I’m not sure if it’s because we moved around a lot when I was younger, or if it’s just the nature of my parents, but we’ve always been a very private family. I was brought up to never trust outsiders and always believe that people have an ulterior motive. I was taught that no one was ever nice for free, and that everything came at a price. While this did make my family very close-knit, it also instilled the feeling within me of constantly being an outsider among others, and that no one could ever know what was going on inside.
In school, my teachers would describe me as a ticking time bomb, I was quiet and usually quite hard to read. No one ever knew what I was thinking, let alone what I was feeling. Everything would stay bottled up inside, until one day, I’d explode with emotion, and no one would understand where these tears and frustration were coming from. It’s always been hard for me to express how I’m feeling, and a fear of vulnerability has helped me to develop the best poker face around, for everyday life. I remember the first time I confided in a close friend about this boy I’d just broken up with and my feelings about everything that was going on. Among her words of comfort, she said something along the lines of “seeing you like this, reminds me that you’re human”.
Her words really stuck with me. While in my mind not being vulnerable means I’m strong, to the people close to me, it makes it harder to connect. It reminds me that I’m not a robot, I am human, and I have feelings. I remind myself of this constantly when I go against the very nature of my upbringing, and share how I’m feeling with someone close to me. I’m human and I have feelings. I remind myself that being vulnerable means I’m more approachable, and that makes it easier for other people to connect as well.