From ashamed to SHAMELESS!
So I’ve recently had a birthday, which sort of propelled me to take a long look at my life and where it’s going.
Usually people take stock of their lives around the end of the year, making new year’s resolutions and plans, to me it makes a lot more sense to do that around your birthday, a date signifying not only your physical manifestation here on earth, but your own personal evolution.
2014 has been a year of revelations for me. Like with the change of season when all the leaves fall, leaving the trees bare and vulnerable, all the lies fell off surrounding my relationships. The veil has lifted and the light has shined illuminating the truth, the way it is.
It made a lot more sense to own up to the truth, rather than holding on to false pretenses. I could no longer go along with the lies, it was a burden that I was no longer willing to carry.
I thought about my life from the beginning, my childhood and life in Estonia, coming here to US without anyone really waiting or wanting us here, riddled with tragic sadness. I broke down for a moment, overwhelmed by the amount of mental tension and pain I have experienced, not at all balanced out by the goodness of life, I felt so many conflicting feelings.
I felt that my heart wouldn’t be able to withstand it all, as if unable to look straight at the bright sun, without closing your eyes just a little to ease the intensity, I didn’t think I could look straight at my life, with all the good, bad and the ugly. But I did! I did withstand! And I am still standing.
I decided to do more than weather the storm, I went straight through the eye of it, knocked down by winds, brought down to my knees, I screamed, I cried and I hurt, but I got up and I kept going. No longer the broken, sad little girl, but a strong light being that I truly am!
All my life, as long as I can remember I have experienced a deep sense of shame.
It started at the age of 6, when I was shamed by my grandmother about money, for wanting or rather asking for a new toy, who I am sure didn’t mean to imprint me with the sense of poverty, but I never asked for another toy again.
At the age of 7 or 8 I started experiencing physical abuse at the hands of my mother. Having gone on a field trip with my class to the pool, I was laughed at by a girl in class, having noticed my black and blue stripes of bruises across my back from where my mother hit me with a belt. I was forever labeled as someone who had a turbulent life at home and was beaten by her mother.
We lived in an old communal house, half ruined, without hot running water or a bath facility, I hardly ever invited anyone to visit. I hated that house and didn’t want anyone to know I lived there.
When we came to US I felt very inadequate, being a teenager at the age of 15 and having your whole world turned upside down and starting our lives from scratch we didn’t have much. I was ashamed of my clothes that my mother insisted on buying from family dollar. My 1st job was at TJMaxx, where I worked as much as I could while going to school and finally able to buy clothes that suited me better.
A month after turning 18 I ran away from home and never went back.
A “friend” who went to school with me and lived in the same apartment complex often saw police cars at our apartments over the weekend, for domestic disputes or as she liked to tell the story over and over of my insane stepfather walking outside in his pajamas. I was deeply ashamed of my mother for putting us through hell with her horrible marriage to a maniac.
2 months after running away I met a man, the 1st man I ever dated, but he used my lack of status and immigration situation I was in against me and forced me into marriage. We were married 2 months after we met. I found myself living in a trailer in the middle of corn fields wondering what the fuck I have gotten myself into. After suffering abuse in this new found forced marriage I was found out by my mother and got involved in the court system. He had a lawyer and I didn’t, his lawyer has humiliated me in court, even though I was a victim. More shame…
I ran away again. On the way of running away, I was so emotionally distraught and had no one to come with me for support, so I got into an accident with a fire truck, felt like such a dumbass. More shame…now, I always pull over to the side of the road when I hear the sirens. Lesson learned.
By the time I was 21 I was burnt, broken and unloved. I wanted to die or kill myself gloriously with fancy drugs like X (ecstasy). I never thought I would live to see 30. I did whatever I could get my hands on.
So, I tried to make up the lost time by partying and looking for love in all the wrong places.
I moved in with a girl I worked with, 2 weeks later she picked up a boy from a bar who came home with her one night and never left. The boy who just got out of prison for serving 5 years for shooting someone. My drunken escapades made it easy for her to shift fault onto me and it led to our untimely downfall.
I had to run away again!
This time I found a man roommate, he was a musician and said things no one else has ever said. He was different, he was cool. The warning signs were there from the start, but I didn’t pay attention. We were roommates, then we were lovers…then, one day he picked up a broken girl who was crying and rocking on the floor in agony, embraced her with his warmth and she fell in love, it felt like a meeting of soul mates. Although, he was older and for a long time I was ashamed to introduce him to my friends.
Many things happened, drunken escapades, fights, making up, growing, hurting, learning…
My car got repossessed, my credit was ruined, I worked but not making enough money to replace what I’ve lost. I’ve lived without a car or a bank account for 8 years.
Oh, more shame…
We moved to FL to escape and to heal. But trouble followed us there. One night after about 12 margaritas we were hanging out at his boss’s house while his wife was out of town, one thing led to another, it took one kick from my beloved and the guy was lying in a pool of blood. Police, courts, probation, shame…
We moved to Nashville for him to pursue music. So many years of trying, so many emotional ups and downs, so little fun, money or friends…more shame…
I had some things to be proud of though. I finally got myself a car, without anyone else’s help, I started rebuilding my credit history. But the thing that I am proud of the most was finding my true purpose – becoming an Artist! I felt like it was a divine intervention that brought me to work in an art museum. Before leaving FL I was asked by someone something that no one has ever asked me. What is it I wanted? What are my dreams? It has taken me back and I felt jolted! I had fought for so many years, struggling and trying to just keep my head above the water that I have forgotten how to dream! And then, the 1st assignment from a temp agency I got into was an art museum! It’s like I was put into this incubator, to grow, learn and evolve as I prepared to become who I was always meant to be – an artist.
But my private life was screaming SOS and eventually I moved out and got my own apartment! Yey! 1st time living on my own, being an independent woman I felt proud of my efforts.
I started dating. Maybe for not the right reasons, but rather a panic of being alone…after dating someone for 6 months I wasn’t able to tell the truth, I was ashamed of who I was…STATELESS! My immigration case was on ice and nothing was moving forward. After being denied going to college, I was crushed once again. Still keeping it a secret, too ashamed to share my pain with anyone.
I finally made myself seek help. I found it! I am getting help now and it’s moving forward!
After living alone for 3 years and being utterly lonely and not finding the right partner, I caved in and moved back in with my ex.
No one knew just how much pain I have experienced in the 2 years after I made that decision. A close friend knew some of what I revealed to her, even telling her the bits and pieces of my broken life has made me deeply ashamed.
I was ashamed for making this decision…I felt shame towards the people I worked with who knew my personal situation, my mother who never let me forget it, my sister, everyone who knew me.
The difference is my true friends never judged me and only supported me and implored me to love myself and create a peaceful life.
Where my mother poured salt on my wounds and basically rubbed that shit in my face. Never a dull moment with a “mommy dearest”. My sister was knee deep in her own shit, but I felt her judgment too.
Noting like receiving a letter from your own mother, telling you that you have nothing! No home, no husband, no children or family, way to make me feel like nothing mother, thanks. The abuse has gotten old, plus I was not a helpless little child anymore, I didn’t have to take that shit anymore. So I didn’t, and all the communications have ceased to exist. My birthday came around, tons of strangers and people I barely knew wished me happy birthday while I haven’t heard a word, text, card of a phone call from my own family.
So having thought about it, I decided to write it all down and once and for all banish this deep sense of shame I have felt all my life for variety of reasons and situations.
Couple of months before, I have started a new hobby – a YouTube channel. I know that everything is out on the internet and there is no such thing as privacy, but somehow I still felt compelled to disguise myself, while being overwhelmed by the need to tell my story. So, I started making videos in masks! Making up different outfits and created this new identity!
While casually browsing on YouTube, I came across this video of a girl named Shameless Maya telling her story, of letting go of shame and becoming shameless! What? How? What is that all about? I wanted to know MORE! So I started following her videos and seeing what she is all about.
She has decided to embark on a journey for 365 to shamelessly promote herself and seeing how her life changes as a result of that.
She said she saw a lot of talented artists and creative people not believing in themselves and therefore selling themselves short! While many others with a lot less talent thriving as a result of shamelessly promoting themselves. She was inspiring and relatable.
I was hooked!
So, as I sat and put down on paper why I felt this deep rooted sense of shame and where it came from I decided to follow in her footsteps!
My birthday signified the beginning of my year long project of turning my shame around and becoming SHAMELESS! After all, what do I have to lose?
We don’t choose our families, where we’re born or the decisions our parents make, I am done with carrying this huge baggage of shame with me!
This is the year of liberation! I am starting over new, new mindset, new attitude and new drive to make my dreams come true!
Thank you friends and thank you Shameless Maya for inspiring me to embark on this journey!
If you’re interested to see how it develops, please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel : https://www.youtube.com/user/EnigmaSkye and follow my journey!
Welcome to my world!