Shame Spiral — Another Piece of the Puzzle
Warning: This blog post contains descriptions of violent and graphic sexuality. I normally don’t care what I write, but I do care what you read.
Here are some more puzzle pieces. These are the shards of my life.
I understand that what I write may be uncomfortable for some people and that each person will react differently, sometimes in ways that I cannot predict. Some of you may get angry. Some may get ‘triggered’. One person read my last blog and saw fit to post a long comment that, I felt, shamed me and everything that I am trying to do here.
Basically, I was told that I was wrong and that my feelings were wrong. These statements were followed by a two hundred word defense and and diatribe, explaining the fact that what I had written somehow made them feel something and that this person had been through a bad time which somehow invalidated my experience. That my feelings were wrong because they had also felt similar things and they were a young feminist woman and I am an old man (who is also, by the way, a feminist). Be that as it may, I felt invalidated. I felt that something was wrong with me because of this person’s reaction. I felt tainted. I felt angry.
I almost removed the post.
One illusion that we perpetrate and perpetuate is that a person is static. In fifty-four years, I have changed many times. I have had many experiences. Some of these experiences were, for me, shameful.
There was the night I went to buy pot with a friend. I had met him through other people and he and I hung out. This was just around the time I was doing Comedy. The guy I was buying from grabbed my money and took off into a nearby nightclub. I tried to follow and was barred entrance by the door man who called me a name, wound up and kicked me in the groin when I wasn’t expecting it. Saddest of all, I knew the door man. I smiled at him and said “Hi how are you?” in my friendliest manner. I was ripped off, tried to get my money back and Tony Vendetti’s cousin, who was door man at this club, kicked me in the testicles and called me a fucking Jew. I still carry the shame and self loathing of that night. I was trying to impress my friend, the guy I was buying pot with and, instead, we got ripped off. Oh, and I also threw up.
I have worked at strip bars. This was just after I did comedy. I saw the humiliation these women worked under. Eventually, I got out myself. I had to keep myself sedated and drugged to work there. Not only the women, but the men, were severely damaged people. It has been over twenty years since I was involved with several different bars, just as an employee, and I still need to heal. We never tolerated man handling of the women, not as far as I knew. maybe I blinded myself on purpose. Maybe I was just too high all the time, which allowed me to tolerate where I was.
As to being objectified sexually, I used to go to gay bars. This was way before I did Comedy. I am not gay. I just wanted to feel like a person who mattered. I wanted to feel loved. I wanted to feel a connection to others. At the time I was in terrible, horrible psychic pain. I wanted to die all the time. I felt terrible self loathing. I was seeing a psychiatrist at the time. Maybe, he helped keep me alive.
The bars were horrible. I still look back in horror. I have been fondled. I have been humped. I have been assaulted. I have slept with men, not because I am gay, but because I just wanted to feel affection. I have walked down the street in mid winter with semen and blood dribbling into my underwear out of my anus with tears frozen on my face just because I wanted to feel attractive to someone. Maybe being analy raped beats commiting suicide.
I didn’t have any where to go. I didn’t have anyone to share this stuff with. I lived in horrid shame. Maybe writing about it triggers you.
If it does I am sorry.
The important thing is that I lived.
I was raised as an object. I traumatized myself and then blamed myself because I wasn’t an object. I am forgiving myself for being human. Someday, I hope to embrace my humanity.