Today’s writing prompt is “Open“.
When I see the word “open”, I automatically think of the word “vulnerable”. To me, being open means being vulnerable. And when I think about it, I think about my inability to be vulnerable. For example, this entire blog is about the things I keep repressed, the things I can’t share in an open manner, because I feel exposed and vulnerable. I have this sense that being honest about myself will leave me open for the possibility of some sort of attack – verbal, physical or emotional. It’s not a good attitude to have, because true strength comes from the ability to be open with oneself and then to the world, in spite of the fears that exist.
The first time I remember my vulnerability being an issue was when I was in a relationship with a young lady (we were both young at the time, but I haven’t seen her in almost 20 years) – my first love, to be honest. I remember she told me once, that she knew about once every 6 months I would open up and talk to her about everything inside of me. She said she felt closest to me at those times. But it was also coupled with the fact that my inability to be open all the time is what ruined the relationship (Personally, I felt it was her love of boning other people that did us in…but what do I know?). Another time my alleged lack of vulnerability came into play was early on in my current relationship. We were seeing a therapist and the therapist commented that my main problem in relationships is that I don’t make myself vulnerable.
I have been troubled with that concept for most of my life. I don’t understand where it comes from and I certainly don’t understand how to be more vulnerable. Isn’t it responsible behavior to protect oneself? I know this is a hindrance in my relationships, but then I have wondered if it was even reasonable for me to be in a relationship. I think I’m an ugly person – inside and out – so aren’t I doing my best to protect those around me? I have a guilt complex like no one around either and sometimes I feel like I am making sure I don’t screw anything up, because I can’t live with the guilt. But these are just excuses, aren’t they? The truth of the matter is I just can’t wrap my mind around being open; I don’t know how to be vulnerable and feel comfortable with it.