A little over a month ago, I wrote a post that I never imagined would be written. I fretted, cringed and cried as I thought about what I needed to say. I felt shame that we needed to take Dimples to a residential therapeutic program.
I worried about what you would think of me and questioned whether I should just shut my blog down and walk away. After all I had studied and shared about therapeutic parenting, I had failed at it with my daughter. Nothing we did was enough to bring healing to her.
I spoke about shame in my talk at Refresh and shared some things I’ve learned from Brene’ Brown, a research professor from Texas. She says that shame speaks to who we believe we are and is expressed in phrases like:
I am never good enough
Who do I think I am?
I am not who I thought I was.
The last phrase speaks to me. Parenting a very traumatized child made me question who I believed myself to be as a mother. It shook me to my core, and honestly, I’m still working through it.
Brown says that shame needs three things to grow: secrecy, silence, and judgement.
How many of us keep silent about our struggles and isolate ourselves in order to keep it a secret? Our homes can become prisons rather than a warm and welcoming place to be embraced in safety and security.
Do you ever feel judged in your struggle to parent your children from hard places? My guess is that most of us do at times. Our kids just don’t act like other people’s children. The deficits of their early years seep out in their behavior and it’s tough not to be embarrassed at times.
Brown says that there is an antidote to shame – and it is so beautiful that I want to share it with you. Shame cannot survive when it is doused with empathy. When we say “Me too,” we extend empathy.
I’m writing to you today saying, “Me too.”
Let’s reject secrecy and silence, let’s love and not judge one another, and let’s extend grace and kindness to one another on this incredibly rewarding and challenging journey.
I have more to say about shame and some scriptures to share tomorrow.
Question: Do you experience shame as you mother your children from “hard places.” Have you experienced healing empathy from somebody?
I would love to hear from you, friends. Let’s say “Me too” to one another.