Rejected Shame

I just finished reading a wonderful memoir by Alan Cumming, Not My Father’s Son. In an important part of his story, Cumming’s writes about the first time he masturbated in a clearing in the woods, “I am at peace. I am twelve years old, my jeans are around my ankles, and I’ve just made a big discovery.” He then sees a man at the edge of the forest watching him. He continues, “My heart is suddenly racing and my cheeks are flushed once more. I can feel something rising up inside me. I am instinctively resisting but it is fighting very hard for control of me. It is shame.” He concludes in a way that I love, “I lie there for a while in the dusk, then make a decision, little knowing how it will affect every facet of my life and fiber of my being for the rest of my life: I say no to shame.” Continue reading

Guilt or Why Do I Feel Bad? – Part 2

I wrote in my last post about my wife asking me to fly up to Albany, NY to drive home with my son after his summer job ends next week. I told her I had other plans but felt quite guilty, and continue to feel guilty, for going to the beach for a long planned visit to a friends house with my boyfriend, rather than picking up my son. Continue reading

Guilt or Why Do I Feel Bad? – Part 1

Why does disagreement with my wife cause me such stress? Back in June I planned a weekend at a friends house in Rehoboth, Delaware with my boyfriend. Last week my wife asked me if I would fly to Albany, NY next Friday to drive home my with my son, after his summer job as a camp counselor ends on Saturday. She feels that he will be too exhausted from the end of camp and should not drive home by himself. Continue reading