the courage to be vulnrable. . .
I saw this quote today while reading, and it really made an impact on me and my thought process about being vulnerable vs being dependant.
The quote I read was “It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable” .. wow courage? who would have known? I was taken back by this quote, but it made sense.
I thought about this quote more and more, and how true this quote is. When you take down the walls in healing, it’s like having an open wound, and risking infection. You are vulnerable to let anything in or out. You are opening yourself up to many things, some unknown things.
Yes it does take a lot of courage to be vulnerable, and I also feel that you need to be vulnerable to heal. Sometimes letting that wound AIR dry is what heals it faster, even though you are taking a risk. Sometimes you have to bleed to heal – but the question is, where do you find the courage to let yourself be vulnerable?
One of the biggest obstacles that I have struggled with in this healing process, is not allowing myself to depend on anyone. What I know about that, is that, it can be a blessing and a curse. The blessing being, I am protecting myself from getting hurt, the curse? not letting anyone in, therefor making it harder to heal and trust.
One of the first things I said to my therapist when I started therapy was, “The day I become dependant on you, is the day I stop showing up”. Well, here I am 5 years later, and I am still showing up. So I think you can pretty much guess what I haven’t lost in this process – my self independence.
I made that statement very clear in my little soft voice, and short body, with my hands on my hips! We laugh about that today, and bring it up in funny situations, we call it the “D” word (dependant) lol.
Today, I can laugh about it, because I have grown into my own place in this healing; while being vulnerable enough to accept support. I know today that just because I am vulnerable, doesn’t make me dependant on anyone.
I think my fear of becoming dependant on someone was about being under the thumb of the people who abused me. I knew from the moment I was 18 years old and left the house, that I did NOT want to live that way ever again! I was my own person and I was going to make sure people knew it.
But, what I have learned now is that, I don’t need to give up my independence to be vulnerable to the possibilities in healing. Being vulnerable is something that is needed to heal. You have to open yourself up to the possibilities of being hurt; being wounded in order to find your true self. I have learned to connect, and that is a part of being vulnerable, and so isn’t support, and accepting support, trust, love, and even faith.
When I was younger, being vulnerable was a trap, it was a death trap. being abused as a child I needed to build walls, not vulnerability. Vulnerability was not safe, I needed to numb out, build walls as high as I could build them, and go into another world during the abuse in order to not feel.
Being vulnarable to the support around me, has been a struggle. When I am going through a hard time, it’s hard for me to open myself up and allow myself to be cared for by all of my support around me – whether it be a phone call, an email, a text, or even smoke signals (inside joke).
Lately though, I have been opening myself up more to accept it, because I am seeing more and more that being vulnerable to support and connection, is actually opening the door to my healing.
Another one of my biggest fears has been “emotions”.. being vulnarable to emotions has been the hardest obstacle not only in therapy, but in LIFE itself. Tears were acid to me, and being vulnarable to emotions did not sit well with me. Today I am feeling it, and being vulnrable to it, because I know it’s OK and I have support. The tears that once felt like acid, feel like true tears now – in grieving for myself.
This weekend is a great example of being being open to vulnerability in accepting support. I am working on letting others connect with me, and it be OK. I have accepted that this weekend I am not going to try and do it all alone, and let others carry me through. That is being VERY vulnerable, and I will admit, takes alot of “courage”. I am learning to accept, and surprisingly it feels OK.
So when I look at the quote I read today “it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable” I truly believe that, especially where I came from, and how being vulnerable was a a death sentence.
I know there will be times where the courage is not as strong, and I will retreat backwards… but the more and more I open myself up to the possibilities, the more I know it’s one step closer in my healing.
February 19, 2012 at 1:58 AM
OK Karen, this is my new favorite blog post! How many of us go through having fear of being vulnarable. I LOVE the photo you chose for this blog, she looks broken, but yet willing to turn her face towards healing! I LOVE it. BRAVO on another great write!
I commend you on the healing path you have taken, your a strong strong woman, one that I have come to love and be fond of
February 19, 2012 at 2:53 AM
You are a great writer, I think you have found your calling! Love to read your articles! Keep writing!
February 19, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Hi, I came over from the silence page for sexual abuse victims and I read this article and I had to sit back in my chair because I felt you were talking about me. I go through this everyday, especially the fear of emotions.
Thank you for writing this, it really helped me to see that being vulnerable doesn’t mean being dependant on others.
I bookmarked your blog, this will help me in my own healing
Karen Beth Courcy
February 19, 2012 at 1:09 PM
thank you everyone for your wonderful comments.. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to not only heal through my writing, but open up and be “vulnerable” to those also in healing and going through the same thing.