I remember holding you one morning pregnant as hell as the sheets smelled of embarrassment and the warmth as your resting belly swelled. You had wet the bed at 17 with me your fiance cuddling you in the bed, your cheeks rosy with shame as I helped change the sheets before saving on water as we showered together, a smile plastered to my face. If I remember correctly you my love, you had this amazing ability to feel both shame yet shameless at the exact same time. I remember getting to know you thinking well that’s not so bad you would wet the bed till you were 16, yet at the same time you were definitely cute enough to pull it off. I remember how embarrassed you were needing to defend yourself explaining it was only every once in a while and during those dreams where you think you were awake resting your cute booty on the seat, only to wake up in warm wet sheets. The thoughts that passed through my mind as you told me were simply, man she’s adorable when embarrassed I wonder how much I could tease. Yet at the same time the amount of shamelessness you had when you told me you were a female who was a male trapped in a female body had an air of bravery, a bravery I respected greatly in you. To me it didn’t matter if some nights we cuddled we woke up in a pool of blood and your face red with embarrassment, or the fact that despite being a guy you became cutely pregnant. Honestly to me you could’ve done or said anything and I would’ve accepted until you betrayed my love with disloyalty. Yet I’m not here to shame you in any way although perhaps it seems far from it, because we kept the protectors on our mattresses for the same reason you covered your face. You would hide your cute face ashamed of who you were and what you did thinking ten fingers could hide you from the world, you’d throw away sheets stained with guilt washing plastic keeping up appearances for people who never truly cared. Yet I was there loving you despite the skeletons, or shame with a smile on my face simply saying, “baby it’s okay because I’ll love you no matter how dirty you get.” Not saying that I was in particular fond of the more freaky things, but true love is more about accepting the scars that laid barren on your wrists, or knowing despite any mess I could shower you with my kisses. Love was despite any amount of pain or shame that I would hold you with a soft laugh saying, “Honey bun it’s okay, trust me it’s already a good day.”
I Remember clearly a year and half into our marriage and three into our relationship we had both gotten sick after a much needed happy trip to Denny's. Your body is heavy with nauseating energy as you spew out what we had just ate previously apologizing not for your health but rather wasting money. I remember how my body felt watching you heave over the tiny bucket my body suddenly finding the need to join you as if to say, “Hey if she’s sick then I am too.” I remember how later in that night you cuddled with our little one as I was lying on the floor in front of our bed puking my guts out my bowels finally giving out as I was a mess of a man on the floor. I remember clearly how I was ashamed of being 20 years old and I shitting myself in front of my wife and kid thinking hey maybe she’ll leave. Yet despite all the grossness of the situation I managed to clean up the mess, and shower only to be embraced by you as I trembled through the night. A week of sickness unable to take care of myself and you took care of me while watching our beautiful 1 year old child never letting a smile drop from that pretty face. In the back of my mind I thought damn, I tease her a lot but this… this is what love is. Guess that’s why I took it so hard when you chose him over me.
You’d be surprised how quickly shame disappears in a good relationship, how easily it is to start with popping in on that first bathroom trip, watching your partner try to hide what you had just seen moments ago. As if covering body parts could erase the blush and silent farts as they gestured to the door with a pout, yet you remain at the door frame smiling no matter how loud they shout. Something about someone coming in when you’re sick beyond belief with mucus dripping and eyes watery as you feel like absolute shit, smelling like it despite showering that morning, well needless the experience of their tenderness is heartwarming. That even at your lowest someone will still hold you or wipe away the tears shushing you to drink some soup or catch some sleep as they watch over you. The reality is you don’t have room for shame in a relationship because no matter if you were a slut in your past, or a bed wetter or even had braces matched with ugly sweaters. Shame only weighs you down, the monster fueled most by your shame is society, and the sad part is you feed that monster. Which is why it’s such a wonder when someone comes in holding your heart tearing walls apart, and cleaning out closets. They shush you as you begin to freak out telling them it's going to be okay, you don't need those walls when the monster will starve anyways. Some times walls are built not to keep you safe but rather to keep the monster’s in, but what did I know? I didn’t have much shame to begin with. You made me feel special, wanted and needed so what did I need to hide from you, well that was the real question what did I have to hide or lie about that lead to my eventual downfall? What was it that drove you into the arms of another man, because I know in those final moments despite the cheating you had not an ounce of shame within.
The lesson of the story is not to bring you down, but rather to smile even when times are down, there is much in your life to be ashamed about I’m quite sure. Yet at the end of the day none of that really matters, because as time goes on while you life your fragile life. You begin to hurt more growing in that endless strife, as you start to grow older you begin to realize. That what happened in the past should not control your life, so instead of waiting until your 80 to figure out this brutal lesson. Learn to live with your shame until it fades away, because in the end you don’t need all that extra weight when you ask that final questions.