Shame

I’ve been trying to write this post for over an hour, but can’t seem to do it any justice.

As I discussed the latest gossip about the Kardashian family with my nail technician on Friday, the technician made a joke about Kris Kardashian and how stupid she must have been to be married to Caitlyn for all those years. Even as I look at the sentence, I feel shame for how hurtful the joke feels now.

I’ve attended the same nail salon for over 6 years. I feel like I know the family who owns it. We have inside jokes together. I’ve been their only customer on Christmas Eve because I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I’ve recommended countless friends and family to their business and worn my attendance to their salon as a badge of honor. I’ve watched their business grow to a second location. They were a safe space in my life I am having difficulty understanding now. Shame.

As I sat in the chair across from my technician, watching her realize who she made the joke to, I felt total and unapologetic shame. I felt embarrassed. Is this really what she thinks of me? She didn’t apologize to me, but instead insisted the joke was not about “people like me”. Uncomfortable, I did the thing I’m more shameful of now as I reflect on it: I told her it was okay and I knew what she meant. We were near the end of the appointment and I wanted the tension I felt to be over. Shame.

As I sat in the car afterwards trying to figure out what happened, I cried. Is this really what she thinks of me? Is it what they all think of me? How do I tell Katie the space we both thought was safe isn’t anymore? Do I tell her this and ruin her perception of the safe space? Maybe I misunderstood her? Maybe the language barrier or cultural differences impacted her delivery? Shame.

I don’t really know what else to say about it. I know eventually I will be able to see the incident for the ignorance it is, but right now, I feel awful about it, even 5 days later. Shame.

8 thoughts on “Shame

  1. Patricia Julian

    I know how you feel.

    I’ve had a few people who I thought were friends. Quite OK/fine or happy with me being transgender and telling me to my face. Only to find out it was quite a different story behind my back!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim

    This is so hard for me. My fear and disdain for confrontation has led to me being a recluse. I do not want people’s pity although that is exactly what I have gotten from a lot of people. I have had so many people say to me…”I don’t know how you do it”…”you are so strong” etc. I don’t enjoy constantly feeling like I have to defend my spouse or my decision to stay in my marriage. I am sorry that you had this experience at a place you felt like was a safe place. All I can say is that I have been there myself…and I didn’t always handle it in the way I should have. It’s hard to always be “on”. Sending love and good vibes your way. Stay strong and as my therapist told me…be kind and forgiving to yourself in the way that you are others. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is so helpful for me to read, Kim. It feels like I’m constantly having to defend myself and my spouse even when not directly confronted. I don’t want to be the one who has to educate all the time. Can’t people just “get it”? 🙂

      Forgiveness is key. And patience. I appreciate your kind words. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry this happened. It’s never fun knowing how someone truly feels in a place you formerly thought was a haven. I have learned to accept that people are going to make jokes and that they will think what they want to think. Is it ok? No, but people are fallible creatures, prone to mistakes and doing bad things. She betrayed your trust. You responded like most of us would, with shock and in a way that wouldn’t target you. There is no shame in that, give yourself a break. This isn’t about how you should have responded, more how she should not have put you in that position.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma Gray

    I’m a trans woman and the point I’d like to make is that — as I’m sure you’ve heard — everyone in a trans person’s life transitions with her/him. I wonder if in some ways it’s even harder for you, her cis spouse. Although I know from personal experience how painful, scary, and emotional it is to transition, living authentically is such a huge relief and, honestly, relief of shame that I’ve shouldered since I was 4 or 5. But for you, transition isn’t something you ever even thought about yet alone wished for or decided to do. You’re being pulled along by your love to join your spouse on her journey.

    Your feelings, whatever they are, are valid and real. Nothing wrong with your feelings or you. I suggest talking about this with your spouse. Who knows, maybe it will even be something you two will enjoy sharing and laughing about.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry to hear you had to go through that. I hope the sting you felt will fade over time.

    FWIW, you can’t know what was thought -or even if they were thinking – you can only know your own feelings.

    You’re doing something many people would run from. Not from shame, but because they are not as brave. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

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