In recent months, probably the last year, I have discovered much that I am ashamed of. My religious background, my sexual past, my education, my current lifestyle, and more. Some of those I have begun to work on, and while extremely difficult, I persist.
I’m finding that every time I open up the door to work on my shame, I find more things I’m ashamed of. I’m now at the point that I’m hoping beyond belief that there is a finite number of things of which I am ashamed, and that eventually I’ll have addressed everything by a certain time. Right now, I’m aiming for by the time I have children and need to raise them.
The other part of me believes that this is false hope. That shame is something that continually develops and requires constant effort.
The past week, I’ve been frustrated with my progress in therapy. I’m still fairly new to the whole idea of therapy (I’ve seen my current therapist 4 times so far), and I don’t know if I’m “doing it right.” I know it’s a bizarre thing to think, but I’m wondering if I’m trying too hard or not trying hard enough. My therapist is trying to figure me out, but she barely knows me. She’s trying to make sure she doesn’t push me too hard (one of the first things we had discovered together in our first session together was that I tend to push myself too hard), and I’m trying to take advantage of our time together. It’s an interesting tango, to say the least. But it constantly leaves me wondering if I could be pushing myself more, thereby growing faster, healing faster, learning more, etc. This “slowing down” idea and not pushing myself too far goes against everything for which my body has been conditioned. But my brain knows that whatever my tendency to push things too far, slowing down will teach me many lessons.
After I was done blaming my therapist for not pushing me enough, I tried figuring out what was really motivating me to have these feelings. I came up with 2 theories:
I just had a revelation. While I have your average run-of-the-mill fear of failure, I also just realized I have an intense fear of success. Everything I’ve ever done in my life, I’ve done as well as I could without being “too good.” Even in things for which I’ve been passionate. I’ve ALWAYS stopped just short of achievement. Because of fear. Frantic fear.
Until now, this has been entirely subconscious.