What is vulnerability to you?
Is it sharing any kind of personal information? Is it crying in front of someone?
I’ve never had a problem sharing personal information. In fact, it was something that drove my mom nuts. When I went to a mental hospital at 17, she didn’t want anyone to know. She called a handful of people and basically threatened lives telling people not to let it get out. And then she was horrified when I was like …I’m… not going to pretend this didn’t happen… Maybe that’s what made me that way? I was broken down to my lowest point and I just looked around and saw so many people around me struggling too and thought… wait… we are all here, yet we all feel alone. Why? Why are we living in a world that makes us feel alone?
When we found out we were infertile, I was open. When we started fostering and it was hard, I was open. Those things aren’t vulnerability to me. In fact, I have a really hard time understanding why people don’t talk about that stuff more. Why that isn’t just… normal conversation? Life is hard, we all struggle, why don’t we just talk about it? Right? Am I the only one that feels that way? I hope not.
Does that mean that I don’t have moments of vulnerability? Of course not. I guess mine just looks different. Mine is admitting defeat at something I had full power over, like going back on my medication. Or like having the gastric bypass surgery. Lately I’ve challenged myself to push through something else that makes me feel extremely vulnerable… that’s texting a friend when my self esteem is at a 0% and just flat out saying how I feel. When I sent the following text, I cringed so hard at myself. I hated that I sent it because I haaaaaaaaaated that I was so needy. But I sent it anyway because I needed what I knew she’d say more than I needed my pride. Because I was crying and I was telling myself lies about myself and I simply can’t stand living this way anymore. I can’t let my inner jerk win anymore because it exhausts me. [excuse my typo, gahhhh leave me alone]
Here’s what my mind does: it’ll pop up randomly in the middle of a perfectly fine day and say, “Hey, no one has texted you today… probably because your stupid jokes have gotten old. Do you think people get tired of you? I bet they get real tired of feeling like they have to hang out with you so much… probably feel like they have to because they know you have mental health issues. They’re afraid if they tell you no you’ll have some kind of episode.” There’s much more… but I’ll just leave it at that. And man, that is an exhausting person to live with in your mind. I pray none of you have to live with that. If you do though, you aren’t alone.
So, here’s my question for you – do you have someone besides a significant other that you can be vulnerable with? Is there a friend that you can send a text like this to? I know it might seem like something you couldn’t do, because trust me, a year ago… heck, even a few months ago, I would have never done this… but you can. You can and you should. And you need it to be someone whose response you know in your heart isn’t something they’re “just saying”. I know that she means what she said. How? Because she’s sent needy texts to me too. My challenge is for you to find someone. Find someone and send a text that says, “Hey. I’m going to need you to build me up on my really crappy days sometimes, okay? It might be 4pm on a Thursday and you’re just going to have to roll with it, okay? Because I struggle, and frankly I need someone and I want that someone to be you.” And if that person is like, “Ew, get off me.” Then kick that jerk to the curb. You just did yourself a real favor.
Okay, this is starting to get weirdly hostile.