It turns out you won’t bleed to death from wounded pride.
For most of my life I ate my feelings. I do not recommend this. It didn’t work particularly well. I could only stuff them down so long before they burst out in unhealthy, unseemly, and uncontrollable ways. But more importantly, eating, instead of feeling my feelings, kept me stuck. In ways I didn’t really understand until I stopped eating and started feeling.
Now, I don’t really have any alternative to felling my feelings. The escape mechanisms I have, and use, are tame. Healthy. I read books. I watch movies. I crochet. In moderation (sort of.) I still manage to get stuff done. I am not paralyzed. Nor am I too high to care about my commitments or my integrity.
I am having a lot of feelings lately. Difficult feelings. The worst kind. I have a lot of shame and humiliation popping up.
I still don’t have a job. And it is hard for me to find peace around it. I have applied to a bunch of places, and I have had almost no response. That is beginning to affect my self-esteem. I know that I am not only a capable employee, but a desirable one. I have a fantastic work ethic, and the highest level of trustworthiness. Not to mention the fact that I am highly intelligent, a quick learner, and experienced in a wide variety of fields. When I think of myself as a worker, I can see that I am a catch.
I had this experience as a woman before I ended up with my boyfriend. I knew that I was the kind of person I wanted to be. And that I was the kind of person I wanted to be with. I had done a lot of work on myself to get to that point. And I knew that I wanted to be the kind of person who would continue to grow and get better. So why was I still single? I started to wonder if I was wrong about myself. If there was actually something wrong with me.
Of course, now when I look back on it, I can see that I could never have imagined how happy I would be with my boyfriend. I hated waiting when I didn’t understand that what was coming was worth the wait. I want to trust that the same applies to me and getting a job.
And there is something else that I really don’t want to talk about. But I am going to. Because this blog has taught me that keeping secrets only makes me more ashamed. Telling the truth, ugly or embarrassing as it may be, is the best way to get those painful feelings out. It is the opposite of eating them. It is the step after feeling my feelings. It gets me unstuck.
I have been applying for jobs on the internet as well as in person. And I was offered a job the other day. But it was not a real job. It was a scam.
First, let me assure you that I realized what was happening before I did anything that put myself at risk. And I turned over all of the information that I had, and all of my correspondence, to people who have launched an investigation with the FBI. The only harm was to my pride.
But that is a pretty big wound. I have a lot of pride, not only in my intelligence, but also in my savvy. I lived in New York City for almost fifteen years. I like to think that I can smell a rat a mile off. And I was tricked. And I am deeply ashamed of that.
I will tell you that I cried quite a bit over this, and then talked about it with friends and people I trust. I have come to the conclusion that my pride is not doing me any good in this situation. This experience doesn’t mean anything about me, what I deserve, or who I am.
I had to feel my shame because I refused to eat it. And it didn’t kill me. More importantly, it wasn’t that bad. I used to eat my feelings because I was afraid of them. But the fear of them is so much worse than the reality of them. And stuffing them down only allowed me to stay afraid. Telling the truth, shame and all, gives me freedom. I get to move forward without being shackled by my embarrassment.