Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It's not you, it's me. (Why I think I have a hard time opening up)



Does anyone else struggle with being open with others?  I’m not just talking about being open and transparent with friends or acquaintances…but with people who are close to you, like close friends and family, your “people”?  Well, maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this.

I think part of it goes back to high school, when I had a boyfriend who, I thought, I was pretty crazy about.  I also a had a really good friend.  I’d go so far to call her my BFF, except for the little fact that my boyfriend cheated on me with her, at Prom.  I think that’s when I realized that I couldn’t really trust people.  Or, at least that I couldn’t trust people without the risk of getting hurt.  Perhaps I should have realized that sooner, but I was naive until then.  So, I just kind of stopped trusting people.  Stopped being vulnerable.  Stopped being close with people.  (Except for my mama, who I’ve always been close with!)

I wish I could say that kept me from ever being hurt again….but it didn’t.

Fast forward to going away to and loving college, but being ready to move on by the end it and moving back home for a job.  Then finding the love of my life, getting married and moving back to my college town where he was finishing up grad school.  Then we moved across the country for his post-doc and five years later we moved back across the country to, ironically, the same town we went to college in.  We love this town.  But, coming and leaving, and coming back and leaving and coming back again…makes for an….interesting dynamic to say the least. 

I’m not sure if all that story is entirely what accounts for my inability to open up to others, but I’m sure it is part of it.  I guess the other usual suspects of insecurity, shame, guilt, etc.… are also factors.  I was made very aware of the fact that it can be hurtful for me to not be open even with my closest people a few months ago.  I guess I had kind of lived in denial of my tendencies until then.  

Maybe it’s all because there is SO much going on inside my head that I’m afraid that people won’t understand me.  So, I’d rather just sit back, and be “normal” and very guarded.

Maybe it’s because I just have a super tough time trusting people.

Maybe it’s because this life can be really lonely.  It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one who has been “there”, no matter where “there” was.

Maybe it’s because I have a challenging time believing that I’m not a burden.

Maybe it’s because I don’t like parts of my past, the hurts, the disappointments, etc. and I’d rather not rehash them?  (At least until I'm ready?)  Whether they happened 20 years ago, 11 years ago or last month.

Maybe it’s because I am insecure.

Maybe it’s just the way I am?

It’s a coping mechanism.  I know.  I am aware of it.  I am working on it.  And I am more proud of who I have become DESPITE things I’ve been through and who I am in Christ.  So, I guess sometimes, I just feel like the past is better left in the past.  I hope that helps you to understand a bit more about me, or people like me. 

It’s really not you, it’s me. 

(And, if you were wondering, yes, I still find it easier to open up online than to a person face to face.  I can’t really explain it.)