Have you ever tried to push a bad thought out of your mind, but it just kept coming back? How about being anxious about something in the future, but even when you tell yourself ‘I’ll deal with it later,’ the thought pops right back into your brain? Sometimes negativity and unprocessed feelings result in a shame boomerang; no matter how far you throw them away, they just keep coming back.
I’ve dealt with shame boomerangs for my whole life. I would try to forget about mean things people said about my weight, but they bounced right back into my mind time and time again. I wanted to repress the times I embarrassed myself, or was deathly socially awkward- but the memories kept flying right back at me, slapping me in the face.
I’ve made a lot of process with my past using EMDR. I find the more work I do reprocessing old trauma, the amount of painful flashbacks decreases.
That doesn’t stop current day boomerangs.
I deal with a lot of stay at home mom guilt. Every single day I feel bad that the house isn’t clean enough, but I also feel bad when the baby spends too much time in her pack and play while I clean. With only my husband bringing in income, I second guess every purchase- even food and household necessities. I spend the whole drive back from the grocery store beating myself up over how much I just spent. There’s also a huge misconception that because I stay home with Anna, I have a ton of time on my hands. At first people were very supportive of my weight loss, now they want to know why I don’t spend my whole day working out since “I’m just at home all day anyways.”
These thoughts, this shame- it doesn’t just hurt when I experience it initially. My boomerangs come back all day long, sometimes for weeks at a time.. And there are new boomerangs added daily.
In order to avoid feeling like a boomerang juggler, I’m finding that I need to process and resolve the shame as soon as I can. Don’t put off for later what you can process right now. Spending time with Anna/ putting her in the play pen and our financial woes are themes that aren’t going away anytime soon, but I can still process the small events. When I leave the grocery store, I have to accept that the financial decisions I made were necessary, and my worrying will never bring the price of milk down. Sometime money just has to be spent. I also have the ability to make daily choices regarding my time balance with Anna, the trick is to make a smart decision and stand by it.
Shame boomerangs are solved by being more confident in your initial decisions, processing negativity as it appears, and taking care of things in a timely fashion. Don’t let yourself be buried by all the things you put off dealing with.. They’ll always come back to haunt you. Face it now, be strong today, take steps to make it a better tomorrow.
With healthy hearts,
Kate and the Kids.