Accidental Explosions of Shame

Accidental Explosions of Shame

We had an accident this week. Another car turned into me, and my van ended up under the car. I saw it coming and braced myself for the impact; the kids didn’t know what was about to happen.

Our accident on 1/13/2021. Picture Credit: Trevor Patchett

After the shock wore off, and they were safe with a family friend who happened to drive by, Baby realized this was awesome! He got to talk to a police officer, had a fire fighter look at his tummy, see a tow truck pull a car off his van, AND visit the hospital! I’m glad that the awesomeness replaced the fear.

Sometimes, after I’ve had a freak out moment, I wonder what kind of shock I’ve put my kids through. Do they feel like they were just in a wreck that come out of nowhere? Were there warning signs? Have they been bracing for impact for a while?

Chapters 3-6 of Unglued address the type of unglued we can be. I didn’t realize there was more than one type. For a quick (seven question) assessment, visit Lysa’s site here to learn your type. My primary response is to be an exploder who shames herself.

Shameful Exploding

This Friday the kids left for two hours. I had two hours alone — well, alone with my long To Do list. As I struggled downstairs with an overloaded laundry basket, I realized part of the pain I was feeling in my chest wasn’t from the accident. Perhaps it was from holding onto the shame of my reactions to the week.

It started with the accident. Trying to find the important things before it was all towed away was stressful. Looking for gloves and backpacks in the mess of French fries and wrappers and lunch containers that should have been brought in the house weeks ago set my teeth on edge. The following day, I went to the wrecking yard to get the rest of our personal things. Embarrassment at all the junk that was in the van took over. “This is ridiculous!” I caught myself saying. Multiple times.

When we got home, I took a look around the living room. The random socks, the wrappers from candy, homework pages. We were supposed to have people over in a hour for a birthday party, and it was a mess! I yelled. Then felt bad; it was supposed to be a birthday celebration. And, we had just had an accident the night before.

I wish I could say I extended grace and didn’t yell. But, I yelled. I threw the random things to the middle of the room. Then demanded they put it away by the time I counted to ten. There was a bit of a tense undertone at the start of the party.

Friday evening, I felt the shame overwhelm. The state of the van BEFORE the accident, the messiness of the house. The long list of things to clean or organize. The yelling – again. Then I remembered the Grace Steps.

Grace Steps

Remember these from last week? Yeah, I’m still getting the hang of using them everyday. Lysa calls it imperfect progress, and I’m going to hold on to that!

  1. Identify the label/lie: This place is a disaster! I’m a mess in so many ways!
  2. View circumstances as a call to action: We need to review the job chart and make some adjustments. It wouldn’t hurt to go through the things we own and get rid of those that are no longer serving us.
  3. Take action: I pulled down the job chart and put it on my list of To Do with a higher priority than laundry, but lower than grocery shopping. Then, I checked Mary’s Declutter challenge to see what tasks were coming up next week. Finally, I gave myself grace for not having it all together — especially this week. I ran a hot bath, turned on some music, and pulled out a book. Here is the song that came on first:

Call to Action

Part of my goal is teaching the kids the grace steps. Sunday is the day set aside for that. After Church, after rest time, when we are calmed down and ready to talk.

First off, take a minute to take Lysa’s test. Next, let’s try to work on the grace steps together this week. If you are brave enough, leave me one of the lies/labels that you most often catch yourself saying in your unglued moments. What are you saying to yourself that needs to be changed?

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