I’ve been thinking a lot about vulnerability.
About being truly vulnerable.
It was in the forefront of my heart and mind yesterday when I sat and listened to over 20 people share their stories, standing fiercely in a place of vulnerability and give us their words. *(I’ll share more on this tomorrow)
I was on a connected plane of empathy with them because I have found myself in a place thick with vulnerability lately. With all the whiplash change that has happened in my “Plan” the past few weeks, I’ve really felt raw. . . as if my armor had been stripped and everyone was Instagramming my shame.
One tiny chink in the armor, one tiny hiccup and before I knew it, I was questioning everything. I’m questioning myself, my abilities as a student and as a girlfriend and as a friend and as a daughter and as a sister…you get the picture. I’m questioning, and then I begin doubting.
I’ve had a few weeks of this, and feeling like I couldn’t talk about it. Couldn’t write about it. Because really, one more thing? One more thing that isn’t going right and here I am bitching about it? One more thing that someone else has done wrong, one more thing that I’m not happy about. . . my fear, my ultimate fear is that you will leave. You will leave. Mark will leave. Everyone will leave. It’s scar tissue that is inflamed and throbbing. It’s irrational and can put a pit in my stomach faster than the sound of that belt could…whipping through the belt loops and heading my way for a spankin’ years and years ago. That kind of a pit. Unshakeable.
During these moments, seized in shame and just raw fear, my scar tissues flair, and I need reassurance. I need some extra.
Yet I do not ask for it. I do not say, please…I need this.
I gunnysack. I list. I manipulate every movement into an unintended slight. I loose sleep. I cry. I emotionally eat. And if there is nothing whatsoever going wrong? I’ll find something.
I hate this version of me. I hate her. She is desperate and clingy and needy. She is mean and cold and joyless. I have nothing nice to say about her. I don’t know where she comes from. What I do know, is that she is vulnerable. And being vulnerable is an uncomfortable thing. It is scary and painful.
What I finally did was dig up the courage to word vomit, to just break the seal and say the things that had started my spiral into the land of stink.
Mars. Venus. What a bunch of crap.
Total on the money crap.
Communication. When something blocks the communication, when something clogs the words…things start to back up. And if communication is clogged during a time of vulnerability in any other area of life…Lord help the man.
With one simple exchange, I went from a knot-filled, tension-wired time bomb, to someone who believed in everything again. Someone who could breathe easier, and felt like a *mountain of support just arrived on the doorstep.
*it had always been there, btw.
I want to say how lucky I feel, how lucky that I know I am, to have someone walking this road with me who is patient, and willing to do the work and learn with me how to navigate this communication thing. Someone who will listen to my stories because he
hasn’t gone away because he is here to listen.
Vulnerability isn’t a bad thing. Brene Brown tells us that “Vulnerability is the birthplace for connection, love, and change.”
This is the motto that I have for our Listen To Your Mother cast.
I can’t wait to tell you about them. But first, I needed to tell you about this. And to tell you that at the end of the day I may not know where I’m going, or how I’m going to pay for it, but I know that I’m not alone.