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Stigma and shame

Every family has stuff they are ashamed of.  All sorts of things that are either kept quiet about or 'fessed up almost as some kind of reflex response to the stress of wanting to conceal.

Every family.  EVERY family.

We are afraid of being judged.  It's hard to get through a whole lifetime and do nothing to bring disrepute upon the people we grew up with.  Those relationships that may lack any real affection but are still fully capable of demanding we take responsibility.

Living our lives in a careful way, not wanting to let anything we do, or who we might be, bring shame on family members, or loved ones, friends.  Every family has its moments of dread.

In a way being someone who has failed to comply, the thought of embarrassing others who are connected with me brings more anguish that any ridicule that might be heaped on me.  It's enough to make cutting of family ties preferable to be free of that responsibility.