It’s been a while, weeks and months, since I’ve visited DaysofHilda. I had to wait to see what I thought, toxic shame and all. It’s not enough to recognize the thing, the burden you drag, to understand that the reason why you do the things you do has a name. You have to do something about it after the baptism.
But what? How could I change it – unshame – and how might that look?
I saw toxic shame as a default setting and that perhaps I’d be years, another lifetime, in the unwiring, un-writing.
It’s part of me, I said, it’s in my blood. Yeah, you’ve got your, A positive, your type O, your AB negative, and for me your super-negative, your toxic shame blood.
It’s in my fingerprints, I’ve been saying. There’ll be no escaping that lot.
Last night in the shower, where I do my best thinking and turn off the taps as clean as a whistle in more ways that one, I understood toxic shame is not in my fingerprints. There’s nothing in my fingerprints but identification,whorls, swirls, a tracery of dents and scratches. That is all. My fingerprints are not full of toxic shame.
It was quite a step. Hot water, soft soap and liberation.
The brain is plastic.
You can make the change.
But don’t be in a freaking hurry.
Still, positive and lasting change won’t take as long as forty years of erosion. I know it. It’s already begun.
And besides, the things that shape us can be both bad and good.Child abuse left its mark. But so did good relationships, good education, open-mindedness, and resilience. Gratefulness and pride; they are there for the having.
My fingerprints are only fingerprints. My hands are clean.
clean as a new leaf