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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Are We Still Living In The Shame Of Our Past?

Here's a famous story that taught me a great lesson in life about living in shame.

In 1963, a single mother of two gave her youngest baby up for adoption at the hospital immediately after birth without telling anyone. 48 years later after searching long and hard, that very same baby successfully traced her family origins and was reunited with her elder sister. Their birth mother, after having turned down the abandoned daughter's earlier request over the years for reunification, found it extremely hard to acknowledge that very same baby with open arms. The elder sister then said this on a television interview with her new found younger sister...

Elder Sister:
"I had an epiphany after leaving my mother's house with you that day. And the epiphany was that our mother, is still stuck in 1963. She is still of the same mindset of 1963, and is still carrying 'the shame' that would have been put upon her in 1963. And therefore she hasn't been able to release herself, to fully embrace you, and embrace this miracle reunion that has happened in our family."

"So I would like to say to our mother, you can let that go. You can let the shame go. It's really all right. There are millions of people all over the country who are just like you." 

"That's what I felt... is that she was holding on to the shame because she's still worried about what everybody is going to think about her. And so... that was the epiphany that I had."

"And I also had another epiphany. And the epiphany was... When I was 14 years old, I became pregnant, and that was MY BIG secret. I've been sexually abused since I was 9, became pregnant at 14 years old. The baby however was never born. A couple of years back, another family member exposed this secret to the world. And that caused a big rift between this person and I because she sold me out to the tabloids."

[Tears of emotion...]

"When I left our mother's house the other day... For the first time, I realised that that was a gift to me. That the exposure of my secret... was a gift because it released me from the shame, that my mother still carries today. And I thought, had that person not done that, I would still be exactly where my mother is, stuck in the shame. So freedom to all... Freedom to all."

After hearing this story, a light bulb went off in me and I immediately understood why I'm still struggling hard to fully embrace everything that I am and my being gay. It is perhaps I still have not released myself from the shame of my past and my sexuality that I've been carrying since I was in school. My mindset is still stuck in the past, living in shame and fear over something that I didn't plan for.

So I asked myself a very important question today, and that is: Do I still want to continue living in the shame, or is it truly time to free myself and let the shame go?


  1. This is exactly what I've been tying to deal with. I'm in college and I've only come out to 2 friends and I feel like I'm ready to tell everyone close to me, but I guess I'm still stuck in middle school. I was teased a lot about acting gay at school as well as by my siblings but I always denied it. Now I feel like coming out means that I'm proving that everyone was right, that they knew more about me than I did about myself. I guess deep down I'm still ashamed of actually being gay even though I've come to accept it. Sometimes I wish someone would just out me or would just straight up ask me if I'm gay. It'd be much easier than sitting people down and having the "I'm gay conversation" followed by 20 questions. I think the hardest part this is the letting go, it's much easier said than done and something im working towards. Thanks for writing this!

    1. Hi, thank you so much for the wonderful comment because I go through this too!