/ʃeɪm/

Coming out………

No, I’m not gay, happy but not gay………..joke

Let me, as I usually say, wacha jokes……

The enry’s title is ‘Shame’….yes, it’s pretty obvious……..

I used to harm myself in high school. No, I was not a cutter…….I was constantly, compulsively, scratching myself to bleed. I bled my way through my final year of high school. No one knew. Not my parents………or the therapist they sent me to when I became suicidal. I was so ashamed of seeing a therapist it took me more than half a year to tell my best friends. I wasn’t psycho, I had to convince myself….even though I had had two sessions before going back to high school, didn’t think I could make it through to the end of high school.

I am ashamed of my crying. I wail when I am distraught………and hate to be reminded of those moments….moments I think of as those of weakness. I wailed in my school chapel once with my parents watching helplessly in my 18th year…..my most depressed, most helpless-feeling year. I refused to talk about it when my best friend, whose classmate had been present during the episode, asked me about it. I am supposed to be my parents’ perfect child….and yet…….. So I have cried alone since I was a child…..and my public displays of sadness are quite dramatic…..and they shame me…

I am ashamed to be a virgin at 20……not for lack of people’s efforts, but because I made a promise at 15 (same year I decided what my Masters would be, and where…..but I digress…) I feel odd when people talk about sex because, well, I have no idea…..really. And I was angered by my university GP’s questioning glance when I revealed that yes, vaginal infection notwithstanding, I am not sexually active. Angry at myself for not being gutsy………….And I hide my shame well. When I had another of those infections recently (yes, I am prone to those…….candidiasis……occurs as an STI, too….) and was instructed by the chemist to abstain from sex during the duration when I’d be taking the medication, I made a crack about sex being  a basic need which I would have to go a week without. Or my constant reference to the first time as ‘losing virginity’ eg ‘oh, I helped you break your rollercoaster virginity’ I figure if I say the word often enough, its power over me will diminish. This shame is strange because the most influential women in my life, not the Mary sort, encourage me in  my virginity pledge journey……I feel like I’m missing something….and I feel shamed………

I had a breast biopsy at 14. I was talking to my boyfriend (yes, I got round to referring to him as such finally…….I’m afraid he’ll break my heart into small, hard-to-fix pieces and yet…….) on the day of the arrest (my shock and shame about that should get an entry of its own….) about a famous Nairobi surgeon and when he asked me about how I knew him, I became obtuse. Same year, my cousin had one of those, too. I have body image issues (don’t we all? well, no….) My body falls short of my society’s standards…….Am I a dyke, I am asked?……I ‘look white’  I’ve been told. Yeah, great, thanks all…especially seeing as my white ears are turning red……………..not!! So I am ashamed that my grossly imperfect  body is more imperfect than you can see. Even though I have no shame about having a gynaecologist since 17…….there’s nothing shameful about taking care of my reproductive health. No logic, I know…….

I want someone to see this post. I am not ashamed of this blog….but I do not speak about it to my friends………

But I want him to know a little of what I am…….and to know that I love him, warts and all. And also that I wish he’d communicate more. Say what it is that is happening in his life so I get to understand him……call, text, message more often so I don’t feeel like I’m the one that has to go see a person that’s captive……..has no access to me. Say, when I ask how he is, that he’s had a crap day………that something amazing, beautiful happened today……..

I want him to take a chance on me……like I’ve taken a chance telling the world my truth….

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