The world can be an awful place. Surviving and protecting yourself are sometimes so key to our shared existence there’s no time for literally anything else. The ability to be vulnerable, soft, open with yourself and other people, is a privilege not everyone is afforded.
Everyone has had an experience where they opened up to someone just to find out it was the wrong person.
Many people have had lots of experiences where this happens. It gets to the point where being vulnerable makes little sense. Who wants to expose weaknesses when there is always a chance the person you’re with is not a safe person? Who wants to try again and again and again to find this right person who you can be safe with when locating the wrong person is far more common and usually pretty painful?
To anyone who isn’t ready to be vulnerable, or feels like they can’t risk it, I absolutely understand and hold space for you. The good news is that the future will march on, we can change, we can meet new people, we can learn and grow and become better people ourselves. If something is too difficult now, that doesn’t mean it will be too difficult forever.
I am someone who is chronically vulnerable.
Even during times when the last thing I need is to open up to the wrong people or throw up a Facebook status to the masses, I find myself doing it anyway. Most of the time, I think it’s just due to sheer silliness with a side of never learning some lessons well enough.
But honestly, I see myself as someone who can be vulnerable because I have had to be so tough in the past. Because the wrong people will always be wrong, no matter what I put out there. The right people want to see that vulnerability because they value who I am as a multifaceted person.
In the end, I think I’m just an open person. Because I always go back to my softness, even when I have experienced trauma.
Vulnerability is not something everyone can or wants to experience. Especially publically. How someone explores this nuanced state of being should always be up to them and their feelings regarding it should always be respected.
If you recognize vulnerability in someone today, whether they’re a friend, family member, or a total stranger, hold some space for them. Because even if you’re familiar with it like I am, it’s still difficult. It’s still scary. It can still be something you have an inner debate about before sharing because you know the risks.
Expressing softness takes a lot of toughness.
In my experience, there have been plenty of times where my vulnerability wasn’t appreciated or understood. But in the end, a message popping up in my DMs saying, “I’m so glad you talked about this topic. I thought I was the only one,” means more to me than any demand for me to fuck myself, no matter how creatively stated.