I remember as a young kid feeling humiliated that I did not mow the lawn. My parents hired a landscaper to do that. I remember feeling like I should hide in the house on summer days when the landscapers were in the yard because if they saw me while they mowed our lawn they would wonder why I was not doing it. They would think I was lazy or incompetent.
A family friend once ridiculed me because he mowed the lawn and I did not. One time I asked my mother if I could mow the lawn but she told me no, the landscaper did that. I remember feeling very unimportant and useless after hearing this. I got the impression that she and everyone else looked at me and thought I was some pampered rich kid who did not know how to do anything. I felt misunderstood. I wanted them to know that I actually did want to mow the lawn but was never given the opportunity to do it. This is even more ridiculous given the fact that this family friend who ridiculed me came from a much more wealthy family than mine. But some how he was allowed to become competent and I was not. He could feel good about what he had and I had to feel like I had something I did not deserve. I felt everyone assumed that I was and always would be incompetent from the very beginning.
I always wanted a mentor to take me under their wing and teach me. But at the same time I felt humiliated for not knowing the things a mentor I never had would have taught me. I remember wishing that I had an older brother to show me the ropes. I now recognize that all these feelings resulted from not being mentored by my father. If I asked him why he never mentored me I imagine he would say that he paid for my education and gave me a loan for my house and fed and clothed me all my life. I would then feel very ashamed of myself for being ungrateful and wanting something that did not belong to me. I would feel that I was somehow being irresponsible or selfish and trying to blame other people for my problems when in fact I was the one to blame.
But I must remember that I did not deserve the type of shame I have consistently experienced my entire life. True, my father was successful and wealthy and was able to give me all I needed materially. He may not have been properly mentored by his father (I do not know if this is true) and felt if he had not been mentored and succeeded then I should experience the same thing. But for whatever reason this treatment infused me with the feeling that I never deserved anything I had and should feel ashamed for getting it. I have to remember that I did not deserve this treatment because if I do not fully recognize that I was treated badly I will always be controlled by shame and will never fully live my life freely and authentically.
- Feelings Associated With Shame (winstonscrooge.wordpress.com)