I felt the need to write on vulnerability because being vulnerable is dangerous if you are not accustomed to the feeling- and I want to tell you how that showed up for me in my life.
Me and my (ex)girlfriend were going through a lot, and our relationship had kind of dissipated into nothing. We were barely talking, our relationship was no longer really defined as a relationship, and we were in a gray area for a long time. I was uncomfortable with it, but I was just happy she was still there, you know?
I remember the exact day when I felt like it was over. I had called her, because I was so proud of myself for booking an Art Show. I had never done anything like that, and I was so excited. I asked her to come, and she said “…maybe”. I had understood though, our relationship was really non-existent at that point, but I was still hopeful. Then the day had came, and it was my Art Show. Yes, I was so happy that I had did it. A couple of friends and family had came- but I still stared at the door waiting for her to walk in. This time I didn’t even care if everyone knew she was my girlfriend, I just wanted her there.
She never came.
Maybe two weeks later, I was on my snap-chat, and I seen she posted something. It was her and another girl, out…kissing…having a great time. I could not believe what I had seen. I was devastated.
I guess I didn’t realize how bad things really were ya know? So I called her, and I asked her “when did we break up?”. I was surprised she answered the phone, because I knew that she was with her, and I know its sick, but I was hopeful that we could mend whatever it was that we lost- because why would she pick up the phone, in front of this new girl. Anyway, we argued for about 15 minutes- I cried, a lot. I don’t think I’ve ever been publicly humiliated like that before.
All of this was followed by a lot more hurt, and disappointed- and I fell deep into a depression, I mean she really made sure I did too. She made sure I felt it. She posted this new person, everywhere. I had asked for closure, or for an answer, because I was so lost. She never answered, and I never spoke to her again. Three years together, and I never spoke to her again.
I said all of that to say this :
I have never been a stranger to depression, and I knew that I was vulnerable. I knew that I could not start drinking. I knew that I would really sink into it if I did. About 3 weeks had passed since seeing the snap chat thing, and I made a conscious effort to not have any wine, to not doing any drugs, to really just try to heal. My friend was tired of me being depressed and never going anywhere, and suggested we go out and celebrate- I had just bought a new car, and I hadn’t went anywhere. I agreed, I needed to go out, I needed to leave my room.
Long story short, I drank way too much that night. I was so pressed to have a good time, that I was
buying everyone shots,
buying everyone drinks,
talking to everyone- trying to convince myself like, yeah I can do this, its lit.
I couldn’t do this.
My friend had met someone and was having a good time, but I couldn’t stop thinking about her, and on top of that I had some guy in my face trying to talk to me with a “Make America Great Again” hat on. That was the cherry on top of the shit pie. I left the bar we were at, and got into my car to call her. It was like 3 in the morning. The phone kept ringing and she wasn’t answering, and then she was just straight declining the calls. I just kept crying and crying. Two random girls seen me, and told me to get out my car, because there was a cop who was watching me.
I got out the car, and just was crying on the side of the street with these two girls whom I’ve never met.
Then I ended up getting in an argument with my friend, then someone stole my phone, and then my friend got in a fight with some other girl – the night was a mess.
All I wanted to do was go home at this point. I had cried all my makeup off, and the night was disastrous. I got into my car, me and my friend not speaking- and within maybe 60 seconds I was pulled over. I was still crying from earlier, and all I could think was “wow, this looks so bad”. They told me to get out of the car, and do all those ‘drinking’ tests. I did the walk. I did the flashlight in the eyes. I did the alphabet backwards- or whatever it is they ask.
Then they asked for me to blow into a breathalyzer. I was panicking, because at this point I was so emotional, and scared, that I didn’t know if I was ‘drunk’ or if I was really this upset. My last drink was maybe an hour before I started to drive, but I really didn’t know. So I refused, and I thought because I was cute, they would let me go. Nope, not this time. He said “Can you turn around for me?”- and that was it. I was handcuffed, and they brought me crying all the way to jail.
So you see, vulnerability was a key factor here. I was depressed, feeling lost, feeling hopeless, and I was very vulnerable. This was a teaching moment for me. I learned the importance of listening to my own voice. I knew that I wasn’t ready to go out, to drink, and perform ‘happiness’.
There are two sides to being vulnerable, you can either let it harden you, or soften you.
I could have let the whole thing harden me, I could’ve blamed everything on her, I could’ve blamed it on God, I could have told myself that I’m the unluckiest person ever- but my response never turned into that. As soon as I sat down in jail, I thanked the officer for arresting me, because the reality of the situation is, I could have hurt myself or someone else by driving. Then later I met an older woman who was the same age as my mother and had just gotten a DWI too, and she was in there crying. She told me that she had a daughter that was my age, and was going to be so upset with her. I prayed with her, and hugged her until it was time for me to see the judge.
There was a miracle in this, my vulnerability had helped her, and her vulnerability had helped me too. We were both comforted in sharing our stories, and by just being in our truth. If we had both been angry, legs crossed, and tight lipped, we would have never connected, and we would’ve never helped heal each other. I will never forget her, she was the cutest Italian woman, and I could see her strength, and she could see mine.
Is that not a miracle ?
Is it not a miracle that I am able to write my story all whilst bearing the risks of rejection, humility, disapproval, and judgement? I write my truth without regard for that. I know that for those who are reading this feel a connection, feel a depth, and feel a truth that they cannot receive everywhere else. So when I speak, I only speak truth, so that you will know what you get when you have me. Nothing but truth, nothing but honestly, and most importantly, vulnerability.
Vulnerability saved me. I became more opened because of my pain. I became more resourceful. I became stronger. Life pushed me into a place of discomfort but it was all for my growth.
I quickly want to thank those of you who have been supportive of my writing- your affirmations were necessary for me to keep going. Your comments, your statements of “me too”, “I’ve been there”, and ” thank you”, have all been so important for my journey.