We continue our 12-part series on shame, based on Brene′.
Our publishing schedule will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Each week we are introducing each blog with this quote from Brene′.
“People often want to believe that shame is reserved for people who have survived an unspeakable trauma, but this is not true. Shame is something we all experience. And while it feels as if shame hides in our darkest corners, it actually tends to lurk in all of the familiar places. Twelve ‘shame categories’ have emerged from my research.”
Let’s talk about shame associated with motherhood/fatherhood.
Parenthood is one of those status symbols we want to wear proudly. However, if a couple has to cope with the “barren womb” there can be a tremendous amount of shame tied with that. The parents have done nothing wrong in most cases, yet the absence of a child is felt so keenly and can cause stress and shame in a marriage, especially for the woman.
Of course there is some great medical advice from competent sources and I encourage couples to seek that out Also, it is important for anyone, on any level, who suffers from shame to remember this.
Shame says “I am bad.”
Guilt says “I did something bad.”
Wives/Husbands, realize sometimes you are dealing with biological clocks, physiological issues and perhaps other medical complications. Always seek professional help in navigating these difficulties.
Let’s take this another step.
What if you have a child, and he/she has made some less than wonderful choices. This too can cause a tremendous amount of shame. What to do?
There are so many layers to this situation that it would take a book to unravel all the intricacies. The last place couples should go is to the “shame” corner. If your child is still under your care, hope can be found through great books and counselors.
If your child is of the age of accountability yet is making “shameful choices” how do you as the parent respond? This is a tough line to walk. Your parenthood side kicks in and wants to fix everything; however, you question whether your suggestions will be listened to? And if your child rebels, how do you deal with the shameful feelings of disappointment over your child’s behaviors?
Please allow a good counselor to guide you here. And read some of the books they may suggest.
My sincere prayer is that you and your mate will uncover some solutions for handling shame moments and then move forward together to a more healthy state.
P Michael Biggs
One Word at a Time