Feb 15, 2021 — Yesterday, we woke up to deeply sub-freezing temps here in Austin, as well as a crazy amount of snow covering the already present ice. Being un-used to (or in complete denial?) of the extremity of the weather, we had neglected to drip the faucets. Fortunately, we still had power, but now the water was not flowing. The panic was fierce and immediate! What? How could we be so stupid and irresponsible? It’s not as if the storm “came out of nowhere in the night” and just surprised us! Foolish!
So if you mix panic with shame…
The result is not a happy place, lemme tell you!
When you’re in a crazy storm of panic stew and sprinkle on a few layers of shameful regret…this is not the time for your best thinking nor logical decision making!
Helpful: “what can we do?”
Not helpful: “how could we have been so stupid??”
Helpful: “let’s look it up on Youtube”
Not helpful: “omg we should have KNOWN BETTER!”
When you’re in a “situation” that you feel that could have been avoided easily, it’s even more difficult to work your way out because you’re trapped under the “blanket of shame” (which is a powerfully strong force, I’m telling you!)
I’m reminded of a time back in about 2008 when we went to the Pecan Street festival here in Austin. It’s a fun time showcasing art vendors, music, food, kid entertainment, all lined up and down 6th street (previously named Pecan Street). The boys were young: 3, 6, and 8 I believe. It was quite crowded, (remember those days??) but we were enjoying the activities, including the treats: ice cream and frozen bananas. We had just gotten each boy an cup of italian ice or something similar and I purchased a frozen banana dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts. When I turned around, Dillon had just vanished into thin air. I couldn’t lay my eyes on him anywhere.
Oh, the mamas’ hearts reading this…you KNOW EXACTLY how I felt! And how easily and quickly you mentally go into “worst case scenario” of kidnapping and worse. There is no rational thought at this point. Each second that goes by compounds that gut-wrenching feeling and your bodily functions are like being under water, except your heart rate and breathing which are overfunctioning.
“How could we be so IRRESPONSIBLE??? How could his brothers just let him wander off? How could we…??”
Now enters the Blanket of Shame. When the Blanket of Shame is on the scene, you are 10 times more likely to not do the EXACT thing you need to do to start solving the situation:
ASK FOR HELP.
ASK FOR SOME FREAKING HELP!
But we don’t! We sit on our hands thinking, “no one else is this stupid, so we can’t let on that we are this stupid. If we ask for help, then we are admitting that we are so stupid and let ourselves get into this situation that only super stupid people would get themselves into!”
Have you been there???
After realizing that we were not finding him quickly enough in this public event full of nefarious types that wanted to abscond with my beautiful, perfect child…we at last, sought the help of the nearest APD officer. Within minutes, of course, they found him, sitting on the curb eating his Italian ice, not in some unmarked van with creepy child-abductors.
What a welcome moment when I got the text, “We found him.” As quickly as I could, I met up with them so I could wrap my arms around my baby and LITERALLY never let him out of my sight again!!! I still remember that moment of seeing him after having been CERTAIN he’d been abducted and sold off into some horrible life of…let’s just say that I immediately donated the tshirt he’d been wearing that day because it only reminded me of that HORRIFIC day!
I suffered longer than I needed to because SHAME stood in the way of action.
Back to the winter-storm-no-water situation. We felt deep shame that we didn’t drip our faucets KNOWING that the temperatures were dropping. We felt shame that we had power yet were so irresponsible to let the pipes freeze. FOOLISH IDIOTS! After a Youtube search led us to take some measures involving hair dryers and space heaters, I realized I’d likely need to shut off the water to the house.
Ummmm, and how does one do that????? Time to ask for help!! Why was it so hard? Why did it feel SHAMEFUL to not know how to turn off the water to the house? Because it did.
My handyman had the answers, which led us to solve the issue (bypass the water softener!) and halle-freakin-luia…the WATER CAME BACK ON!!!
Would you expect others to know everything? No way!
Would you ever shame people for needing to ask for help? Not a chance!
SO get over it for yourself! (or try!) (it’s not easy, but awareness is a good first step)
We are better together. I can’t say that enough times!!!!
Let’s band together and get through hard thing, ok??