VULNERABILITY. Is so beautiful.
Ever since Silvio and I have been sharing an experience of depression, I’ve found myself being molded and changed in the midst of that suffering. And suffering is not pretty, so in the interest of sparing those around me I have put exhausting effort into not letting it show. Not because they wouldn’t still love me–just because I didn’t want to ruin their day or their fun.
But because I looked like I was just out there lightheartedly having a good time, they understandably treated me like the carefree person they saw before them. And that was so frustrating to me because I felt so misunderstood. So I put myself out there even less and felt so isolated because I never saw anybody and when I did, they were so insensitive.
But it was completely because of my lack of vulnerability.
I think the main reason people don’t want to be vulnerable is that they are afraid of being misunderstood. But by hiding the most authentic parts of our souls, we are guaranteeing that we will be misunderstood.
Whenever I have just so happened to be with good people when something went wrong, when Silvio and I were so obviously not okay that we could not hide it, those people have loved me so genuinely and in exactly the ways I have needed it–simply by understanding and caring.
It has been my instinct to hide the messier parts of Silvio’s depression from my family because they more than anyone else want to see me secure under my husband’s unflinching care–at least that’s what I tell myself. But the more they see, the more they are proud of us, not the opposite. The more they shower their love on us and are there to help us and just be with us.
Silvio missed school today and it was a day my mom was coming to visit me. I was terrified because I didn’t want her to see him in a moment of weakness. I wanted her to see him in all his strong moments! But we have nothing to prove. She loves us both already and has for so long. She was so accepting and understanding. And because she saw the pain, it was in a place we could talk about it. I have this insecurity that makes me fear that people will disapprove of us or be disappointed in us for our weaknesses. Instead, when they are seen like they were today, we are affirmed. My mom sincerely told me how much she loves Silvio, loves how he loves me, and thinks our marriage is a great example. We talked deeply and bonded and I was loved and healed where I needed it most–where I would have guarded it most if I didn’t have this day to fling it all out into the open. It was a day which would have hurt if I hid anything–but now, I am filled so much I could overflow.