We all have our recurrent stress dreams. Mine (embarrassingly) typically involves me realizing I’m stuck in a conspicuous location not wearing some crucial article of clothing. The really weird thing is I’m always holding said article, but just not willing to put it on until no one can see me. I once mentioned this to a friend who’s getting a higher degree in psychology and asked her what it meant about my subconscious state.
“Fear of vulnerability,” she replied, without missing a beat. Apparently mine is a textbook case.
It’s been a raw few months for me, facing insecurity in my work and feeling, many days, like I’m taking on the whole world by myself. I stumble home at the end of a long workday deflated and irritable, and I know I take it out on the people around me. There’s nothing like being brought low in life to make you feel known–and not in a good way. We all want to be known and loved; but there’s nothing scarier than having other people know some of those parts of you that just aren’t loveable. I catch myself holding my breath, waiting for the moment when they all finally throw up their hands and say, “Ok, babe, we gave it a good run, but we can’t take it anymore.”
Who could blame them?
So I’m tempted to tuck it all in and creep to my room and just hide until I can be pleasant and fun again. But really, who am I fooling? Just like in that ridiculous dream, I’m already exposed, and my quest to “find a private place” where no one will see me in my weakness is the proverbial exercise in futility.
I am not perfect. What’s more, people know it. As my sisters would say, “It’s all good.”
Somehow friends and family manage to forgive and love me anyway, in spite of my moping, snapping, sarcasm, bitter and self-deprecating remarks, and whatever other ugly things come bubbling to the surface day after day. Somehow I’m that blessed. I don’t get it, and there are moments when I hate it, but the simple fact is I am (we are all) vulnerable. So there’s no point in being afraid of it.