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On Vulnerability


It is a difficult thing for me to allow myself to be vulnerable. I’ve always been of the thought of don’t let them kick you when you’re down by simply never showing that you’re down (not just a catchy blog name).  I practiced this for years and became quite a pro at it, if I do say so myself. At first, hiding my emotions was a survival mechanism, being held nearly captive for five years. Later, it became a way to escape myself and my own feelings. And now, I say I’m not good at it and that’s somewhat true, but I do it to make things easier on others or myself. But I’m not being my most authentic self when I do this. And that is bullshit.

I am writing this after spending a good part of the day crying. Not all out sobbing no sounds at all actually, just tears…endless fucking tears. Over what you ask? Eh, for now I will simply call it disappointment and frustration. I set my expectations pretty low and they were tampered with and thus let down pretty hard. I let myself down for getting caught up in something I gave up on and then found myself devastated when the reality I knew all along was once again brought to my attention. It’s almost like I mind fucked myself, only I wasn’t alone in it, but whatever it’s done.

I realized that I instantly didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want anyone to know. But then I felt so alone in all of these emotions and that is just no good. I mean, you can’t run from your own head, right?! Being unemployed is lonely enough on its own these days. When one emotion triggers more, it’s just not going to be a good day. I don’t want to bring others down, and I have a way of doing that when I get like this. I don’t live alone, so I try to get myself together before my husband comes home from work. To bombard him with all of this would be pretty messed up. Emotional ambush!

And I don’t exactly feel like talking this out, either. But I realized why and that is progress at least. I put a lot of stock into self-work. I have come a long way to become who I am today. I see now why I get so thrown when something happens and I am caught “off guard.” For instance, if I’m meeting up with someone and I get there and they didn’t tell me they were with or had invited another friend. I get really upset about this, I hide it like mad, but I get upset big time. It feels like betrayal, best as I can describe it. I like to mentally prepare for things and this simple omission can throw a monkey wrench into my day and even make me see that person differently. But then I wonder if I’m more on-guard than off lately. How authentically me can I be if I have my guard up?

And so I sit here in my very vulnerable state hoping for a better tomorrow or at the very least a better 2012 because this 2011 shit is too much for me. Part of being authentic is being vulnerable. I need to honor that. I need to feel it and let it just be. Fighting it only makes it worse and I feel all the worse for even trying. To accept myself is to accept the various emotions I have as well, regardless of what sparked or caused them. Hiding from them, pretending they don’t exist, will only take that much more self-work to get beyond later.

I did open up to one friend through email and she made me feel better. She gave me advice that I needed to hear: all your feelings are legitimate, but which of them are really about the other person and which are a product of everything else. And that is so true! I over think and over analyze and get so caught up in my own emotive-spiral that the world sort of falls away until I come out of it. Gawd, how many years did I live in that cloud?! Too many!!! Ugh! So I can just step back from the situation and emotions at hand and see that I am still me. The sky is not falling, I am not crazy and things will be okay. I always find a way to work things out, on my own or other wise. So be it.

Do you struggle with vulnerability? What has helped you? Thanks for reading.

posted under Blog, Bullshit, DIY, inspiration
13 Comments to

“On Vulnerability”

  1. On October 27th, 2011 at 5:38 am erylin Says:

    im on facebook all the time. if you need to drop me a line i will answer. hugs and light to you hun. trust me i have been there. we all have. i
    look at it like this… ahve to walk through them, experience them, or they will never go away. feel them experience them…then let them pass.

    like that poem in dune: I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

  2. On October 27th, 2011 at 9:14 am Not Blue at All Says:

    erylin: Thank you. And you’re right. I feel so much better today. I wrote this post yesterday.

  3. On October 27th, 2011 at 8:19 am Regina530 Says:

    Giving myself permission to fail, make mistakes, over-react. Because I know I’m going to do one or more of those things. It took me a long time to not beat myself to a pulp (internally) when things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to. It took some reprogramming of the dialogue in my head…in fact, I had to re-parent myself to achieve what I have so far. But, I’m still a work in progress, it just becomes more automatic.

    In regards to being vulnerable, I find that I am more guarded now as a 40 something. This is a good thing, because I was too vulnerable before. I got hurt over huge things, and hurt over little things. Learning when to be vulnerable (with ones you trust), but realizing that no ones perfect and you may still be hurt by that person, is a fine balance that needs constant revision.

    Just know that you’re a work in progress, and that’s ok because so is everyone else. 🙂

  4. On October 27th, 2011 at 9:15 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Regina530: Thank you, yes a work in progress and on a journey, too. <3

  5. On October 27th, 2011 at 10:39 am Patsy Nevins Says:

    This year, actually starting late last year, has been a bad, exhausting, stressful time for my family & for me personally & we are still dealing with some heavy shit now. Also, the holiday season has always been hellish difficult for me all my life. I do understand where you are coming from. I send you hugs & positive energy & good thoughts. I also hope that 2012 will be a much better year all around.

    Take care.

  6. On October 27th, 2011 at 10:51 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Patsy Nevins: Thanks, hun. Hugs right back at ya. And yeah, 2012 better be the awesomest

  7. On October 27th, 2011 at 2:12 pm withoutscene Says:

    I was just talking about vulnerability with another friend last night. I think it’s something I’ll be working on the rest of my life. We can work on it together!

    At any rate, I’m glad you’re feeling better today. Keep your chin up and I hope you take some pictures of your fab time tomorrow!

  8. On October 27th, 2011 at 2:23 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    withoutscene: Thank you! Thank you for the advice, for reading this, for commenting, for being a friend…cue the Golden Girls theme song! I love ya and will gladly work on anything with you darlin’!

  9. On October 27th, 2011 at 3:28 pm thirtiesgirl Says:

    Ach, I have issues with vulnerability every day, every minute. I was raised by a parent with borderline personality disorder, which is very similar to narcissism. It *isn’t* narcissism, but people with borderline personality disorder often act very similarly to the way someone with narcissism does. Which is to say that they literally can’t recognize anyone else’s feelings but their own. So I grew up in an environment where only one person’s feelings mattered (my mom’s), and learned that there was no point in trying to express my own. Over the years, this pattern helped create an adult who is *deeply* afraid of her feelings, doesn’t know how to articulate them well, cannot always identify how she is feeling in the moment, and often needs a lot of downtime/processing time to identify how she’s feeling. Like you, I get easily thrown by seemingly ‘minor’ and unexpected things, and often don’t handle my feelings in the best way in the moment. But I didn’t grow up with any training or examples to learn how to handle situations like that, so I’m not always the most adept at handling unexpected situations, especially ones that involve other people.

  10. On October 27th, 2011 at 4:02 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    thirtiesgirl: Yes. I totally get what you’re saying. I don’t know what mental issues my mother has/had, but I couldn’t know because she pretty much ignored us. Being the oldest, I didn’t have room for emotions a lot of the time. And crying was seen as something that must end immediately in our house. Ugh. Thank you so much, hun, for opening up here and sharing your experiences. <3

  11. On October 28th, 2011 at 8:07 am Dee Says:

    I just wanted to chime in and offer my support. I’m looking for a job, too. It’s boring and lonely and depressing. Showing vulnerability is really hard for me too – REALLY hard. But I’ve been hiding way too much lately. That’s what I do when I’m feeling hopeless. I used to hide more in books, and now it’s more on the net. Not all my online activity is escapist, but I’ve been feeling like too much of it is lately.

  12. On October 28th, 2011 at 8:46 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Dee: YES. I’ve been hiding myself away, too. When I get out and get social I feel better, but I can’t do that everyday. Too poor. And with everyone else working, schedules do conflict. Thanks.

  13. On October 28th, 2011 at 8:13 am Dee Says:

    thirtiesgirl – wow. That sounds a lot like me. My dad has some kind of mental issue (undiagnosed). I used to think maybe it was bipolar disorder. Then I read the description of narcissistic personality disorder and it fit him to a T. Anyway, he is incredibly self obsessed and arrogant, and he also doesn’t recognise anyone’s feelings but his own. He was abusive, definitely emotionally and borderline physically. It saved my life when my mom left him and took my brother and me with her when I was 11, and I’ve been sort of gradually healing from the experience ever since then.

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