Vulnerability & Other Stuff

Published on 12 December 2021 at 11:38

I wish a good Sunday evening to everyone who reads these words. The holiday season is upon us, and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and a Happy Kwanzaa!

The holidays have proven to be very hard for those grieving the loss of a loved one. I lost my mother in late July (the last day of the month) and getting through Thanksgiving was somewhat challenging. So, while I am hoping Christmas will be better, I already have anxiety. My anxiety spans a few different reasons. First, I miss my mother, and that's the biggest one.

Another is that my family usually spends the holidays together, and since our mother's passing, we have not. So, Thanksgiving was very different this year, and it was heartbreaking. I don't want Christmas to be sad.

The saddest part about all of this is that I am considered one of the strong ones. No one thinks that I am not okay. I present as okay, even when I'm not. No one thinks to check in on the person they think is okay because they watch them steamroll over obstacles time and time again. People are only allowed to see the strong side because once I allow you to see the whole me and be vulnerable, you are then in a position to possibly hurt me. I've been hurt enough times to know that it is not a pleasant feeling, and I'm not too fond of it. Therefore, I avoid it. It's the truth. Being vulnerable is one of the scariest things in the world for the "strong one."

The dictionary definition of vulnerable is to be susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.

Being vulnerable means communicating when you are scared, hurt, need help, don't know something, etc. And in the mind of the "strong one," all you are thinking is, "why would I ever put myself out there like that" to just get let down, played, looked over, or betrayed. Fear of vulnerability does not apply only to grieving. It can apply across a spectrum of things and situations. Friends, relationships, jobs, business partnerships can all be affected by a person's ability to be vulnerable in certain areas of their life.

The inability to be vulnerable leads to many "unable to" other stuff. If you can't open up, you can't be a good friend. Being unable to open up will cost you relationships and maybe even a job. Perhaps being vulnerable is understanding that being hurt or disappointed is an unavoidable part of life that we must all learn have to navigate. It doesn't mean that we have to like it or can always avoid it. We also probably should use a little more discernment with whom we decide to allow into our lives that intimately.

I said all that to say, I'm still learning how to do this, and the shit is hard (set-backs and all).

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