Vulnerability is the scariest word in any language. It strikes horror and fear into the strongest of hearts. Yet vulnerability is where the good stuff is at, or so we’re told. Love and friendship, joy and support. Unless you open yourself up, none of it can get in. The problem is, once you open yourself up you have no defences to protect yourself when the shit inevitably hits the fan. And right now, when I need my armour the most, I cannot even reach it. It’s a two-fronged attack, and I’m not built to withstand half of it.
Back we go to the walls, which, while whole enough to keep the happiness out, now have cracks in them that are letting an Armageddon of new pain in. Even deep in the rooms of my mind I am at the mercy of anguish I cannot escape. I can see no way out. If I think, I hurt. If I reflect, I weep. If I try to see a path forward, I break down. There is nowhere to run. I’m like a crab being boiled alive, it’s shell of no use to it anymore.
Most of all I am angry with myself for being foolish enough to believe I could experience aliveness, rather than the act of merely existing. I was so stupid, so bloody idiotic, to think that happiness could ever be mine. That joy and love and laughter could ever be my bedfellows. A lifetime of experience has taught me this could never be. Can’t handle it, don’t deserve it, should never trust it. If only I’d listened to my head instead of my heart. If only I’d trusted my voice instead of someone else’s. Mugged by my own foolishness. It doesn’t get any crueler than that.
People will inevitably respond to this by saying that the good stuff will be mine one day, that someone will come along who will make me truly happy, who’ll be the friend I deserve, be the light-bringer who shows me that life is precious and good and there for the taking and who wants to enjoy the journey and experience of it with me. But they don’t understand: I will never let my guard down again.
Vulnerability is the scariest thing going. Only the brave and the strong can survive it.