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That Terror That is Your Life

I’ve begun to wonder if there is a specific condition that involves reliving embarrassing moments, because I still do. Wow. I just realized that was so as I said that. I’ve been reliving embarrassing moments all the way back to at least 1969. I can remember embarrassing things earlier than that, but I don’t shiver and shake when I think about them as I do about that incident in 6th Grade. And the thing is this was not a typically embarrassing thing. No nudity in public or anything, but then again, yes, it was, but the emotional kind. I won’t go into detail because the backstory would take up this whole entry, but suffice it to say I betrayed my feelings for somebody and more so my need to have a higher status than I thought I did. I let my identity disappear in an instant betraying the great sense of lost self-esteem I possessed (or didn’t) back then. I think of that now and I get an electric jolt, a stab of embarrassment or pain or what-have-you. I’m left cursing myself over what I did.

Why does it still affect me so? I guess it was the revelation (as much to myself as the outside world) of my fallen status, of what I had been vs. what I was. In that moment I revealed that I was once a golden boy who had become dross (at least in my own estimation). These are perhaps what link all my horrible moments that still affect me, the sense of my loss of worth.

These are cruel feelings I must tell you. I thought of suicide several times rather than live in the status the world had accorded me. I didn’t act (aren’t you lucky?) on it, but I think even if I had it would have been to act out. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to world to know how seriously angry and unhappy I was. But I soldiered on instead. Much of my life has been soldiering on.

So I guess these moments, these old moments, still affect me because they remind me of something that is still a persistent partner: my loss of esteem. My self-worth hangs still by a thread ready to be crushed by the next job I lose or the next incurable disease I get (I haven’t had one… I’m just kind of making a point).

I long to reach a point where I’m not scared, where I don’t feel insecure. I guess that’s really really what it comes down to. My self-worth was and is associated with security. When that was challenged back when, so was my self-worth. I never became “bad” enough to have self-worth not measured in material goods and a decent home and health (or health insurance). I never could be bad enough not to care what people thought. Maybe it would’ve been better for me if I had.

Until you dispense with the terror of your life, it will revisit you.


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