Vulnerability And Honesty

I don’t know how some people do this. I don’t know how people that I admire are able to share the truth about their pasts. Maybe it’s because their past is past and by the time they are sharing it with the world they have already healed.

I read stories of men and women that found sobriety after hitting rock bottom with drugs and alcohol. I read about how they started small and built up their lives one step at a time and now they feel like they are here to live life out loud and stand in their truth.

There is no reason to hide. We all suffer. We all carry pain and things that we are ashamed of.

And we don’t have to.

I realized this morning I carry a lot of armor with me. And it’s heavy and I am tired of it.

I carry it to prevent myself from making real relationships because I am terrified if people get too close that they will leave.

I carry it because I have shame about…well, the things that I am ashamed of. I am afraid that people won’t like me if they know the truth about me.

And the funny thing is that I believe that we really connect when we are honest, open, and willing to allow each other to be who we really are. I believe that I have a story with sharing, and I think I have it in me to be brave enough to tell it.

I think that having empathy for each other and kindness is what the world needs. (Hm, this song is now stuck in my head)

And I want that in my relationships- no matter what kind of relationship whether it’s friendship or romantic.

And I wish some of my issues were obvious like I have a drinking and drug problem. Unfortunately some of my issues are really deep down and hidden. I am really clever with some of my faults, I have been working with them so long that I don’t even realize I do it.

I was adopted as a baby and my dad died when I was 14. I have always been driven, competitive and an over-achiever. And when my dad died, I wasn’t any different. I went back to school because perfect attendance was important to me (I don’t know why, I guess I thought it was a thing of pride since I had always had perfect attendance. I never got sick, and I never would get sick. I guess I thought this would look good on college applications?)

I decided that responsibility was more important.

I also decided that everyone leaves and abandons me. Whether they choose to or not. People that mean a lot to me leave. Besides, it is really important to me that I am independent and not relying on a man to rescue me.

And of course if you look hard enough, you can make that reality.

I date the wrong men. I don’t let the right ones close. I keep them at an arm’s length. I don’t let people really get inside. And it takes me a long time to get to know anyone, even friends.

I push people away in a subtle way. It’s so subtle, I don’t even know I am doing it. I don’t physically run away, I actually do the opposite. I get really excited about again, I reveal certain things that make us feel very close. And then I get upset when things don’t go perfectly and I drive a wedge between me and the guy.

I expect the moon and the stars and get disappointed when it doesn’t happen.

So that’s the subtle thing that I do, I repel actual intimacy.

I don’t think that I have actually overcome this yet. Especially because I only recently discovered how subtly I do some of this. I don’t think that it’s something that you flip a switch and it’s fixed. I guess it’s going to take work.

And I guess it’s also going to take me being vulnerable with someone that is willing to be vulnerable with me and willing to see the stuff that I am ashamed of and meet me with empathy.

So, I guess that all comes back to me picking a worthy guy. So, wish me luck with that.

And then there are the things that I am ashamed of that go beyond just relationships.  But I feel a little like I am binging on vulnerability, and do not want to wake up with a vulnerability hangover later.

So maybe one step at a time. Maybe I share the other stuff another day.


13 thoughts on “Vulnerability And Honesty

  1. Don’t be so harsh on yourself. It happens all the time. You are definitely not alone. I am sure you being the determined and driven one, will let go of all the baggage and will overcome of all these. I am sure you will find the one you are compatible with. Good Luck !

  2. The fact that you open up in your blog shows strength of progress in opening up emotionally. I definitely feel like I can connect with a lot of what you share in your writing. Also, being aware of one’s faults is the first step to self-improvement. 🙂

  3. I’ve finally started dating again. This time I decided to loose the whole tip-toe in and just plunge into complete openness… I’m an advocate for Authentic Living – This means being present within yourself, as well as connecting to the outside without moving to fix what you feel or what someone else feels (in other words, being empathetic at all times).

    If I had not been who am in the most RAW vulnerable way I could, I can honestly say that I would not be connected in the most intimate way to a rather (surprising) extraordinary woman.

    I know that being open and vulnerable is the most scary thing…even now as my new relationship unfolds in ways that I could never imagine (but have yearned for, for YEARS), and the openness I share with this very special woman grows, I can honestly say I’m scared SHITLESS!

    BUT! The reward is an actual connection to a real person, rather than a fake shell. I recommend first being completely open to yourself, sit with your emotions and FEEL them. You don’t need to FIX anything, just let yourself BE. The rest will come. The broken bits inside us are sometimes our most delicate, fragile and yet beautiful facets, and we invest too much in seeking an answer on how to fix or overcome some past pain, when really, all you need to do is honour the experience (even if you haven’t figured out what you could learn from it).

    Remember, you are beautiful. Inside and outside no matter what the world says.
    You are strong! Fear is just what we hide from when we don’t understand.
    Being SCARED! Can empower you to move towards what frightens you and lead to wonderful surprises. (It has given me, my dream woman. An illusive unicorn that I was quite ready to give up on, and yet keep searching for).
    Revel in your shattered-ness! It makes you unique and able to grow and connect in ways that will thrill you.

    When you are open to yourself, you can easily know someone who will accept you, “Just as you are”. And respect your most intimate broken bits.`

    I wish you well on your journey 🙂

    • Thank you. I read your comment while I was at work yesterday and didn’t have a chance to reply. Your post made me feel so lucky to have such wonderful readers. I love hearing that you’ve found a relationship that makes you happy and makes you feel scared. I know that feeling scared is always a sign that you’re moving in the right direction. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your story. 🙂

  4. One of my favorite quotes:
    “Venerability is the core of shame, fear, & struggle for worthiness but also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, & love.” –Brene Brown
    If you want to hear the lecture & explanation it comes from, it’s called Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability. (Powerful explanation of connection, shame, worth…venerability.) Here’s the link:

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