Unpacking Shame, Self-Concept, and Queer Relationships
In this podcast episode, we delve into the complexities of self-concept and its impact on queer relationships. The conversation centers on the experience of a guest who struggles with shame, guilt, and self-doubt related to his sexuality. He shares his journey of self-discovery, the conflict between his true desires and societal expectations, and the emotional burden of seeking approval from his family. The episode highlights the profound effect of a negative self-concept on one’s ability to embrace love and intimacy.
The Weight of Shame:
The guest begins by describing an encounter with another man on a dating app. Despite a positive experience, he admits to immediately shutting down emotionally afterward. He recognizes that he views romantic intimacy with men as shameful and feels he can only engage in fleeting sexual encounters without running away. This deep-seated shame stems from the belief that he is unlovable and disgusting.
The Impact of Religious Upbringing:
The guest shares how his religious upbringing, particularly messages from conversion therapy, influenced his self-concept. He describes feeling gaslit into believing his reality was wrong and adopting a mindset of apologizing for his authentic self. This constant need for approval and the fear of confrontation further eroded his self-esteem.
The discussion highlights the psychological inferiority ingrained in individuals who face rejection or condemnation for their sexuality. This leads to a never-ending cycle of seeking acceptance and feeling that one’s desires and preferences are inherently flawed.
The conversation explores how reframing desires and preferences can help overcome psychological barriers. The guest is encouraged to imagine similar experiences with a female partner and notice the stark contrast in how he views them. This exercise aims to detach shame and guilt from his desires, allowing him to appreciate the beauty and innocence of his authentic self.
Seeking Permission from Others:
The guest reflects on the need for his parents’ permission to fully embrace his desires and enjoy his own happiness. This reflects the internalized belief that his self-concept is wrong, and he must continually seek validation from others, particularly his family.
This podcast episode provides a poignant glimpse into the struggles faced by individuals in the LGBTQ+ community as they navigate self-concept, shame, and societal expectations. It underscores the importance of reframing desires and breaking free from the cycle of seeking validation from others. Ultimately, the journey to self-acceptance and love begins with acknowledging and celebrating one’s authentic self.
Queer RelationTips host Isaac Archuleta sits back down with our guest from Part 1, to further explore Shame, Sex, and Healing.
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