In case you missed it – I wrote a SECOND entry yesterday. One I scheduled to publish to lighten the mood around here and then forgot about until the email notification came in that it had published and – not noticing what website it was from – I got excited someone wrote about bras! And then I realized that “someone” was me and I know NOTHING about bras so, you know, stupid blog.
ANYWAY. This one is another heavy one so I really wanted to point you in the direction of the lighter one in case you’re sick of the heavy stuff.
So…I think about shame a lot. There are a lot of my social anxieties that revolve around feelings of shame. Shame about that time I did say the wrong thing leading to FEAR of shame that I might do it this time. Or DO the wrong thing. Or just BE the wrong thing. And all of the shame fears are founded in past experiences which I relive in perpetuation for hours afterwards.
But there are several types of shame.
There’s the shame where you are vulnerable and then embarrassed or unsure if you should have revealed that vulnerability. That’s a tricky thing about therapy, even though it’s a safe, judgement-free zone, there’s still that instinctive shame that ripples through my body when I get really raw and vulnerable.
There’s the shame when you have to be corrected professionally. Maybe there are some people who have never experienced that shame, but I have unfortunately. And sometimes it’s warranted and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s just miscommunication, other times it’s entirely my fault. Either way – it’s such and embarrassing kind of shame because it’s like being a child being reprimanded by a teacher or a parent.
Then there’s the social shame I spoke about before. It’s definitely the most common in my life. That realization you said something wrong. Or maybe something you did was interpreted wrong. It’s not always in the MOMENT you process it. For me, it often comes with confusion related to a reaction from someone else. Like, “Wait. That was not the reaction I expected.” And then upon reflection and replay you hear how your words came off or how your intention was misunderstood and then suddenly you hear or see your words/actions from another perspective and understand their reaction but it’s usually long past time to correct yourself. Even if you had the courage to do so.
Those are the types of shame I experience in various degrees with various levels of frequency.
But yesterday? All in one day, baby. I got a 3-fer. A shame hat trick, so to speak.
I got raw in therapy (DRINK!) and battled feeling shame all day (I know. Right? So counterintuitive!) and then screwed up something at work and then fumbled the ball socially and then sat up last night replaying it ALL IN MY HEAD and feeling like THE WORST HUMAN IN ALL THE LAND.
I tried to remember Brené Brown and the importance of vulnerability to make those important connections. I knew I’d vomit the experience out on my blog this morning and I figured that would help me be more vulnerable which tends to take the power out of the shame. And allow connections with others who we share our vulnerabilities with.
But y’all? It just sucked. I just want a do-over, you know? I don’t think I’d change anything about therapy, but I’d not make the mistake at work, and I’d definitely keep my mouth shut after work and do a little more “thinking before I speak” so I make sure my words and my tone and my timing carry the intended meanings. I’d definitely fix those moments. I was wallowing so bad last night I even did that thing I used to do as a kid where I momentarily wished for a real do-over. Like that was possible.
Today is an insane day. I knew I needed to write here to clear out the funky deposits yesterday left on my soul. And I know I need a run (not as long of one as I truly need, but I’ll do my best) so I’m heading out in a bit to do that. I’ve got a few hours of work before I do some more volunteering for one of the two races we have this weekend (end of the season!) and that always revives my spirit. And then I plan on curling up in bed with the kids tonight and watching a movie and doing a lot of self care to heal the wounds from an exhausting week where I fought demons galore.
Thank you all for encouraging me on this journey. It’s not easy, but it’s very important.