Another Wednesday and I’m back. It seems the universe has a good sense of irony.
Anyway, Katie’s busy with rewrites and since it was kind of cathartic to have my say last week, and since I’d prefer to get to know the people who will be reading my story, I figured I’d give it another whirl.
Back in the beginning, when Katie was trying to get to know me, she asked me this question.
Are you ashamed of your past?
I just sort of stared at her.
First, because she was really starting to remind me of Dr. Nowels, sans the toupee. And in case you don’t know Dr. Nowels, let me assure you, the comparison is not meant to be flattering.
Second, because I thought the answer was obvious.
My past isn’t exactly something to be proud of.
I grew up in a trailer park with a mother who had to work third shifts at an aluminum plant. We drove a rusted out Pinto with a faulty muffler and I had to wear my brother’s hand-me-downs. I did one stupid thing when I was twelve and had to spend the next year in therapy. The next ten with a stigma that refused to go away.
Is it any wonder I left?
Nobody likes feeling shame. It’s not an endearing emotion.
When I explained all this to Katie, she raised her eyebrows and sucked on the end of her pen. Like whatever I’d said nudged an invisible puzzle piece into place.
I didn’t rise to the bait. I didn’t ask what she was thinking.
Because it doesn’t matter. I’m an architect, a really good architect. With a masters degree from Texas A&M. With a new car and closet full of nice clothes.
I’m well respected. I’m independent. And that stigma I had growing up? Nobody sees it here. I know how to hide it. In fact, I can almost pretend it never existed.
Even though we’re not BFFs or anything, Bailey and I understand each other. Because her past isn’t all roses and sunshine either. She’s well acquainted with shame. In fact, she’s talking about it here.
Let’s Talk: Do you ever struggle with shame? How do you deal with it?