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Vulnerability Bender

I've been on a vulnerability bender for the last month, and it feels like it's killing me sometimes.

Me, manga

It started with writing We Can Become Known in February, and then continued with a bunch of other pieces I've written since then, including I'm Speaking My Truth and Spreading the Word, Because It Does Get Better, and most days now it seems like a pretty good idea to stay in bed with some hot coffee and pretend that I just woke up on some other day a long time ago when I didn't feel so vulnerable.

I'm not depressed really. I'm just really broken open, like a soft meat seed pod that's been split down the middle, and the wind's having its way with redistributing my innards.

My anxiety about it all dresses itself up as shame burning up the back of my neck, and I feel consumed by self-doubt and self-loathing. It creeps in sometimes when I've been feeling open for too long. It's a self-defensive reflex. The scared voice inside me tells me that I'm bad, not because I am bad but because it knows I will stop and withdraw if I feel bad enough. I am afraid of being hurt.

The scared voice inside me is a little kid afraid of the dark. Growth and change redefines my boundaries, and the new limitations those boundaries map out make me feel naked, and not the good kind of naked.

I don't know if it's the moon or the planets or something I elicit when I give off a certain mood, but everyone was tossing their vulnerability around yesterday in a mad fit of self-exposure, and it was both poignant and distressing. I was busted open, I received emails from other people who were busted open, and even my Friday night junk food delivery guy was busted open. I've only ever seen him once before, but he told me how his cat of 15 years had died a number of years ago, and that he'd never had another because he didn't think his heart could take the weight of loving so much. I imagined taking the food delivery guy into my arms for comfort while I pressed the buttons on the debit machine.

I wrote for seven hours straight yesterday until I finally collapsed and cried in the dark, because it hurts to be human, and that was good, even when I punched myself in the hip to keep from wailing out loud next to my open bedroom window. It has been a long time since I cried like that. I needed to let off the steam. It puts trouble at rest to let it out to rabble-rouse once in a while.

The next step in my personal brand of self-therapy this morning, after putting this little number out there, is to have a shower, paint my fingernails bright red, and take the Palinode out for a late breakfast like regular human beings do. I can't lie around being an aching, busted open seed pod 24/7. I like food too much, and there's a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing that has my name on it.

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PS.  This is what I wrote exactly one year ago at Aiming Low: "Anxiety, Panic Attacks, And What Gets Us Through". Vive la annual révolution!

PPS.  I just got an email about something huge for me that has been a major part of this whole vulnerability breakdown, and it is wonderful, fabulous, good, really excellent news, which I'm not going to tell you about yet, because life's a bitch sometimes, and I would be remiss if I didn't contribute.