The Softer Side of Me

3 Oct

Last week on facebook I updated my status voicing my concern about feeling insecure about a fashion show I have to do later this month, and the reactions I received were surprising. I had friends calling and trapping me in the corner at church completely baffled. “You…insecure??? What??? But that’s not even YOU!”. I laughed. I laughed a good, hearty laugh, but also a melancholy one.

Ever since I was a kid being raised by a quasi-single mother (I lived with my mother, but my father (who she was never married to, and isn’t my birth father) helped raise me) taught me to be strong and not-so-much vulnerable without really meaning to. There were times when we struggled in our relationship where I had to depend on me. There was only me. I was an only child and I didn’t have a sibling to lean on, so whenever I dealt with something, I dealt with it by myself. Over the years I have never really noticed that I still do this. What I have noticed is that my closest relationships are with the friends I made during my volunteer time at the DC Rape Crisis Center because, let’s be honest, that was a pretty heart wrenching, emotionally thick place where everyone was vulnerable at one time or another. There was a bond of trust amongst us that isn’t easily found in those you meet everyday. However, even they don’t REALLY know me. Not the nitty gritty, bare bones of me. Mainly because I trained myself from the time I was a child to say “this too shall pass”. Since I had to deal with things on my own, I’ve never really been comfortable with relying on others emotionally. I don’t even know if I know how to. When I try, it feels very uncomfortable. I think a part of me would rather be completely alone and without friends than open and let them see some of those vulnerable sides of me.

Another reason I’m so cut off is because I’ve tried a time or two to open up to others, but because it didn’t come when they desired for it to, or it wasn’t packaged the way they wanted it to be, it wasn’t received and once again I was that little girl with mommy issues that shut down emotionally. That just taught me that yeah, I should just keep things to myself, deal with my own issues. I thought I was ok with that, until I saw how it was affecting my friendships.

There are few friendships where I feel comfortable showing that there are times when I am vulnerable, there are times when I’m completely unsure of myself. I have no problem knowing that I am insecure at times. Overall my self esteem is incredibly healthy. However, I am human lol. I think it’s so funny that some people think that even I can’t feel insecure. I can. I honestly can. I just find it hard to let people in enough to see it. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen though.

My hope for the rest of 2009 is to learn to open up to my friends more. I am not responsible for their reactions, and I cannot personalize it no matter how much it personally hurts, or disturbs me when they don’t give back to me what I need in those moments. This, what I’m trying to do right now, is not about them. It’s about me. I want to be able to say I am being the best wife, friend, daughter, cousin, etc. that I can be. My pastor told me a long time ago that it’s not about what others do, it’s about focusing on what I do. I hear her now. I hear her loud and clear.

~HG

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