I stumble upon this video from another blog post, and I thought it gave an interesting answer on the vulnerability question: Why is it so hard for us to show vulnerability? The answer is: Shame. We think we’re not worthy of the deep connection that vulnerability gives us. This again leads to estrangement and alienation, which again leads to loneliness, depression, anxiety, insecurity – and blame.
For me, bravery is to be the one you really are, to be honest with people you meet. To dare to say that you think life is hard. It’s not easy to be vulnerable because you have to risk the fear of being rejected. But if you take the chance, you will often find out your vulnerability brings a much deeper understanding and connection with the people around you. Why? Because humans are not that much different. We feel the same things. Every one of us has felt the fear of not being good enough. I think our lives would be better if we dared to be vulnerable and open to our friends, our children, our partner, our boss and any stranger. Vulnerability brings us together, it opens a completely new world of joy and happiness, and we get the feeling of belonging and relaxation.
I write this blog for myself and the ones who wants to read it. To talk about vulnerability to people without showing it myself would be a little boring, don’t you think? So here’s a personal story about how my boyfriend and I got together:
In summer of 2008 I started chatting with a guy on the Internet. I had some problems with my car and he explained that I really needed to get this fixed in a car repair shop. Or else it could get very expensive. For those interested, he was talking about the timing belt, or cam belt, which needed to be changed. 🙂 I did as he said, and I also felt he was grateful that he could help me and explain this alienated technical car stuff for me. A couple of days later, he contacted me and told me that he had dreamed about me the previous night, and that he usually never remember anything from his dreams, but this dream appeared so strong to him, and he told me about it. I asked him if I could share the dream and he approved, so here it goes:)
He had this dream that he was at a pretty wild party. He was fighting with a drunk, violent guy and he got hurt. He got knocked down, and as he was lying on the ground with bruises and blood in his face, he suddenly noticed me. I was wearing a white uniform, like doctors or nurses wear, and I started helped him, washing off his blood of his face and keeping him safe, which made him feel secure and grateful.
He told me about the dream and I had to admit that I thought it was quite interesting. We had not yet met at this point, just chatted online. We had a couple of common friends, and one of them needed a place to stay for a while so I borrowed him my apartment, as I was living with my parents at the time due to my health situation. The first time I met him was in November or December 2008 when helping the friend get settled in the apartment. The first impression I got was that he looked like a very kind, and petty, criminal. LOL. I think it was because the half-long hair and the worn-out NATO wool sweater and jeans. I did chat with him, but did not see him again for a while, not until our common friend moved out of the apartment. We continued chatting, and one time he asked me to come visiting him. I was scared. I had lived a very isolated life before this due to my difficult health situation, and I was not used to be open about my life situation to anyone else than my family. But since he seemed like a genuine kind and understanding guy I took the chance. We hung out a couple of times and had a good time, but I still hadn’t talked to him about my difficult issues. One evening he talked about entering a steady relationship with me and I was knocked out with anxiety. I was actually shivering and stunned. This was so scary for me. After a couple of hours I managed to calm down. That’s when I decided to take one big chance. I tried calling him, but he was out fishing so I left him an SMS, a HUGE sms where I told him everything about my issues, my anxiety, my struggles with depression and chronic fatigue, my really dark periods, the physical pain, the cutting and all the stuff I could recollect at the time. I knew that I had to be open and honest about this, and if he decided to walk away, it was okay. Because I had been the real me. I was aware that I could be let down, which was OK for me, because the whole thing was scary, but I also hoped that it in a miraculously way it would turn out OK. I did not sleep much that night, and when I woke up the next day, still without a reply from him, I got scared again. I tried to think about something else, when suddenly the phone rang. It was him. My heart started beating again, very fast, but I answered the call. I can’t remember exactly what he said but he started with saying that he’d left the cellphone home by mistake, then he said that he was sorry to have rushed things for me and that he would really like to be with me no matter what, because he understood that it had to require huge amounts of courage from me to tell him about my issues. He said that he really appreciated my honesty and vulnerability, and that my issues did not frighten him, which, actually, was my biggest concern.
After 4 years, we’re still together. He’s one of my best friends. I can tell him anything. He is a terrific listener, who never judges me. A strong, good man. We have our difficult periods, due to my health issues, and sometimes we have arguments, but this only happens when we both are in lack of energy, or we misunderstand each other. On the whole, we get together quite well and I hope our relationship will continue to blossom and that we’ll be together forever.
Thank you, Bjørn Erik, for all that you are.