Thursday, February 24, 2011

shame & hormones thursday.

shame & hormones . . . should not be your cocktail of choice.

trust me on this.

ok, so not to tmi you to death,
but i think i may be, at 43.5yo,

can i get a woohoo?
um, no.
more like an ew. boo.

the strongest evidence of this possibility
are the utterly random extreme-hormone days
i'm experiencing a few times monthly.

& by "extreme-hormone," i of course mean
fear. me.

picture a terriblehorriblenogoodverybad pms day
on steroids.

so, i had one last weekend.

on the inside, i felt inexplicably & uncontrollably
resentful, rageful & overwhelmed.

on the outside, i sobbed, sniped, snarled, slammed
& basically behaved as if my husband
was a walking, talking bullseye &
it was my day for target practice.

the next day, i felt ok again.
& i'm sure my husband was relieved
to be able to breathe again.

i felt awful about my behavior,
about being so horrid toward him,
about being so all-over-the-place crazy.

but i didn't apologize.
i didn't try to explain.
i didn't do anything.

except pretend it didn't happen.
on the outside, anyway.
on the inside, it was still with me.

so, a few days pass, & i'm reading
the amazing brené brown's book,
the gifts of imperfection.

& i come to the section titled
"cultivating self-compassion/
letting go of perfectionism."

& i read this:
where perfectionism exists, shame is always lurking.
shame is the birthplace of perfectionism.

now, i know i'm a perfectionist.
[why do you think i'm reading this book?]
but shame . . . such an ugly word.

shame, i haven't claimed.

& according to the brilliant dr. brown,
when we don't claim shame,
it claims us.

& suddenly, a little lightbulb goes
*bling!* right above my noggin.

& suddenly, i realize i'm not
talking about my "episode" with my husband,
not apologizing for it,
not even acknowledging it,
because i don't just feel guilty about it . . .

i am ashamed of myself for it.

i am ashamed not only of the way i behaved,
but also of the way i felt.

ashamed that i couldn't control myself.

ashamed that i couldn't control
my emotions, my hormones,
my involuntary physiological volatility.

& i say to myself, seriously, kristen?
seriously, you are carrying shame
because you can't control
the mysterious inner workings of
your hormone-producing organs?


this, ladies & gentlemen,
is perfectionism
at its insidious worst.

feeling shameful & inadequate
because you can't control
innately incontrollable things.

& then, i read this:
our imperfections are not inadequacies;
they are reminders that we're all in this
together. imperfectly, but together.

ok. i am imperfect. i am not inadequate.
& hormones sky-high or hormones rock-bottom,
we're all in this together.

my beautiful family & i
are all in this together.
imperfectly, but together.

& i feel like i get it.
for now. for today.
until another "reminder" rolls around.

& i feel a little better.

& i hope my husband reads my blog. :)

image source: david a. wright.

1 comment:

Scotty said...

(first off, the picture is fantastic).

As someone who lives with low testosterone, i sympathize with the roller coaster, and the craziness ofcwatching yourself behave in ways you can't stop.

It's good that you can recognize your imperfections, but you should no more feel shame for being frightened (by strange noises in the night, for example). Nor for any other natural response your body is hard-wired for.

Saying you're sorry is probably one if those things that sets us apart from the animals - and is just one the things that makes you the fabulous gal you are.