Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

I’ve never been the athletic type. I’m an artist not a competitive, sweaty type of person. In spite all that, I starting going to Bikram Yoga last month. For those of you do not know about this form of yoga… let me paint the picture for you…

The room is 105 degrees. We have 2 breathing exercises and 26 poses.  The class is 90 minutes long. For my weight and advanced age bracket, I burn a little more than 900 calories. I am literally sweating my butt off! What a deal! 90 minutes of time for 900 calories. Sounds great, right?! Wrong! I think I am going to die the entire time!

The only reason I go is because I actually feel better than ever after I survive the class. And, I have survived 11 classes so far. I am seeing overall toning in my entire body.  I look and feel great! I figure 90 minutes of hell and near death is worth the benefits. Nobody said it was going to be easy!

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…
I have a near death experience every time I go to Bikram Yoga…but I am becoming one sexy beast because of it!  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Shame Trigger Was Pulled

I’ve been learning a lot about shame lately. I am mostly surprised at how much of our emotions are tied to shame. It has been a growing process. Part of that growth has been to identify my own shame triggers. These are the situations that I feel the most shame about…which lead to other emotions.

Two of my biggest shame triggers are my child and my parenting. I suppose in having a child with ADHD I always feel like I am on the defense anyways. He is misunderstood and misrepresented a lot because of his ADHD. I feel like I’m always justifying him in my mind.

I don’t think people understand how I have to continually grieve the fact that my child isn’t like the other children… although he is different in some really great ways… I am sensitive about how he is different in the “other” ways.

A situation happened at his Marital Arts Academy that threw me into a shameful state of mind. We were at his Academy getting professional pictures taken. It came time to order the pictures by previewing them on the computer screen. My son wanted a collaged picture with him in the foreground and a dragon rising out of fire in the background.  To a ten year old boy… it was the coolest picture ever. The problem with the picture is that it was $65 just for that one 8x10 shot. So, I told him no.

I won’t list all the details, but let’s just say we had a battle of him talking back to me, being rude, and disrespectful. I reminded him that no means no and told him to sit on the bench and wait for me. I apologized to the lady sitting at the computer. And, we continued our order. My son got up from the bench and came back to me to argue some more. I directed him back to the bench. The lady and I finished the order. When I went to retrieve my son from the bench he continued the argument… AGAIN! I explained that I am the parent and I do not have to defend my choices to him. I also explained that he was going to get a consequence when we got home.

At that moment the feeling of shame spread throughout my entire body… then other emotions. I was so embarrassed by his actions. I was feeling judged by the other parents at the Academy. I felt hurt by my son’s disrespect. I was disappointed in my son’s choices.

Before I understood shame, I would have dwelled on these feelings for days. I would have over identified with these feelings. I would have owned these feelings. I would have translated this experience into “I must be a bad Mom because why else would he think it is okay to act like that.” Instead of doing all of that, I allowed the feelings to wash over me. I leaned into the discomfort of the shame. It was uncomfortable at first and I wanted to escape the feelings, but it got easier. It was then that I translated this experience into “None of us are perfect. My son isn’t perfect. I am not perfect. The onlookers aren’t perfect. And, that’s okay.” And, as I reflected on the situation, I don’t see a way that I could have handled it any better. I didn’t lose my cool. I didn’t yell. I didn’t over react. I calmly and directly handled the situation.

I could see too how other people played into my feelings of shame. The onlookers stared at us as if we were a train wreck… as if they have never had to firmly speak to their child. They could have helped the situation. And, now I know how I can help other moms in a similar situation.

The lady on the computer and the other parents could have said something comforting… or at least stopped staring. The silence of others is what hurts… in that silence of the unspoken words of “You Too?!” is where shame grows a life of its own. The silence makes us feel like we are the only ones who have ever had to discipline our child in public.

Oh and when we got home, my son received a consequence, we talked about how his actions made me feel, we talked about how he could have handled the situation better, and we role played how that would sound. We hugged and we said I love you. Then, I told him to go up to his bedroom because I needed time to sort through my own feelings.

If only those onlookers could have seen how hard I work as a mom to ensure my son learns these life lessons. If only they could see that my son is really a great kid… he just has his moments… he is not perfect… he is real, raw, and full of life.

Then again, it doesn’t really matter what they see or think because I know in my heart that I am doing the best that I can… I know in my heart that parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever done… I know in my heart that we are not perfect (and that’s okay)… I know in my heart that I’m a great mom and my son is a great kid.

I am refusing to let the shame grow inside me. I am shining a light on my shame triggers; therefore, not permitting them to fester inside of me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

When I first starting blogging, I wrote every day. Through my writing I was healing and growing. My readers related and felt that they were not the only ones.

Then, life happened. Life always gets in the way of my growth and my intentions. Sometimes I just have to pause certain aspects of life in order to deal with life in general.

It is a vicious cycle…I pause life in order to deal; yet, the very things that I pause are the things that help me deal.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

It’s not so much that I get writers block… it’s that I get life blocked!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Death Grip

My son has gone through a situation that has hurt me to the core to watch him experience. I tried so hard NOT to prepare the path… but to prepare him for this path. But, I finally came to terms with the fact that the path wasn’t a barricade that he couldn’t get through, but a hurdle he needed to jump. The situation was not appropriate for my son to continue enduring. I had to make some difficult choices and advocate for what I felt was right for him. I had to detour him off that particular path.

While my son was struggling on his path I had a death grip on him. I went into protection mode. I held onto my son…tightly. He is the monkey bars and my white knuckles are holding on for dear life… afraid to let go… afraid to fall to the ground below… afraid of how to handle the fact that I might slip. One finger at a time. I had pressed my own fingerprints into him. My white knuckles left an impression.

With the detour behind us, we are now working on separating ourselves… he the monkey bar and me the holder. I am peeling my white knuckles back one by one. It feels so good to release my grip. I let my arms extend, fingers release, and I drop down from the monkey bars… separated. I lay there on the ground on my back… staring up at the bars above me… gazing at the blue sky… reminiscing about where we were, where we are now, and where we will go from here… separate; yet, together.

He is free from my mommy death grip because I know his path is safe again. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Fish CAN Climb a Tree

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~Albert Einstein

My son is a fish and I love him just as he was made. Just because he is a fish doesn’t mean he can’t climb a tree though. He has to work a lot harder at it than other children. Unfortunately, in our educational system tree climbing is the only way to the top.  So, I literally made my fish climb a tree. We have two big oak trees in our backyard.  

He kept saying, “I can’t!”

I said, “You can!”

He said, “I’m afraid!”

I said, “You are not allowed to be afraid of a tree!”

He said, “I can’t!”

I said, “You’ve got this!”

He got up into the tree. Then, he froze and the tears came. He told himself he couldn’t. I reminded him he could. With shaking knees, he finally got down.

So, I made him go back up into the tree. Then, again. And, again. Until finally… he was confident. Until finally… my fish CAN climb a tree.

He began to say, “I can!”

He said, “I’ve got this!”

We had a long talk about how life is just like that big oak tree. Sometimes we see something really big in front of us… really scary. If we keep telling ourselves we can’t… then, we can’t. If we keep telling ourselves that we can… then, we can. No matter what, I told him, he’s got this! All he has to do is believe in himself.

He is a fish in a tree climbing world!