Coping and Vulnerability

4 years ago by in Coaching, Parenting Tagged: , , ,

In this website of mine, there is a page entitled “About The Parenting Geek” in which I tell you a bit about the experience and qualifications that lead me to become a school counselor and to set up my business in which I coach and teach children, parents and families.

Here are some other bits to tell you about me though and it’s really quite scary to tell you about them.

  • I really like things to be organised and clear. Mess completely does my head in and I find it hard to function in conditions of chaos. I’m a stationery and list freak. I think it’s part of trying to be organised. I have a labeling machine and many things are labeled!
  • I get angry and short tempered at times. Sometimes I shout. Sometimes I throw things. Sometimes I swear and sometimes I grit my teeth and roar with anger through my clenched teeth.
  • I’m a procrastinator. I leave things until the last minute and then do some of the above angry, disorganized stuff whilst I race madly to the deadline.
  • I want you to like me.  I’m afraid that I’m dull and boring with nothing of interest to say to you. I’m too straight (a bit too white and nerdy) and worthy and that though you’ll like me you won’t choose to spend longer with me than you need to.
  • I very rarely feel like a grown up or like a woman. I feel more like a girl.
  • I lack in commonsense and practicality. I used to sew the name labels on my children’s school uniform all the way around until a friend asked why I didn’t just sew the two short ends. I’d never though of that.
  • I sometimes feel very lonely in a group of people. I’m smiled at and talked to, but somehow feel disconnected and not fully accepted or included and then I feel stupid, vulnerable, lonely and sad. I go home warm with shame at stupid things I said, a bit like the “I carried a watermelon” moment in Dirty Dancing.

And that is what this post is really about. It’s about vulnerability. It’s about the parts of self that cause shame or embarrassment.  It’s about the unfavorable comparisons made about ourselves.  It’s scary to talk about them.

What if you say so what? What if you think “I didn’t know she was like that. Sadcase?” What if you agree that I am boring and childish and  can now pinpoint why I’m nice but not enough to be your friend?

Well I’m afraid of all of those outcomes.

And yet here I am, airing my vulnerabilities for all to see and to comment upon.

Most parents who have ever come to work with me, or to meet and talk with me before I work with their child, have given me the gift of their courage. They have come and told me the story of their family as they see it. They tell me the problem their child or family is suffering with. They tell me the things they fear are their fault. They tell me why they think they may be to blame for the problems and the fears they have for the future if things stay the same. How scary is that? How amazing are they? VERY!

We create an image to show to the world. We cover up our soft, vulnerable underbelly and we try and fit in and look like all is fine. And everyone who does this gives the impression that they are coping. People in similar circumstances think they should also be able to cope. They feel weakness and failure for not doing as well as others.

So should we air every woe and trouble and fear and problem with everyone? Of course not. In fact if you do so randomly and constantly on Facebook I might unfriend you! For each type of issue you are dealing with in life, there are appropriate and inappropriate ways and people to share it with. The trick is to find the right person for you to share that issue with. You may have a friend you can tell all about the issues you have with your partner. You may have someone you go to with work worries.

I so admire the courage of the parents who speak of their fears, shame, vulnerability, mistakes, history, relationships and feelings. I am  honored when I am trusted to hear somebody’s story and for them to show me the vulnerability they have around it.

And in honour of the courage they show, the courage that is brought about by their deep desire to do the very best they can for their children, I take this small courageous step of my own and share some stuff that it is much more comfortable to keep hidden.

Let’s not habitually hide and try to look like we’re coping when we’re not, fellow parents; let’s connect. Let’s share and learn and support each other. Let’s be honest and open about the scary stuff and see how the connection and support of those we reach out to can nurture us.


You see me? I’m coping. Honestly.

I could do with a little help over here please.

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