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A Lesson in Vulnerability

“A lot of what I go through has nothing to do with men. A lot of it is pent-up aggression towards situations or things that were said to me that I internalized coming from female experiences. I’m growing and learning, and it hurts. But I need this. I need life.”

This is a tweet that I wrote a few days ago and the amount of truth and vulnerability in these words comes from a place of suppressed emotion and self-doubt. See, I am on this journey of self-discovery and evolution. I do not know if this is the Scorpio in me that thrives on self-improvement, growth, and determination in being the best version of myself, or if this is just a cry within me that I have yet to let out, but the point of the matter is this, I have been dealing with some heavy stuff, and sometimes it is difficult for me to verbally express my emotions, which is why I’ve chosen this blog as my subconscious outlet among other reasons.

But my heart hurts, it has been hurting for a while now. It hurts because things are changing around me that are out of my control. My heart aches with the passing of my grandmother who I miss tremendously. It hurts because I cannot control time and the in-advert impact that she has had on my life. I am hurting because of the things that I wish I could have said to her but became too wrapped up in my life to give her a call. My heart hurts because pieces of me are missing and I did not realize it, until now.

My intentions for this post is to not have people feeling sorry for me or my experiences. But instead to become inspired, honest, and open about whatever it is that you may be going through. To allow yourself to be vulnerable to the ways of the world and what life brings your way. I spent most of my life hiding behind my hidden emotions out of the fear of being judged or labeled “overly emotional”. As a woman, that term is like an ice-cold smack in the face! As if what I am feeling is not valid or I am being dramatic or simply overreacting. I am here to say that how I’ve been feeling is neither an overreaction or drama-filled saga, but it is a pure state of vulnerability, openness, and growth that I am constantly fostering within my daily life.

The Ability to Effectively Communicate Starts at Home

I like to think that I had the best of both worlds when it came to how my parents chose to teach my siblings and me life lessons. My mother, being the hard-working, no nonsense, deeply loving woman that she is taught me how to push through life even when the going gets tough, but she also taught me how to put on a brave face when life shows you it’s struggles, and to move on as if nothing could phase you, In a sense, this is what true strength and resilience is, or what I’ve concluded it to be, but years later I am starting to see why this approach is flawed in the way in which I deal with my inner-most thoughts.

On the flip side, my father who is known for his dragged-out talks and prolonged examples has always allowed me to voice my frustrations or opinions in an open manner. It did not matter if he was right or wrong, there was always an open-door policy with him for my sisters and me to talk to about anything. However, I learned early on that somethings are better left unsaid and with my father’s willingness to be transparent with us, I quickly wanted to keep a lot of things to myself to have a sense of privacy and to avoid those long drawn out conversations.

With the passing of my older brother back in 2008, this is where I started to build a wall between my feelings and the ability to verbally voice them. At that time, everyone around me became involved with there own lives, my older sister away at college, my younger siblings too young to understand, and my mom working restlessly to forget the pain that this tragedy has caused, and my dad, no longer as open with me as he has been in the years prior.

I bring all of this up to say that being open and vulnerable starts at home. Within the confines of the kitchen table where meals are being made. Or in your room moments before you kiss your children good night. Here is where the question “how are you feeling?”, “what is on your mind?” should be asked. Not years later when your sister is being diagnosed with schizophrenia because she too has had difficulty in getting sh*t off her chest!

Note to self

All and all I grew up in a family dynamic where it was okay for me to be emotional, but not too emotional. It was not until the most recent conversation that I had with my mother after writing the tweet that I understood that it is okay to get thoughts and feelings out of you if you are doing so that comes from a place of positivity and love.

There’s nothing I can do about the loss that I am experiencing from the passing of my grandmother or the changes that are taking place in my friendships. All I can do is be honest with myself and my feelings, and to move forward learning from my past and embracing my future.

I am growing, and it hurts. But I need it. I need life …

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