don’t think there is ‘one’ and things just work out so different from one person to another. But I am interested in experiences from others because often there is something I can learn from them somehow, and trying to understand how others deal with things is valuable for me. So thanks for sharing this 🙂

        At the moment I’m in a process of changing my life quite a lot, since a lot of things didn’t work out and I want to get out of this situation. So I kind of try to reset myself/try to figure things out and setting new footsteps on new area, even if it doesn’t feel too comfortable all the time, but I’m working on it.

      • I can relate with the life changes. I have been/am going through some myself and it is amazing how when you step away from some things it can feel like a weight off and a sense of freedom that brings with it a sense of confidence and stability that can only help.

        Keep working on it. We will be monitoring your blog and hopefully reading posts that follow your journey and see you making steps 🙂

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