If you know me at all in a deep way, you know how hard that is. You know I’m not one to share my feelings, or cry, or show vulnerability. Or if I do any of those things, it’s in a very controlled environment, in which I only show you exactly what I want you to see. I guess those who’ve known me the longest and best have seen me vulnerable at one time or another, like when my dad died, but I’d bet they could count on one hand the times they’ve seen me “lose it.” I’m a very rational person. I do things with and for reason, and while I pretend to not care what people think about me, I’m in fact thinking about that all the time. I want people to think certain things of me. I want them to think I’m intelligent, put-together, responsible, self-sufficient, strong. I panic inside and endlessly obsess when I perceive someone might think otherwise. I don’t get embarrassed by spilling coffee on a white shirt, toilet paper on my shoe, or tripping over my own two feet. But I can.not.handle.it when I misspeak, misinform, or appear weak in any shape or form. (Except physically…I’m super weak physically, and not at all interested in the gym.)
I made a sort of “new years resolution” (after the fact) to show more vulnerability. I want to be ok with not being perfect. Not just saying, “I know I’m far from perfect!” because that’s my way of controlling the situation. Letting you know I know I’m not perfect is “strong.” It doesn’t leave me vulnerable, because it shows I’m wise and together enough to know my own shortcomings. But it’s not real. In my heart and in my head I need you to think I’m pretty near perfect. But I think I’m getting exhausted. And lonely. Who really knows me? Like knows me. My mom does. She knows I’m emotional, even moody quite often. She’s seen me at my worst and my best, and she thinks I’m wonderful (???). But even her I tend to protect from my weaknesses. Not as much because I need her to think I’m perfect, but because I feel like I have to be strong for her. She needs me to support her with some things in her life that bring her down on a regular basis. I’m 34…I don’t need my mom to keep taking care of me…it’s my turn. So I don’t break down on her, ‘cause she doesn’t need that.
What I really want is a husband. I want someone to come home to, someone to cry to when it becomes beyond what I can hold in. But how the EFF does a girl like me get involved with someone, when I can’t even “reveal” myself (be vulnerable) with my very best friends? How do I ever become the kind of person who can share her life with someone? I guess that’s why I’m trying to be more vulnerable this year. Trying to cry when I’m really sad, trying to call someone when I really need to hear a human voice. I’m trying to say what I think and ask questions, even when I’m afraid I’m going to look or sound dumb. I’m trying not to attempt to control what people think of me, and trying not to let what they might think consume me. Instead of being strong and independent and pretending like being alone is exactly what I want, I’m trying to just be real and honest and open.
This is not an easy transition. I guess changing who you are, or who you’ve maybe been your whole life never is. Sometimes it doesn’t feel worth it. Sometimes I just long and pray and hope that Home is right around the corner. Sometimes it just feels like it’s too hard. I think that’s why I like being an ICU nurse…the people I see on a daily basis have real, tangible problems. They’re sick, sometimes close to death, sometimes they even die, and it distracts me from all the inside stuff that doesn’t have a quick-fix. It distracts me from me.
I never know how to end these things. So I guess I’ll go back to the old elementary school formula. “In conclusion,” I’m working toward vulnerability. The lack of it is the root of most of my problems in life. I thank God for revealing this to me at some point recently, because I’m 34 and finally kind of know what I’m working with. I probably need counseling to build some tools for being able to talk about my feelings, so if you’re the praying kind and you’re reading this, pray that in ultimate vulnerable fashion I would find myself some kind of therapist. And thanks…cause if you’re reading this, you maybe read those old posts and you probably know me better than most, which makes me feel a lot less alone.