Can I ever forgive myself? Childhood mistakes still sting with shame, even though I rationalize them as silly things I should laugh about.
Case in point, the time I was in a school play and in the confusion of a rapid costume change, I forgot to pull up my zipper. I laughed about it then. I can laugh about it now. But any time I do anything slightly embarassing these days, memories like this come cascading down on me, making me feel deep shame over any trivial mistake. I'm no masochist. I hate it. I hate obsessing over the first time I tried to tell a girl I liked her, or the times I was humiliated in grade school by bullies. I immediately fight it, and try to push these thoughts out. But it's a hard fight. It takes concentration. I don't always win... These things made me who I am. These experiences defined me. They made me stronger. Why, then, can I not escape the shame of an eight year-old boy whose pants were torn from him in front of a field full of children, all shrieking with laughter? I bear no animosity, the experience doesn't bother me any more. Until I screw up...

And after these bouts, I'm always left exhausted, asking myself the same question;

Am I broken?

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