---Alice Abrams

Monday, December 04, 2006

Echoes of Thoughts...

I took this shot in the back yard before the first frost, as the liquid amber was starting to turn color but the poor bougainvilla thought it was still summer, along with the feathery (Darn it! Can't think of the name!!! It grows all over southern CA and it doesn't do well here because of the colder has clumps of beautiful purple flowers in the spring - all I can think of is Mimosa, and that's not the one. The aging process, through which our brain cells slough off all over the carpet, sucks.). Anyway, as I was saying....
(Oh, by the way - It's a Jacaranda!!! and this is a week later...)

I've been all over the blogs, reading some wonderful, profoundly thoughtful people's take on different things. I will try to remember (good luck with that!) to add a couple every so often.

One in particular, deals with a subject, that while reading, dropped a bomb on me. It deals with the difference between guilt and shame. It's something I had never thought much about and had always used them as synonyms. But not so. I thought I had been dealing particularly with guilt, recognizing that, with my brand of Christianity, guilt was something that had been dealt with for me by Christ's death on the cross. Holding on to guilt was something my depression has been feeding upon and multiplying like little amoebas (sp?).

I'm including the link here because Dr. Bob deals with this subject in a wonderfully clear manner and I'm mucking it up. But shame is something I realize has lived in me since I was a child like a zygote that never fully formed but took up home in my cells.

Okay, something to state from the outset: I do NOT blame my mom for my raising! She was born in 1917 and I was a hell-child in the mid-1960's. Can anybody realize what a cultural shift that was? I remember catching holy hell because some pimply teenaged boy wrote in my year book what a "Bitchen Babe" I was. You would've thought he'd written about the great sex we'd had! Yikes! I didn't understand then, but I do now. My mother's framework with me was to "shame" me into proper behavior. She never gave me direct instructions about certain behaviors but expected me to perform them inspite of not knowing what they were.

A remembrance: I walked to Knott's with the pastor's son. We were both 15 and had permission to do so. I remember walking into the store holding hands with "Buddy," and my mother looking at me as though I had walked in stark naked! The look - my brother and I joke about the look, but the look could kill. I got the dreaded look. I didn't exactly know what I'd done wrong but I figured it had something to do with the holding of hands...She barely said "hello," to either one of us and it was excrutiatingly painful.

There are dozens of other remembrances of this sort but I remember the feeling of shame like a red hot poker in the gut. No, I don't blame her. As I look back now as an adult, I realize she was just passing along the same method of raising I assume she received. My grandmother was a school teacher who probably perfected the look!
to be con't.

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