How One Weekend Made Me Feel Ashamed

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 08/16/2016

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I was crazy about him

We were sitting on his bed after sex and I was hungry.  He went to his kitchen and came back with a can of soup.  I can still remember thinking, “Something doesn’t feel right.”  Just a few hours prior, I had flown to Colorado to spend the weekend with a guy I really liked.  Blinded by infatuation, I couldn’t see that it had become one-sided until after the fact.

Up until that weekend, we lived in the same town, spending a lot of time together during that month we met.  His free-spirited ways were a contrast to my reserved ways, and brought out a side of me that I didn’t know existed.  I became more expressive and was crazy about him.  And even after these red flags came to light covertly, I was still head over heels for him.

  • He and his fiancée had recently broken up prior to us meeting.  But he didn’t tell me this until after we slept together.  By then, I was hooked and thought there was a possibility that I could be the one to help him heal.
  • I found out he was moving to Colorado when pulling up to his house and saw a For Sale sign planted in his yard.  I was shocked since he had not mentioned this to me.  I swallowed my disbelief while his words of job relocation washed over me.  Even then, I thought, “Maybe this can still work.  Colorado isn’t too far…”

But then, something didn’t feel right

After that weekend, I came to know what “something doesn’t feel right” meant.  The can of soup symbolized me making most of the effort and him not so much.  The fact that his apartment was messy with no real food in his place revealed how little I meant.  That along with being fresh out of a breakup and moving spoke volumes.  Instead of trying to make things work, I should have let things go.

Here’s the truth.  When a guy really likes you, he’ll do things to make a positive impression.  In my case, a messy apartment and no food meant he couldn’t be bothered.  That is a negative impression.

Yet I continued showing interest.  The next month I sent a Valentine’s Day package.   For a long time after, I cringed thinking about the sexy underwear I put in that package.  That package was just awkward – I thought it might bring us closer, but, it only made me feel disconnected.  That was one of the last times we talked.  And I felt ashamed of who I’d become.  Shame made me feel bad about myself and caused me to lose confidence.

Shame serves a positive purpose

Now that I’m older and wiser, I realize shame serves a positive purpose.  My shameful experience brought these positive things to light.

  • My pendulum had swung too far to one side, making me unable to stay grounded and present.  I had swung over to the future where hope and delusion kept me from reality.  After that experience, I had a better understanding of the signs and flags to watch for in a one-sided relationship.
  • That experienced opened me up like never before.  It made me vulnerable, showed me how passionate I could be, and let me see myself in a new light.  I had broken out of my shell and was less self-conscious about how I was with guys.
  • It was the first time I put myself fully out there.  Even though things didn’t work out and it caused me to be more cautious, at least I had the experience of being infatuated.  That is what helped me know the difference between infatuation and love.

Letting go of shame

If you’re feeling ashamed about something, don’t hold it in.  Because the shame you’re holding inside of you will continue to fester, keeping you from what you most want.  Share your shame story in the comments section and start feeling some relief.  When you share, you release the energy that’s been weighing you down, so you can move forward with ease and confidence.  What’s your shame story you want to let go of?

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