In the shadows of our families, there lie secrets and shame, buried deep like the roots of a tree. These secrets are like a poison, slowly infecting our minds and souls, corrupting our very being. We try to hide them away, hoping that they will never come to light, but they fester and grow until they become too much to bear.
In the Soviet Union, there was a word that captured this feeling perfectly “shame.” It was a word that denoted both dirt and disgrace, and it was often used to describe the most intimate parts of our bodies. Sex was a taboo subject, something that was never talked about in polite society. It was a topic that was too embarrassing, too shameful, to be discussed openly.
For those of us who grew up in this environment, it was a difficult time. We were left to fend for ourselves, to try and navigate the treacherous waters of puberty and sexuality alone. When something went wrong, we were too ashamed to speak up, too afraid of being judged or ostracized. I remember when I discovered that there was something wrong with my testicle. I was terrified, but I didn’t dare tell my parents. Instead, I searched the internet for answers, and what I found was a death sentence – cancer. I was too scared to do anything about it, so I decided to wait until the pain became too much, and then I would end it all. Years went by, and I lived with the knowledge that I was slowly dying. It wasn’t until I sought medical help that I found out the truth – it was only varicocelli, a condition that could be easily treated with surgery. I was lucky, but not everyone is. This experience taught me the importance of open and honest communication. We need to be able to talk about sex and sexuality without fear or shame, to be able to ask for help when we need it. This starts with our families – our relationships with our parents and our children are the foundation of our sexual culture.
We must be willing to love and accept one another, flaws and all, without judgment or condemnation. Only then can we begin to heal the wounds of the past and move towards a brighter future. For love of neighbor truly will save the world.