‘Guilt says, “I made a mistake”. Shame says, “I am a mistake”.’ Brene Brown
Please stop looking at me like you have never seen me before. I know my words turn back the pages of my character and erase everything I ever displayed to be. But I am so tired. Am tired of carrying this shame. It’s not my name but it clings to my identity and drains my confidence. And every time you say my name I wonder, do you really know me? If I spoke my shame would you remain the same. I am so tired. So tired of holding up the walls. I just want to cave in. I want it all to come tumbling down. I wanted to break the dam of all I kept silent. I wanted it all, like a flood to come shouting forth. Maybe with you it would cleanse me not cover me. I was hoping that when all was spoken and all was shaken that you would pull back the rubble, dive into the deep and carry me out. I was thinking that you would wipe the mud from my face and see past my filth. I really want you to see the swan in this vision of an ugly duckling. I want to know that I can fall apart and you can hold my pieces long enough for me to find myself.
Please don’t turn your back on me. Don’t look outside the window like you want to run away from me. It seems you regret all you gave up only to discover what you have is a lie. I know, it no longer feels safe in here. I opened a door, I should have left shut and now strange creatures are crawling in. But stay. Fight with me. Fight for me. I was hoping we could clean out my closet, together. I was wishing my spoken shame would be safe in your presence. I chose to believe that two are stronger than one. I was praying that I was worth your courage. I was hoping we could protect each other’s back rather than turn our backs on each other. I know, pushing the spoken back into silence will not undo what I have done. Please look at me. Turn and reach out for me. See past my failure and reach into my isolation. Am I worth a risk?
My mind is making up words for you and they leave me frozen inside. I am getting cold and the pain of regret is squeezing the life out of me. I wanted you to look at me but your eyes are doing more damage to me than my fear of loosing you. Will those eyes ever look at me they way they used to? Like I was a wonder of the World. Like I was a mystic being. How can words drain life out of eyes? My chosen alphabetical letters seem to have been daggers and now your eyes bleed tears. How can I heal your hurt? How will you see me and not my sin, when your eyes are drowning?
My knees are shaking so badly. I do not mean to manipulate you by falling to my knees, I just don’t have the courage to stand. I can’t hold my head up either. Do not misunderstand my bowed head. It is not pity I seek. Though I would not be ashamed to beg for your love. I would cling to you and let you drag me if begging would lead to forgiveness. But I will not turn this into a cheap drama. This is not an act and my love was never a play.
I can no longer swallow the lump in my throat. Am finding it so hard to breathe. My tears are forming a pool on our floor. I can feel your disappointment and it feels like nails being driven into my casket. You feel so far away and holding you wouldn’t bring you back. So I wait for your judgement. You are the jury and the judge. I wait on whatever judgement you place on my bowed head. All I wanted, was to give up my last chess piece. This was my last territory. The one place you hadn’t occupied. I wanted to keep it hidden but every time I spoke of how I loved you, treacherous laughter often came from this dark territory. This is a part of me but it is not all I am. This is a wound I have carried but it has not permeated all of me. This is a memory that would not fade, no matter what it was paid. Now I hope you are not the prize it has come to claim.
I thought words were what I needed. But you kneel before me and as I raise my head and look into your eyes, I am amazed. Is this what forgiveness looks like? I have never seen your eyes caught up in that shade before. Is that mercy? Is that grace? Your eyes speak of a love I have not known from you. The swan glides through. Your mercy washes my filth. Your grace cleans my shame. A door opens in your embrace and as a light fills the room, dark creatures slither out and I am home.
“I love you. All of you”
You say something and it is everything.